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Our Survey

We are conducting a study on “Factors and influences of developing an economically active citizen during the time of Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Please assist by completing the survey? It should take about 15 minutes of your time to complete:

Please click on the link below to start the survey:

http://www.kagiso.co.za/survey/economically-active-citizen-during-the-time-of-fourth-industrial-revolution/

Please kindly also forward this to your contacts to complete. Your participation is much appreciated.

 

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InBrief – May 2018 issue

The latest issue of our InBrief magazine is now available on our website.

Please have a look: http://www.kagiso.co.za/publications/

 

 

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Assistance Requested for Lwamondo High School

Dear partners and friends,

Lwamondo High School, one of the pilot schools for our Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) kindly seeks your assistance. Lwamondo High School, based in Limpopo, has consistently achieved over 80% since our pilot.

The school has 16 dilapidated classrooms, no school hall and requires desks for learners.

      

If you are able to assist, please email ccharlie@kagiso.co.za or call 011-566-1900. If you know anyone or any organisation that could assist, please share this post with them?

Thank you.

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Africa must lead, not follow, the 4th Industrial Revolution

The first installment of the Education Conversations for 2018, which took place in the Council Chambers of the Madibeng Building at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park, examined our understanding of the ‘changing world’ and unearthed the implications and impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on our education system.

Facilitated by radio and television entrepreneur, Masechaba Ndlovu, the event sought to unpack how South Africa can ensure that it has the necessary skills to adapt and keep up in a fast-changing world and contained presentations by Godwin Khosa and Dr. Jacqueline Batchelor.

Attendees agreed with Ndlovu’s opening statement that the 4th IR has already fundamentally changed the way we live and learn and is continually challenging us to think and grow as young people.

The role of Africa in the previous industrial revolutions was questioned. A popular fear expressed among invited UJ students and members of the public, was that the continent would merely jump on the 4th IR bandwagon, instead of leading it.

Many in the audience felt that perhaps Africa should be formulating and developing a context-specific revolution – one that is specifically for Africa – instead.

Keynote speaker, Godwin Khosa who is CEO of the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), legitimised these concerns during his presentation: ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution in Education and The Impact on Education Development Implementation.’

Over the course of 45 minutes, he questioned how education would help bridge the gap between global technological developments and how our kids would be able to navigate in an increasingly complicated world.

“The world is complicated by, among others, technology. How we teach and prepare our kids for the 4th IR – and even the 5th IR – goes beyond technology,” he said.

Khosa further explained that all industrial revolutions were translated in the education space and stressed that no matter how the world evolved, reading and writing would continue to be vital criteria.

“Last year we spoke about how our kids are not reading. Seventy-eight percent of our kids are not reading for meaning. Part of the question is whether reading is important in the 4th and 5th IR’s? Realistically, it is going to be a window into these revolutions,” he stated.

He said STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is evolving into STEAM as it now included the Arts. “The arts are coming back and we are trying to bridge the gaps and be flexible in our response to the various revolutions.”

Khosa explained that in all of the industrial revolutions that have already taken place, the kids of the wealthy and high-class were successfully able to navigate through them.

“They were the first to get to grips with them. It is not any different today. We need to make sure the children of the poor are not left behind, as the speed of development is astronomical. We should also avoid having Africa follow the rest of the world instead of leading this revolution. In this industrial revolution and in the next, we have to help the children of the poor not to be left behind.

“The possibility of leaving them behind is much greater now because the 4th IR is happening much faster than the previous three IR’s did,” he cautioned.

To view Mr Godwin Khosa’s presentation, please click the image below or Click Here

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Education Conversations: Mr Godwin Khosa’s Presentation

Mr. Godwin Khosa (NECT) was one of the speakers at Education Conversations on Tuesday 17 April 2018. The topic was: Understanding the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the education system.

Please click the image below to find his presentation in pdf format or Click Here

 

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5 Ways Municipalities Can Enhance Service Delivery Through Data Optimisation

Delivery of free basic services to indigent people remains an ongoing challenge for South African municipalities. According to Paul Smith, Local Government Support at Kagiso Trust, this may be attributed to poor data management, which impacts on all aspects of functioning, from customer management to revenue collection. Here, Smith outlines how data optimisation can help improve service delivery to the country’s poorest households.

1. Understanding the customer base

Smith explains that although there is only one account holder in each indigent household, there may be many more residents within the households. Unless municipalities have an accurate grasp of who can afford to pay and who cannot afford to pay and maintained understand the scope of their customer base, they cannot plan properly for free basic service delivery.

2. Improving available information

Unreliable data makes it almost impossible for municipalities to deliver efficiently: understated indigent registers have implications in terms of debt for local government, while overstated indigent registers impact on revenue, Smith says.

3. Improving revenue collection and debt management

Municipalities’ ability to provide free basic services is negatively affected by inefficiencies related to revenue collection and debt management, as municipalities are expected to cross subsidize the cost of FBS with own revenue. Under collection of revenue compromises their ability to make payment to bulk service providers like Eskom and the water boards. Smith points out that, accurate data can help municipalities forecast revenues more accurately and implement effective credit control measures.

4. Enhancing internal capacity

Smith insists that municipalities’ optimal functioning depends on adopting an approach that focuses as much on staff development as customers. “No institution can operate efficiently if it is inadequately resourced; if skills, attitude and capacity are not at appropriate levels. Unfortunately, this is the scenario facing most of our municipalities. People development must therefore be a central pillar for any solution aiming to improve municipal  delivery of services . We need to ensure that staff are equipped, empowered and motivated to do their jobs properly. This will decrease municipalities’ reliance on external consultants and thus contribute to their sustainability.” Less emphasis must be placed on providing technical solutions to dysfunctional municipalities until municipal staff are suitably ready to embrace innovation and technology.

5. Creating an exit strategy for the indigent

The ultimate goal for municipalities is to help indigent citizens become economically active, increasing the municipal tax based and addressing social economic challenges. For this to happen, municipalities require data related to the skills, capacity and experience among their unemployed to feed into a well planned and executed Local Economic Development program.

Smith reveals that Kagiso Trust has developed a tool called the Kagiso Data Optimisation System (“K’DOS”), which helps municipalities validate their customer data through an online web interface, thus improving operational efficiency and billing accuracy and promoting local government sustainability.

 

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Chairman Reverend Frank Chikane on the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A key part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the opportunity it presents through the internet platform for inclusive growth in the African continent. Inclusive growth is a concept that advances equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits inclined by every section of society.

The vast and growing potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is yet to be fully grasped. The ICT sector, industry and governments have a responsibility to unlock its potential for citizen service delivery, customer experience and innovative solutions, for a better life for all.

Q & A with Reverend Frank Chikane

How do you think government and industry can begin to unlock this potential?

The Future of Jobs and skills in Africa report suggests that, to prepare for the future of work, the region (Africa) must expand its high-skilled talent pool by developing future-ready curricula, with a large portion of that focusing on STEM education – interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world.

What role does the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services, need to play in preparing learners and citizens to be equipped to take advantage of opportunities within the Fourth industrial revolution? And does South Africa have the right policies, legislations and regulations in place to support the skills and infrastructure needed?

Leadership and governance both in the public and private sector will play a critical role in South Africa’s readiness for the fourth industrial revolution. The Departments of Education and Science and Technology and private sector initiatives in research and development are critical in this regard. New policy perspectives, laws and regulations will need to be developed to create conditions conducive for this development. Recent corruption, maladministration and collusion in both sectors has made South Africa vulnerable for investment and contributed to low economic growth. This must change radically.

What type of leadership does the country need to propel our economy in an upward trajectory?    

One of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) objectives to be reached by 2030 is, “strong leadership throughout society that work together to solve our problems.”  I would add that the leadership will have to be visionary, innovative, and perceptive and think out of the box. Traditional leadership models will miss the opportunities occasioned by the fourth industrial revolution. Secondly, it is critical that we use public-private partnerships as they are a powerful lever for development in order to take advantage of the opportunities occasioned by this revolution.

What do you think are some of the limitations and opportunities for public-private partnerships in South African?

The greatest change South Africa faces is the divide between those in the public sector, who happen to be mainly black and historically disadvantaged, and those in the private sector who happen to be in the main white. No amount of goodwill from those who are in Government has changed the attitudes of those who control the heights of the economy. If we fail to break this wall and collaborate in taking advantage of the fourth industrial revolution we will find it very difficult to be at the cutting edge of the new economy.

The ANC has always maintained pro-poor policies to address poverty, inequality and unemployment which are also aligned to the NDP. Do you think the current ANC policies have insight and foresight of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?   

The current policies are steeped in the current economic paradigm which will be overtaken by new industries rendering what we are fighting about obsolete. The younger generation must be empowered to change the economic paradigm and discourse by moving into the new space of new industries within the context of the fourth industrial revolution. We must move beyond those who are fighting to keep and control the current economy by creating the new that is occasioned by the fourth industrial revolution.

What are the consequences of failure to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution as the African continent?

I want to make it clear that there is no room for failure as failure will mean that Africa gets enslaved and colonised again as it is beginning to happen through the ports of Libya and other countries in the north of the African continent. Young Africans are being enticed to get on trips to better pastures which end up with them being bought as slaves and sold to sharks in Europe and the USA where they are treated as slaves. We need to return to the African renaissance vision by:

  • ending the senseless wars that are raging on the African continent, making strategic thinking and development impossible;
  • establishing participatory governments that create space for the younger generation to employ their creative potential to participate at the cutting urge of the fourth industrial revolution; and
  • reposition our educational systems to enable the younger generation to be innovative to find solutions confronting humanity today and into the future.

What do you think we should do to ensure that South Africa and the African continent are leaders in the emerging fourth industrial revolution?

We must bring together younger business people, economists, those who are in finance, banking, investment space, asset management, information technology, artificial intelligence, and so forth, to think together and develop strategies to enter this world of the fourth industrial revolution to find sustainable solutions to our economic challenges.  

 

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Education Series Volume IV: Early Childhood Development in South Africa, 2016

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) report released by Statistics South Africa last week shows that of the nearly 8, 2 million children aged 0–6 who according to the Mid-Year population Estimates lived in South Africa in 2016, almost half 46% were living in households belonging to the lower household income quintiles (quintiles 1 and 2).

A breakdown by monthly household income quintile revealed that close to half of the children in the lower household income quintile did not attend educational facilities, while 40% of the children in the highest household income quintile attended ECD facilities. The ECD report which is based on the findings of the General Household Survey (GHS) 2016, further shows that 48% of these children lived in single-parent family structures where  46% were residing with only their mothers, and 2% with their fathers only, while 12% lived with none of their biological parents. Close to 36% of children aged six or younger belonged to large households with more than six members; about 6% stayed in one-roomed dwellings and around 10% lived in dwellings which had no bedrooms.

According to the report, the majority of households in traditional and traditional areas had a disproportionately large burden of care for young children by grandparents and other family members. A large percentage of children were growing up in home environments that did not provide for communication or play to stimulate learning. Children in black African families were never encouraged to imitate daily activities 31% and 35% were never given answers when they pointed at objects and asked for explanations.

Most young children lived in households with poor access to piped water and improved sanitation. Only approximately 35% in Eastern Cape and 46% in Limpopo had access to piped water inside their dwellings or on site. In contrast, young children in Gauteng and Western Cape lived in households with nearly universal access to piped water inside their dwellings or on site (94% and 89% respectively). Only 57% of children in Limpopo had access to improved sanitation. One in ten of young children stayed in dwellings with poorly constructed roofs or walls. The worst cases were experienced by children in Western Cape with 17% of children living in dwellings with weak walls and 18% with weak roofs.

There was an increase in the percentage of children accessing the essential components of the ECD.  The most significant increase occurred in infant breastfeeding with 73% of children under the age of one year being breastfed in 2016 while also consuming other food and 32% infants being exclusively breastfed.

Overall half of children between 12 to 59 months received vitamin A supplement. Approximately a third of children in Gauteng and Free State were stunted (34, 2% and 33, 5% respectively). In 2016, according to the Department of Health data, South Africa also had one of the highest low birth weight rate with 13, 3% occurrences of live births of babies under 2,5kg nationally. The country also had a high underweight-for-age incidence among children under two years old with 21% occurrences nationally in 2016 according to data from the Department of Health.

While child mortality has declined over the years, under five mortality rates were still relatively high at 44 child deaths per 1 000 live births in 2016. These deaths mostly occurred during the perinatal periods and were caused by respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Close to 61% of children less than one year of age had been immunised with all basic vaccinations. The incidence of pneumonia in children under 5 was 34%.

The percentage of pregnant women who made their first antenatal visit before 20 weeks was 61%. Overall in 2016, close to 76% of mothers returned to the facilities for their sixth day check-up. Two out of three births (66%) that occurred in South Africa took place at a health facility. The percentage of late birth registrations decreased from 12, 9% in 2010 to 3,4% in 2015. By March 2017, 4 931 544 children aged 0–6 had access to a child support grant. Out of these 9, 2% were one year old or less; the rest of the beneficiaries were aged 2–6 years.

Article Source: Stats SA
(http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=10957)

 

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President Cyril Ramaphosa: 2018 State of the Nation Address

State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, 16 February 2018, Parliament

Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Modise,
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP,
Former President Thabo Mbeki,
Former Deputy President FW de Klerk,
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures,
Chairperson of SALGA and all Executive Mayors present,
The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions,
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,
Leaders of faith based organisations,
Former Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala,
Former Speaker Mr Max Sisulu,
Invited Guests
Veterans of the struggle for liberation,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Honourable members,
Fellow South Africans,

It is a great honour and privilege to deliver this State of the Nation Address.

This Address should have been delivered last week, but was delayed so that we could properly manage issues of political transition.

I wish to thank Honourable Members and the people of South Africa for their patience and forbearance.

I also wish to extend a word of gratitude to former President Jacob Zuma for the manner in which he approached this difficult and sensitive process.

I wish to thank him for his service to the nation during his two terms as President of the Republic, during which the country made significant progress in several areas of development.

Fellow South Africans,

In just over 150 days from now, the peoples of the world will unite in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

It is a day on which we, as South Africans, will remember the life of one of the most remarkable leaders this country and this continent – and indeed, the world – has known.

We will recount Madiba’s long walk to freedom, his wisdom, his unfailing humility, his abiding compassion and his essential integrity.

We have dedicated this year to his memory and we will devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society.

Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership.

In celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela we are not merely honouring the past, we are building the future.

We are continuing the long walk he began, to build a society in which all may be free, in which all may be equal before the law and in which all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life.

We are building a country where a person’s prospects are determined by their own initiative and hard work, and not by the colour of their skin, place of birth, gender, language or income of their parents.

This year, we also celebrate the centenary of another giant of our struggle, Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu.

Through her remarkable life and outstanding contribution, she defined what it means to be a freedom fighter, a leader and a diligent and disciplined servant of the people.

Through her leadership, she embodied the fundamental link between national liberation and gender emancipation.

As we mark her centenary, we reaffirm that no liberation can be complete and no nation can be free until its women are free.

We honour this son and this daughter of the African soil in a year of change, in a year of renewal, in a year of hope.

We honour them not only in word, but, more importantly, in direct action towards the achievement of their shared vision of a better society.

We should honour Madiba by putting behind us the era of discord, disunity and disillusionment.

We should put behind us the era of diminishing trust in public institutions and weakened confidence in leaders.

We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us.

It is a new dawn that is inspired by our collective memory of Nelson Mandela and the changes that are unfolding.

As we rid our minds of all negativity, we should reaffirm our belief that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

For though we are a diverse people, we are one nation.

There are 57 million of us, each with different histories, languages, cultures, experiences, views and interests.

Yet we are bound together by a common destiny.

For this, we owe much to our forebearers – people like Pixley ka Seme, Charlotte Maxeke and Chief Albert Luthuli – who understood the necessity of the unity and harmony of all the people of this great land.

We are a nation at one.

We are one people, committed to work together to find jobs for our youth; to build factories and roads, houses and clinics; to prepare our children for a world of change and progress; to build cities and towns where families may be safe, productive and content.

We are determined to build a society defined by decency and integrity, that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources, nor the theft by corporate criminals of the hard-earned savings of ordinary people.

While there are many issues on which we may differ, on these fundamental matters, we are at one.

We know that there is still a lot that divides us.

We remain a highly unequal society, in which poverty and prosperity are still defined by race and gender.

We have been given the responsibility to build a new nation, to confront the injustices of the past and the inequalities of the present.

We are called upon to do so under difficult conditions.

The state we are in as a nation is that while poverty declined significantly following the democratic breakthrough of 1994, we have seen reverses in recent years.

Poverty levels rose in 2015, unemployment has gone up and inequality has persisted.

For several years our economy has not grown at the pace needed to create enough jobs or lift our people out of poverty.

Public finances have been constrained, limiting the ability of government to expand its investment in economic and social development.

Despite these challenging conditions, we have managed – working together – to achieve progress in improving the lives of our people.

Even under conditions of weak growth, our economy has created jobs, but not at the pace required to absorb new entrants into the labour market.

This means that as we pursue higher levels of economic growth and investment, we need to take additional measures to reduce poverty and meet the needs of the unemployed.

Since the start of the current Parliament, our public employment programmes have created more than 3.2 million work opportunities.

In the context of widespread unemployment, they continue to provide much needed income, work experience and training.

We have taken measures to reduce the cost of living, especially for the poor.

Government’s free basic services programme currently supports more than 3.5 million indigent households.

More than 17 million social grants are paid each month, benefiting nearly a third of the population.

We know, however, that if we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.

We have insisted that this should start in early childhood.

Today we have nearly a million children in early childhood development facilities.

We are seeing improvements in the outcomes of our basic education system.

The matric pass rate increased from 60.6 percent in 2009 to 75.1 percent last year.

There are currently almost a million students enrolled in higher education, up from just over 500,000 in 1994.

As we enter a new era, we are determined to build on these achievements, confront the challenges we face and accelerate progress in building a more prosperous and equitable society.

We have seen a moderate recovery in our economy and a broader, sustained recovery in the global economy.

Commodity prices have improved, the stock market has risen, the rand has strengthened and there are early indications that investor confidence is on the rise.

We have taken decisive measures to address concerns about political instability and are committed to ensure policy certainty and consistency.

There is a greater sense of optimism among our people.

Our people are hopeful about the future.

Business confidence among South African companies has improved and foreign investors are looking anew at opportunities in our country.

Some financial institutions have identified South Africa as one of the hot emerging markets for 2018.

Our task, as South Africans, is to seize this moment of hope and renewal, and to work together to ensure that it makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our people.

This year, we will be initiating measures to set the country on a new path of growth, employment and transformation.

We will do this by getting social partners in our country to collaborate in building a social compact on which we will create drivers of economic recovery.

We have to build further on the collaboration with business and labour to restore confidence and prevent an investment downgrade.

Tough decisions have to be made to close our fiscal gap, stabilise our debt and restore our state-owned enterprises to health.

At the centre of our national agenda in 2018 is the creation of jobs, especially for the youth.

We are going to embark on a number of measures to address the unemployment challenge.

One of the initiatives will be to convene a Jobs Summit within the next few months to align the efforts of every sector and every stakeholder behind the imperative of job creation.

The summit will look at what we need to do to ensure our economy grows and becomes more productive, that companies invest on a far greater scale, that workers are better equipped, and that our economic infrastructure is expanded.

We will expect this summit to come up with practical solutions and initiatives that will be implemented immediately.

We will make a major push this year to encourage significant new investment in our economy.

To this end, we will organise an Investment Conference in the next three months, targeting both domestic and international investors, to market the compelling investment opportunities to be found in our country.

We are going to address the decline over many years of our manufacturing capacity, which has deeply affected employment and exports.

We will seek to re-industrialise on a scale and at a pace that draws millions of job seekers into the economy.

We are going to promote greater investment in key manufacturing sectors through the strategic use of incentives and other measures.

To further stimulate manufacturing, we will forge ahead with the localisation programme, through which products like textile, clothing, furniture, rail rolling stock and water meters are designated for local procurement.

We have already spent more than R57 billion on locally-produced goods that may have been imported from other countries.

Special economic zones remain important instruments we will use to attract strategic foreign and domestic direct investment and build targeted industrial capabilities and establish new industrial hubs.

The process of industrialisation must be underpinned by transformation.

Through measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists programme, we are developing a new generation of black and women producers that are able to build enterprises of significant scale and capability.

We will improve our capacity to support black professionals, deal decisively with companies that resist transformation, use competition policy to open markets up to new black entrants, and invest in the development of businesses in townships and rural areas.

Radical economic transformation requires that we fundamentally improve the position of black women and communities in the economy, ensuring that they are owners, managers, producers and financiers.

Our most grave and most pressing challenge is youth unemployment.

It is therefore a matter of great urgency that we draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity.

Young South Africans will be moved to the centre of our economic agenda.

They are already forming a greater proportion of the labour force on our infrastructure projects and are the primary beneficiaries of programmes such as the installation of solar water heaters and the war on leaks.

We continue to draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity through programmes such as the Employment Tax Incentive.

Working in partnership with business, organised labour and community representatives, we are creating opportunities for young people to be exposed to the world of work through internships, apprenticeships, mentorship and entrepreneurship.

Next month, we will launch the Youth Employment Service initiative, which will place unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the economy.

Together with our partners in business, we have agreed to create a million such internships in the next three years.

If we are to respond effectively to the needs of youth, it is essential that young people articulate their views and are able to engage with government at the highest level.

I will therefore be establishing a Youth Working Group that is representative of all young South Africans to ensure that our policies and programmes advance their interests.

Infrastructure investment is key to our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs, empower small businesses and provide services to our people.

We have invested heavily in new roads, power stations, schools and other infrastructure.

As some of our projects are taking time to get off the ground and to enhance our efforts, I will assemble a team to speed up implementation of new projects, particularly water projects, health facilities and road maintenance.

We have learnt some valuable lessons from our experience in building all the new infrastructure, which will inform our way ahead.

We will focus on improvements in our budget and monitoring systems, improve the integration of projects and build a broad compact on infrastructure with business and organised labour.

Mining is another area that has massive unrealised potential for growth and job creation is mining.

We need to see mining as a sunrise industry.

With the revival in commodity prices, we are determined to work with mining companies, unions and communities to grow the sector, attract new investment, create jobs and set the industry on a new path of transformation and sustainability.

This year, we will intensify engagements with all stakeholders on the Mining Charter to ensure that it is truly an effective instrument to sustainably transform the face of mining in South Africa.

By working together, in a genuine partnership, underscored by trust and a shared vision, I am certain we will be able to resolve the current impasse and agree on a Charter that both accelerates transformation and grows this vital sector of our economy.

Processing of the MPRDA Amendment Bill through both houses of parliament is at an advanced stage, with an indication by Parliament that the Bill will reasonably be finalised during the first quarter of 2018.

The Bill, once enacted into law, will entrench existing regulatory certainty, provide for security of tenure and advance the socio-economic interests of all South Africans.

We are extremely concerned about the rise in mining fatalities last year.

We call on mining companies to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that mine accidents are dramatically reduced.

One mining fatality is one too many.

Fellow South Africans,

Ultimately, the growth of our economy will be sustained by small businesses, as is the case in many countries.

It is our shared responsibility to grow this vital sector of the economy.

We will work with our social partners to build a small business support ecosystem that assists, nourishes and promotes entrepreneurs.

Government will honour its undertaking to set aside at least 30 percent of public procurement to SMMEs, cooperatives and township and rural enterprises.

We will continue to invest in small business incubation.

We encourage business to do the same.

The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5 billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play.

Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups.

We will reduce the regulatory barriers for small businesses.

We are also working to expand economic opportunities for people with disabilities.

Among other things, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency – SEFA – has launched a scheme to develop and fund entrepreneurs with disabilities called the Amavulandlela Funding Scheme.

Agriculture presents one of the greatest opportunities to significantly grow our economy and create jobs.

Agriculture made the largest contribution, by a significant margin, to the improved growth of our economy in the second and third quarters of 2017.

This year, we will take decisive action to realise the enormous economic potential of agriculture.

We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation.

We will pursue a comprehensive approach that makes effective use of all the mechanisms at our disposal.

Guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, this approach will include the expropriation of land without compensation.

We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.

We make a special call to financial institutions to be our partners in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment will be needed in this sector.

Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities to, quite literally, shine.

Tourism currently sustains 700,000 direct jobs and is performing better than most other growth sectors.

There is no reason why it can’t double in size.

We have the most beautiful country in the world and the most hospitable people.

This year, we will enhance support for destination marketing in key tourism markets and take further measures to reduce regulatory barriers and develop emerging tourism businesses.

We call on all South Africans to open their homes and their hearts to the world.

Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage rapid technological change.

This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

We will soon establish a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, which will include the private sector and civil society, to ensure that our country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology.

The drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks.

We will finalise our engagements with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces the cost to consumers.

South Africa has acceded to the Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement, which brings together SADC, COMESA and the East African Community.

The free trade area will combine markets of 26 countries with a population of nearly 625 million.

It will open market access opportunities for South African export products, contribute to job creation and the growth of South Africa’s industrial sector.

Negotiations towards the Continental Free Trade Agreement are progressing at a brisk pace, and it is expected that the framework agreement could be concluded soon.

South Africa will this year take over the chair of the BRICS group of countries, and will give priority to the promotion of value-added trade and intra-BRICS investment into productive sectors.

Fellow South Africans,

On the 1st of May this year, we will introduce the first national minimum wage in South Africa.

This historic achievement – a realisation of one of the demands of the Freedom Charter – is expected to increase the earnings of more than six million working South Africans and improve the living conditions of households across the country.

The introduction of a national minimum wage was made possible by the determination of all social partners to reduce wage inequality while maintaining economic growth and employment creation.

It stands as another example of what is possible when South Africans engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve differences and confront challenges.

To ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy – and to ensure that we are better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances – I will be appointing a Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

It will draw on the expertise and capabilities that reside in labour, business, civil society and academia.

The country remains gripped by one of the most devastating droughts in a century, which has severely impacted our economy, social services and agricultural production.

The drought situation in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape has been elevated to a national state of disaster.

This gives national government the authority to manage and coordinate our response nationally with support from all provinces.

This will ensure that we also heighten integrated measures to support the provinces that are hardest hit.

We are looking at activating the necessary extraordinary measures permitted under the legislation.

I commend the people of Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape for diligently observing water saving measures.

We call on everyone in the country to use water sparingly as we are a water-scarce country that relies on this vital resource to realise our development aspirations.

Honourable Members,

On 16 December last year, former President Jacob Zuma announced that government would be phasing in fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans over a five-year period.

Starting this year, free higher education and training will be available to first year students from households with a gross combined annual income of up to R350,000.

The Minister of Higher Education and Training will lead the implementation of this policy, while the Minister of Finance will clarify all aspects of the financing of the scheme during his Budget Speech next week.

In addition to promoting social justice, an investment of this scale in higher education is expected to contribute to greater economic growth, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, enhance earnings and increase the competitiveness of our economy.

Government will continue to invest in expanding access to quality basic education and improving the outcomes of our public schools.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary programme plans to award 39,500 bursaries for Initial Teacher Education over the next three years.

In an historic first, from the beginning of this year, all public schools have begun offering an African language.

Also significant is the implementation of the first National Senior Certificate examination on South African Sign Language, which will be offered to deaf learners at the end of 2018.

The Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative programme continues to deliver modern facilities to schools in rural and underprivileged urban areas across the country, with at least 187 schools being complete to date.

The programme will complete all outstanding projects by the end of the next financial year.

Social grants remain a vital lifeline for millions of our people living in poverty.

We will urgently take decisive steps to comply with the all directions of the Constitutional Court.

I want to personally allay fears of any disruption to the efficient delivery of this critical service, and will take action to ensure no person in government is undermining implementation deadlines set by the court.

We will finalise work on a permanent public sector-led hybrid model, which will allow a set of public and private sector service providers to offer beneficiaries maximum choice, access and convenience.

This year, we will take the next critical steps to eliminate HIV from our midst.

By scaling up our testing and treating campaign, we will initiate an additional two million people on antiretroviral treatment by December 2020.

We will also need to confront lifestyles diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

In the next three months we will launch a huge cancer campaign similar to the HIV counselling and testing campaign.

This will also involve the private sector as we need to mobilise all resources to fight this disease.

The time has now arrived to finally implement universal health coverage through the National Health Insurance.

The NHI Bill is now ready to be processed through government and will be submitted to Parliament in the next few weeks.

Certain NHI projects targeting the most vulnerable people in society will commence in April this year.

In improving the quality of life of all South Africans, we must intensify our efforts to tackle crime and build safer communities.

During the course of this year, the Community Policing Strategy will be implemented, with the aim of gaining the trust of the community and to secure their full involvement in the fight against crime.

The introduction of a Youth Crime Prevention Strategy will empower and support young people to be self-sufficient and become involved in crime fighting initiatives.

A key focus this year will be the distribution of resources to police station level.

This will include personnel and other resources, to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime is most effectively combated.

In recognising the critical role that NGOs and community-based organisation play in tackling poverty, inequality and related social problems, we will convene a Social Sector Summit during the course of this year.

Among other things, this Summit should seek to improve the interface between the state and civil society and address the challenges that NGOs and CBOs face.

Fellow South Africans,

Growth, development and transformation depend on a strong and capable state.

It is critical that the structure and size of the state is optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources.

We will therefore initiate a process to review the configuration, number and size of national government departments.

Many of our state owned enterprises are experiencing severe financial, operation and governance challenges, which has impacted on the performance of the economy and placed pressure on the fiscus.

We will intervene decisively to stabilise and revitalise state owned enterprises.

The recent action we have taken at Eskom to strengthen governance, root out corruption and restore its financial position is just the beginning.

Government will take further measures to ensure that all state owned companies fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.

We will need to confront the reality that the challenges at some of our SOEs are structural – that they do not have a sufficient revenue stream to fund their operational costs.

These SOEs cannot borrow their way out of their financial difficulties, and we will therefore undertake a process of consultation with all stakeholders to review the funding model of SOEs and other measures.

We will change the way that boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these vital positions.

We will remove board members from any role in procurement and work with the Auditor-General to strengthen external audit processes.

As we address challenges in specific companies, work will continue on the broad architecture of the state owned enterprises sector to achieve better coordination, oversight and sustainability.

This is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions.

The criminal justice institutions have been taking initiatives that will enable us to deal effectively with corruption.

The commission of inquiry into state capture headed by the Deputy Chief Justice, Judge Raymond Zondo, is expected to commence its work shortly.

The Commission is critical to ensuring that the extent and nature of state capture is established, that confidence in public institutions is restored and that those responsible for any wrongdoing are identified.

The Commission should not displace the regular work of the country’s law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting any and all acts of corruption.

Amasela aba imali ka Rhilumente mawabanjwe.

We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion in the private sector with the same purpose and intensity.

We must remember that every time someone receives a bribe there is someone who is prepared to pay it.

We will make sure that we deal with both in an effective manner.

We urge professional bodies and regulatory authorities to take action against members who are found to have acted improperly and unethically.

This requires that we strengthen law enforcement institutions and that we shield them from external interference or manipulation.

We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered.

We will also take steps to stabilise and strengthen vital institutions like the South African Revenue Service.

We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money and is free from corruption.

At the request of the Minister of Finance, I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS, to ensure that we restore the credibility of the Service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets.

Our state employs one million public servants.

The majority of them serve our people with diligence and commitment.

We applaud them for the excellent work they do.

However, we know the challenges that our people face when they interact with the state.

In too many cases, they often get poor service or no service at all.

We want our public servants to adhere to the principle of Batho Pele, of putting our people first.

We are determined that everyone in public service should undertake their responsibilities with efficiency, diligence and integrity.

We want to instil a new discipline, to do things correctly, to do them completely and to do them timeously.

We call on all public servants to become agents for change.

During the course of the next few months, I will visit every national department to engage with the senior leadership to ensure that the work of government is effectively aligned.

I will also find time to meet with provincial and local government leaders to ensure that the state, in its entirety, responds to the pressing needs of our people.

Fellow South Africans,

Our country has entered a period of change.

While change can produce uncertainty, even anxiety, it also offers great opportunities for renewal and revitalisation, and for progress.

Together we are going to make history.

We have done it before and we will do it again – bonded by our common love for our country, resolute in our determination to overcome the challenges that lie ahead and convinced that by working together we will build the fair and just and decent society to which Nelson Mandela dedicated his life.

As I conclude, allow me to recall the words of the late great Bra Hugh Masekela.

In his song, ‘Thuma Mina’, he anticipated a day of renewal, of new beginnings.

He sang:

“I wanna be there when the people start to turn it around

When they triumph over poverty

I wanna be there when the people win the battle against AIDS

I wanna lend a hand

I wanna be there for the alcoholic

I wanna be there for the drug addict

I wanna be there for the victims of violence and abuse

I wanna lend a hand

Send me.”

We are at a moment in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination, have started to turn the country around.

We can envisage the triumph over poverty, we can see the end of the battle against AIDS.

Now is the time to lend a hand.

Now is the time for each of us to say ‘send me’.

Now is the time for all of us to work together, in honour of Nelson Mandela, to build a new, better South Africa for all.

I thank you.

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Submit Your Budget 2018 Tips

The Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba has asked South Africas for input on his maiden Budget Speech. The speech will be delivered amid subdued economic growth and a challenging fiscal situation. The Minister encourages South Africans to share their views about the country’s economic conditions and other issues they would like government to highlight.

The budget will be tabled in parliament on 21 February 2018. The Minister invites South Africans to share their views on:

* Funding of free education for students in tertiary institutions;

* How South Africa can achieve inclusive economic growth;

* How South Africa can use its resources to ensure efficiencies; and

* How the government, civil society, unions and business can work together for the purpose of achieving South Africa’s economic objectives.

You can tweet your tips using the hashtag #BudgetTips2018 and follow @TreasuryRSA or go to https://goo.gl/SPftYs

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