by Mary Alexander

State of the nation

President Zuma addresses the nation

President Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma.jpg

Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, riperile, ndimadekwana,
goeienaand.

I wish to thank the Presiding Officers for this opportunity to speak to
the people of South Africa, on this occasion of the last State of the
Nation Address, of the fourth democratic administration.

I would like to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of the
late Honourable Mr Ben Skhosana, one of the longest serving and most
senior members of this august house and our former Minister of
Correctional Services.

We are truly saddened by his sudden passing.

Sidlulisa ukukhala kwethu emndenini wakhe, nakumholi we IFP uShenge,
kanye namalunga onke e-IFP.
Remembering Nelson Mandela

This is the first State of the Nation Address to take place in the
absence of our founding President, His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

His passing, on the eve of the 20th year of our freedom and democracy,
caused untold pain to our people and beyond our borders.

We find solace in the knowledge that Madiba will live forever be in our
hearts, and that we have a duty to take his legacy forward.
Celebrating South African heroes

Our country has produced men and women of distinction, who have provided
leadership during trying times.

One such leader was Mr Moses Kotane, former treasurer-general of the ANC
and former SACP general secretary.

We are honoured to have his dear wife, Mama Rebecca Kotane, as our
special guest this evening.

Mama Kotane turned 102 years old yesterday, and we wish her all the best.

sona01
At a lunch for special guests invited to attend the State of the Nation
Address, President Jacob Zuma helps Rebecca Kotane, wife of late ANC
leader Moses Kotane, cut the cake celebrating her 102nd birthday.
(Image: GCIS)

We also pay tribute to the former ANC President Mr Oliver Tambo, who
kept the torch of freedom alive both at home and abroad during the most
difficult times of our struggle.

His son, Dali and his wife Rachel are sharing this occasion with us this
evening.

We salute Solomon Mahlangu, a brave young man who went defiantly to the
gallows in 1979 where he was executed at the age of 23. He said: "My
blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell
my people that I love them. They must continue the fight."

We are honoured to host his mother, Mama Martha Mahlangu, and her
granddaughter Bathabile.

The year 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of the cowardly murder,
through a parcel bomb, of student leader Abram Onkgopotse Tiro in 1974
in Botswana.

We welcome his brother, Mogomotsi Tiro, to this occasion. We express the
gratitude of the people for his brother’s selfless sacrifice.

We remember those who died in state-sponsored violence of the 1980s and
1990s in our townships and villages.

Ms Jabu Ndlovu, a former shopsteward of the National Union of
Metalworkers of South Africa, was gunned down in 1988 in
Pietermaritzburg, together with her husband Jabulani, and their son.

We welcome her daughter Luhle and son Sanele, and pay tribute to all
families who lost their loved ones, across the political spectrum.
Twenty years of freedom

We were able to overcome all that pain of the past and build a new society.

We have built strong institutions of democracy.

We buried the undemocratic, unrepresentative, oppressive and corrupt
state that was serving a minority.

We formed a unitary, nonracial, nonsexist democratic state, answerable
to and representative of all South Africans.

We created a thriving constitutional democracy, with well-functioning
arms of the state – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

We have Chapter 9 institutions which support democracy and protect the
rights of citizens.

Liberation and democracy have also created space for an active civil
society and a free media.

Liberation also brought, for the first time, the promise of gender
equality. The representation of women in public institutions has
increased considerably since the dawn of freedom, and the extension of
basic services also benefits women.

All these attributes have made South Africa a much better place to live
in now than it has ever been.
Three challenges

However, our country still faces the triple challenge of poverty,
inequality and unemployment, which we continue to grapple with. Dealing
with these challenges has become a central focus of all democratic
administrations.

We elected to focus on five priorities, education, health, the fight
against crime and corruption, rural development and land reform as well
as creating decent work.

We also reorganised the State to improve performance.

We created two key functions: long term planning, as well as monitoring
and evaluation.

We established the National Planning Commission which produced the
landmark National Development Plan, the country’s socioeconomic
blueprint and one of the major achievements of this fourth administration.

The plan outlines what we should do to eradicate poverty, increase
employment and reduce inequality by 2030.

Our monitoring and evaluation indicates that many services continue to
improve. For example, social grants and identity documents now take a
shorter time to be processed. But many others still require further work.
Five priorities

I will report back on the five priorities, starting with the economy.

On average, the economy has grown at 3,2 percent a year from 1994 to
2012 despite the global recession which claimed a million jobs.

Working together as government, business, labour and the community
sector, we nursed the economy to a recovery.

The national wealth, measured in terms of GDP, has grown to more than
R3.5-trillion.

Jobs are now being created again. There are now 15 million people with
jobs in the country, the highest ever in our history, and over 650
thousand jobs were created last year, according to Statistics South Africa.

This is still not good enough. The unemployment rate still remains high.
Youth unemployment in South Africa continues to be of concern, as it is
throughout the world.

We are taking a number of measures, including the Employment Tax
Incentive Act which encourages employers to hire younger workers.

Regulations will be passed to ensure that this does not affect
unsubsidized or older workers adversely.

Further measures are contained in the National Youth Accord that was
signed in Soweto last April.

The Expanded Public Works Programme and the Community Work Programme
continue to be an effective cushion for the poor and the youth.

We have created 3,7 million work opportunities over the past five years.
Our people obtain an income and skills from the public works programme,
which they use to seek formal employment.

Cabinet has set a target of 6 million work opportunities from this year
to 2019, targeting the youth.

Our social assistance programme which now reaches about 16 million
people, provides a safety for millions, especially vulnerable children.

Imizi eminingi ithola ukusizakala ngenxa yezibonelelo zikahulumeni,
imaliyezingane, impesheni yabadala neyabakhubazekile.

Lezizibonelelo zizoqhubeka njalo ngoba imizi eminingi ithola ukusizakala
ngoba amathuba emisebenzi ayivelakancane ngalesisikhathi somnotho
ontengantengayo.

Lamathuba atholakala kuhulumeni, enza sisho ngeqholo ukuthi,
iNingizimuAfrika esiphila kuyo namhlanje, ingcono kakhulu ukunaleyo
esasiphila kuyo ngaphambikuka- 1994.
Coping with a period of turbulence

We are still going through a difficult period.

Developments in the United States economy have led to a rapid
depreciation in the emerging market currencies, including the rand.

During the course of 2013, the rand depreciated by 17.6 per cent against
the US dollar.

The weaker exchange rate poses a significant risk to inflation and will
also make our infrastructure programme more expensive.

However, export companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector,
should take advantage of the weaker rand and the stronger global recovery.

While we have these difficulties, we know that we can cope with this
period of turbulence.

We have done so before in the past five years.

We will, in fact, emerge stronger if we do the right things.

We have to work together as government, business and labour to grow our
economy at rates that are above 5 per cent to be able to create the jobs
we need.

Fortunately this collaboration is already taking place.

It is taking place at NEDLAC which is one of the key institutions of
cooperation in our democracy, between government, business, labour and
the community sector.

It has taken place as well in engagements that we have been having with
the business community.

Last year I started engaging business on specific steps that government
can take to make it easier to do business in our country.
Reforms in the mining industry

Arising out of that process, we have now streamlined regulatory and
licensing approvals for environmental impact assessments, water licenses
and mining licenses.

Parliament is finalizing amendments to the law to give effect to this
very positive development, which will cut to under 300 days, the time it
takes to start a mine, from application to final approvals.

The Deputy President of the Republic continues to facilitate discussions
between government, mining companies and labour.

The purpose is to stabilise industrial relations in this very important
sector of our economy. The process is yielding results.

Strikes in the sector were fewer and shorter last year.

And more importantly, industrial relations processes are taking place in
a manner consistent with the law.

We have intervened in mining because it is one of our key job drivers.
We need a mining sector that works. Mining employs over half a million
people.

It is the biggest earner of foreign exchange in our country. It also
contributes about 20 billion rand directly to the tax revenue.

Mining also makes a far larger contribution as a buyer of goods and
services, and a supplier of inputs to other sectors of our economy and
other economies around the globe.

We are exploring partnerships with stakeholders to address the issue of
housing in mining towns.

Let me also remind mining companies that 2014 is the deadline for them
to improve housing and living conditions of mineworkers and to achieve a
number of targets.

Government continues to monitor and enforce compliance on both the
company’s Social and Labour Plans and Mining Charter targets.
Jobs and infrastructure

Other than mining, we had identified five other job drivers in 2009.

These are tourism, agriculture, the green economy, infrastructure
development and manufacturing.

The tourism industry has grown dramatically. In 1993, South Africa
received a mere 3 million foreign visitors. By 2012, the figure had
grown to 13 million visitors.

We will continue to grow this industry, given its potential for job
creation.

In 2012 we unveiled the National Infrastructure Plan, led by the
President through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.

We have subsequently invested one trillion rand in public infrastructure
over the past five years.

Many of the projects are completed or are nearing completion.

I will mention just a few.

The Rea Vaya system in Joburg is now used by more than 100 000 Gauteng
residents. Similar systems are being built in Cape Town, Tshwane, Nelson
Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, eThekwini and Rustenburg.

The country’s harbours and ports have been improved.

We have built a 700 kilometre fuel pipeline from Durban to Gauteng to
transport 4 billion cubic litres of petrol, diesel and jet fuel a year.

Close to 1500 kilometres of new roads or lanes have been built.

This progress in respect of roads reminds us of those who have served in
this government before who wanted the best for the country, such as our
former Transport Minister Mr Dullar Omar.

His dear wife Farieda is one of our guests this evening.

The construction of new rail lines has started in Mpumalanga, to ease
the pressure off the roads.

The Gautrain project is now fully functional and carries over 1,2
million passengers a month.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa will spend over 120 billion
rand over the next 10 years to buy new trains.

Transnet is implementing its massive 300 billion rand market demand
strategy, building much needed transport infrastructure.

To realise the economic potential of the Western Cape and the West
Coast, we launched the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone and opened
two new factories in Atlantis.

To improve the water supply, two large new dams were completed, De Hoop
in Limpopo and Spring Grove in KwaZulu-Natal, while phase 2 of the
Lesotho Highlands Water Project is to be launched soon.

Construction is continuing at the new power stations, Medupi in Limpopo,
Kusile in Mpumalanga and Ingula near Ladysmith, employing more than 30
000 workers.

We continue to explore other sources of energy, in line with the
Integrated Resource Plan for Energy.

The development of petroleum, especially shale gas will be a
game-changer for the Karoo region and the South African economy.

Having evaluated the risks and opportunities, the final regulations will
be released soon and will be followed by the processing and granting of
licenses.

We expect to conclude the procurement of nine thousand six hundred
megawatts of nuclear energy.

Biofuels manufacturers have been selected and have started work.
A country at work – and online

Ours is indeed a country at work and is a much better place to live in.
We must keep the momentum.

More of our wealth is created through the internet or telecommunication.

A 37 000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable has been laid by the private
and public sectors in the past five years. This will be significantly
expanded in the years ahead.

We are proud of our successes in science and technology. The
construction of the first telescope of the 64-dish forerunner to the
Square Kilometre Array, the MeerKAT, will be completed in the first
quarter of 2014.
Supporting local manufacturing

Our incentives to boost manufacturing have yielded returns.

The Automotive Investment Scheme that was launched in 2009 has approved
a total 3.8 billion rand worth of incentives for about 160 investment
projects. These sustain more than 50 thousand jobs.

The companies will be developing sedan cars, minibus taxis and buses.

We have stabilised the clothing, textile, leather and footwear sector,
which had been shedding jobs.

Several industries have been designated for local content. These include
buses, canned vegetables, clothing, textiles, leather and footwear and
other goods.

We have concrete examples of the success of the localisation programme.

In the past two years alone, more than 20 000 minibus taxis and 330
buses were assembled locally, drawing investment and development to our
cities.

In the next five years, the state will procure at least 75% of its goods
and services from South African producers.
Boosting black-owned industry

We have to work more intensively to develop emerging or black
industrialists.

Many of the aspirant black industrialists complain about the
difficulties they experience in obtaining industrial finance, supplier
and retail markets, and technical production support.

The National Empowerment Fund, the Industrial Development Corporation
and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency will continue to provide finance
to viable black-owned businesses to promote industrialisation.

In addition, we encourage established businesses to support the
development of black industrial businesses.
Restoring rights to land

Agriculture is a key job driver and a provider of opportunities for
entrepreneurship.

Our agricultural support programme, Fetsa Tlala, is producing brand new
exporters.

The first 88 smallholder farmers in this programme supplied the United
Nations World Food Programme with 268 tons of maize and beans to send to
Lesotho last month. We expect this number to increase.

We will continue to promote our fisheries sector as well, which
contributes an estimated 6billion rand to the economy and provides 27
000 jobs.

We have made good progress in the land reform programme.

Since 1994, nearly 5,000 farms, comprising 4.2 million hectares, have
been transferred to black people, benefiting over 200,000 families.

Nearly 80,000 land claims, totaling 3.4 million hectares, have been
settled and 1.8 million people have benefited.

The next administration will need to take forward a number of policy,
legislative and practical interventions, to further redress the
dispossession of our people of their land.

These include matters relating to the establishment of the Office of the
Valuer-General and thereby opening of the lodgement of claims.
Progress in basic education

South Africa is indeed a much better place to live in.

Let me now report on our social transformation programme.

Education is a ladder out of poverty for millions of our people.

We are happy therefore that there is a huge increase in the enrolment of
children in school, from pre-primary to tertiary level.

The number of children attending Grade R has more than doubled, moving
from about 300 thousand to more than 700 thousand between 2003 and 2011.

A Draft Policy Framework towards Universal Access to Grade R has been
gazetted for public comment, with a view to making Grade R compulsory.

Izingane ezingu 8 million azikhokhiesikoleni, kantiezingu 9 million
ithola ukudla okunempilo ezikoleni okuphuma kuhulumeni, ukuze zifunde
kahle zingabulawa indlala.

The matric pass rate has gone up from around 61 percent in 2009 to 78
percent last year and the bachelor passes improve each year.

Through the Annual National Assessments, we keep track of improvements
and interventions needed, especially, in maths and science.

To promote inclusivity and diversity, the South African Sign Language
curriculum will be offered in schools from next year, 2015.

We have increased our numbers of literate adults through the Kha Ri Gude
programme from 2,2 million in 2008 to 3 million people.

We have also been investing in teacher training and are re-opening
teacher training colleges to meet the demand.

To produce a decent learning environment, we have delivered 370 new
schools replacing mud schools and other unsuitable structures around the
country. The programme continues.
More enrolled in higher education

We have a good story to tell in higher education as well.

Student enrolments at universities increased by 12% while further
Education and Training college enrolments have increased by 90%.

We have increased the budgets of the National Student Financial Aid
Scheme to R9-billion to meet the rising demand.

Another major achievement of this term has been the establishment of two
brand new universities, Sol Plaatje in the Northern Cape and the
University of Mpumalanga.

We will also build 12 new FET Colleges in Limpopo, Mpumalanga,
KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

The launch of the National Education Collaboration Framework last year
was an important development for the country. We wish the team well in
their national duty.
'South Africans are now living longer'

We have a good story to tell in the improvement of health care too.

Over the past five years, 300 new health facilities have been built,
including 160 new clinics.

Ten new hospitals have been builtor refurbished in Ladybrand, Germiston,
Mamelodi, Natalspruit, eThekwini, Zola, Bojanala, Vryburg District,
Swartruggens, Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.

The HIV and AIDS turnaround is one of the biggest achievements of this
administration and we are used as a model country by the United Nations
Aids Programmes.

Mother to child transmission of HIV has declined sharply and we have
doubled the number of people who are receiving anti-retroviral
treatment, from one million to 2.4 million people in 2013.

More than 20 million South Africans have taken the HIV test since the
launch of the campaign in 2011 which indicates confidence in the health
system.

Life expectancy is now firmly on an upward trend. South Africans are now
living longer.

The target for the next administration is to ensure that at least 4.6
million people are enrolled in the anti-retroviral programme.

We acknowledge the contribution of the South African National Aids
Council for the hard work.

While celebrating our success, we must not be complacent. The prevention
work must still continue so that we can reach that goal of zero HIV
infections sooner.

At a broader level, we will enter a new phase in the implementation of
the National Health Insurance programme which will extend quality
healthcare to the poor.
Tackling violence against the vulnerable

The overall crime rate has decreased by 21 percent since 2002 and work
is ongoing to make communities safer.

One of the key focus areas is to eradicate violence against women and
children. We have introduced a number of measures to respond to this
challenge.

These include the reopening of the Family Violence, Child Protection and
Sexual Offences Units as well as the Sexual Offences Courts.

We thank the many NGOs that promote the rights of women and children who
contribute positively to this important work.
Fighting rhino poaching

Our country continues to be the target of rhino poachers.

Our law enforcement agencies are working hard to arrest this scourge. We
have also reached agreements with China, Vietnam, Kenya, Mozambique and
other SADC countries to work together to stop this crime.

We thank the business community and all South Africans who participate
in the campaign to save the rhino.
Diversity in the justice system

The independence of the judiciary has been further enhanced by the
establishment of the Office of the Chief Justice as a separate
institution from the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development. We have passed several pieces of legislation to support
this new role of the Office of the Chief Justice.

Progress is being made in the transformation of the judiciary to reflect
the race and gender demographics of the country.

The Chief Justice of the Republic continues to champion and lead this
transformation.

Black judges (African, Indian and Coloured) now constitute 61% of all
judges.

However, the acute under-representation of women on the bench remains of
concern. Of the judicial establishment of 239 judges, only 76 are women.

The challenge is to transform the legal profession broadly in order to
nourish the pool from which female judges can be appointed.

The finalisation of the Legal Practice Bill will assist to broaden the
pool from which potential judicial officers could be selected.
Public sector corruption

South Africans are united in wanting a corruption free society. Fighting
corruption within the public service is yielding results.

Since the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline by the Public
Service Commission, over 13 000 cases of corruption and
maladministration have been referred to government departments for
further handling and investigation.

Government has recovered more than 320-million rand from perpetrators
through the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.

Some of the successes of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline include
the following:

1 542 officials were dismissed from the Public Service
140 officials were fined their three month salary
20 officials were demoted
355 officials were given final written warnings
204 officials were prosecuted

To prevent corruption in the supply chain system, government has decided
to establish a central tender board to adjudicate tenders in all spheres
of government.

This body will work with the chief procurement officer whose main
function will be to check on pricing and adherence to procedures as well
as fairness.

The Special Investigating Unit is investigating maladministration or
alleged corruption in a number of government departments and state
entities, through 40 proclamations signed by the President during this
administration. We will keep the public informed of the outcome of the
investigations.

In the first six months of last year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit paid a
total of 149 million rand into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account and
to the victims of crime.

This is 170% above its target of 55 million rand and is higher than it
has ever achieved in a full year.

Last year, the competition authorities investigated large-scale price
fixing in the construction industry and fined guilty companies 1.4
billion rand.

Further steps against those involved are now underway.
Water, sanitation and electricity

I would now like to touch briefly on the provision of basic services to
our people.

Over the past 20 years, remarkable achievements have been made in
increasing access to services such as water, sanitation and electricity.

Government has begun an intensive programme to eliminate the bucket
system as part of restoring the dignity of our people.

Phase one of the programme will eradicate buckets in formalised
townships of the Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

Phase two will eradicate buckets in informal settlements in all provinces.

In housing, about 3 million housing units and more than 855 thousand
serviced sites were delivered since 1994.

Nearly 500 informal settlements have been replaced with quality housing
and basic services over the past five years.

The next administration will promote better located mixed income housing
projects.

Some communities still do not have these services especially in informal
settlements and rural areas.We are therefore working with all spheres of
government to ensure the provision of these services, especially in the
23 municipalities with the greatest number of backlogs.
Protest, free speech and violence

In last year’s State of the Nation Address, I raised my concern with the
manifestation of violence in some of the protests taking place in our
country.

Violent protests have taken place again around the country in the past
few weeks.

Also worrying is what appears to be premeditated violence, as is the
case with the use of petrol bombs and other weapons during protests.

The democratic government supports the right of citizens to express
themselves.

The right to protest, peacefully and unarmed, is enshrined in the
Constitution.

However, when protests threaten lives and property and destroy valuable
infrastructure intended to serve the community, they undermine the very
democracy that upholds the right to protest.

The dominant narrative in the case of the protests in South Africa has
been to attribute them to alleged failures of government.

However the protests are not simply the result of “failures” of
government but also of the success in delivering basic services.

When 95% of households have access to water, the 5% who still need to be
provided for, feel they cannot wait a moment longer.

Success is also the breeding ground of rising expectations.

Let me also add Honourable Members, that any loss of life at the hands
of the police in the course of dealing with the protests cannot be
overlooked or condoned.

Loss of life is not a small matter. We need to know what happened, why
it happened. Any wrongdoing must be dealt with and corrective action
must be taken. Police must act within the ambit of the law at all times.

Having said this, we should also as a society be concerned that between
2005 and 2013, close to 800 police officers were killed.

The police are protectors and are the buffer between a democratic
society based on the rule of law, and anarchy. As we hold the police to
account, we should be careful not to end up delegitimising them and
glorify anarchy in our society.

The culture of violence originated from the apartheid past. We need to
conduct an introspection in our efforts to get rid of this scourge.

As leaders from all walks of life, we must reflect on what we did or did
not do, to systematically root out the violence that surfaced in
protests during the early days of our democracy.

We have a collective responsibility to build a society that respects the
rule of law, respects one another and which respects life and property.

We should work together to rebuild Ubuntu and a culture of
responsibility in our society.
Fixing local government

A decision has been taken to improve functioning of local government.

The amendment of the Municipal Systems Act is intended to improve the
capacity of municipalities to deliver services.

Qualified and experienced personnel must be deployed in municipalities.

We also need to strengthen existing forums of people’s participation and
enable our people to play a greater role in development.

The fight against corruption must be intensified as well, especially
given reports that some services are interrupted or stopped, so that
certain people could provide those services at cost to the state.

These matters are being prioritised for the next administration.
South Africa's place in the rest of the world

Democratic South Africa’s foreign policy was shaped many decades ago
during the fierce international campaign to isolate the apartheid state.

ANC President Oliver Tambo played a key role in that regard, assisted by
among others, the late Johnny Makatini, former head of international
affairs.

His wife, Mrs Valerie Makatini is one of our honoured guests this evening.

Africa has remained at the centre of our foreign policy.

We have worked hard to strengthen support for the African Union, SADC
and all continental bodies whose purpose is to achieve peace and security.

We have also prioritised the promotion of regional economic integration,
infrastructure development, intra-African trade and sustainable
development in the continent.

This year we also submitted our third country report to the AU African
Peer Review Mechanism which was well received.

We continue to support peacemaking and conflict resolution.

Progress is being made in negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan on
outstanding issues following the secession.

Following requests from Sri Lanka and South Sudan for assistance in
bringing about peace and reconciliation, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has been
appointed as South Africa’s Special Envoy to the two countries.

His expertise in conflict resolution and negotiations as well as our
country’s experience in this regard, will greatly assist the two
countries to resolve their problems.

We will continue to strengthen relations with Europe, North America,
Latin America, Asia and countries in the South.

Participation in international multilateral forums such as the G20 have
been beneficial for the country.

And joining the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) group in December
2010 counts as among the key achievements of the fourth administration.

It was also a great honour to host the Fifth BRICS Summit on 27 March
2013 in Durban, which saw the participation of African leaders to
discuss developmental cooperation with BRICS.

We will continue to serve diligently in the United Nations in promotion
of strong international governance.

We will also continue promoting the reform of the UN Security Council
and global financial institutions.

As President of the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change conference
which was hosted in Durban in 2011, South Africa successfully placed the
world on an unassailable course, through the adoption of the Durban
Platform for Enhanced Action.
Sport, culture and heritage

Over the past 20 years we have hosted a number of international sporting
and cultural visits, which has helped to boost social cohesion and unity.

In the past five years, South Africa hosted the highly successful 2010
FIFA Soccer World Cup and other key soccer, rugby and cricket
tournament, which left a tangible feeling of pride and unity among all
South Africans.

As we celebrate 20 years of freedom, we will do so having done well in
building a new heritage landscape for our country.

A number of new museums and monuments were established, including the
statue of Former President Mandela which has become a landmark in the
Union Buildings.

More than 2 000 geographical names have been changed in order to correct
the ill-naming of places, as well as to give communities the right to
determine the names of their areas.
South African stars

Allow me to acknowledge some of our compatriots who are making their
mark in the world.

We congratulate Ladysmith Black Mambazo on winning their fourth Grammy
Award last month. We welcome the group leader, Mr Joseph Shabalala, one
of our guests this evening.

We also acknowledge Ms Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is one of our guests this
evening.

She is doing a lot of good work as the United Nations Children’s Fund
Goodwill Ambassador for Malaria in Africa and also the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals Special Envoy for Africa.

Ms Chaka Chaka was also honoured with the Crystal Award by the World
Economic Forum in Davos for her humanitarian work.

We also recognise, in her absence, our Oscar Award-winning Hollywood
star, Ms Charlize Theron.

Ms Theron is also the UN Messenger for Peace. She also champions the
fight against AIDS especially amongst the youth and young women.

She was also honoured by the World Economic Forum with a Crystal Award.
Looking back, looking forward

You would have noticed that in this State of the Nation Address we have
given a report of the past five years in particular and over the past 20
years in general.

This is not an occasion to present the programme of action for this
financial year. That programme will be presented by the new government
after the elections.

To prepare for that first State of the Nation Address by the incoming
administration later in the year, we have over the past year, been
working on a Medium Term Strategic Framework.

The Framework has been designed as the first five year building block of
the National Development Plan, from 2014 to 2019.

It also incorporates key targets of the Industrial Policy Action Plan,
the New Growth Path and Infrastructure Plan.

The intention is to table the draft Framework to the first Cabinet
Lekgotla after the elections.

It will be refined by the new administration in line with its electoral
mandate, so that work can start as soon as possible after the formation
of a new government.

It has been an honour for my administration and I to build on the
foundation laid by the first three democratic administrations, to serve
the people of South Africa.

As a country we have scored many successes.

South Africa is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994.

We continue to face challenges. But life will also continue to change
for the better.

Nkosi Sikelel’ i Africa

God Bless Afrika.

I thank you.

Compiled and edited by Mary Alexander
www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com

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