Bua Briefs - 2010 State of the Nation

17 February 2010

Special Edition

1. Economic Development

  • The year 2009 saw the first recession in 17 years, which cost our economy about 900 000 jobs.
  • Government has put measures in place to reduce the scale and impact of the crisis as agreed in 2009 between government, business, labour and community representatives.
  • Government has further implemented its anti-recession spending,  especially on infrastructure. These include:
    • R6 billion set aside by the Industrial Development Corporation to help companies in distress
    • a training lay-off scheme to allow workers the option of a period of training instead of retrenchment.
  • Economic activity is rising in South Africa, and growth is expected to go forward. However, government will not withdraw its support measures.
  • The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the new focus on green jobs will build stronger and more labour-absorbing industries.
  • There will be a further reduction in broadband, cellphone, landline and public phone rates.
  • Increased broadband speed will ensure a high standard of Internet services in line with international norms.


2. Infrastructure Development

  • Government will spend R846 billion on public infrastructure over the next three years.
  • The aim is also to maintain and expand our road network and to ensure a reliable, competitive and better rail network integrated with our sea ports.
  • Energy supply
    • Government has established the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy to develop a 20-year integrated resource plan to ensure reliable power supply.
    • Government will look at the participation of independent power producers and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.
    • Eskom will continue to build additional generation capacity and improve the maintenance of its power stations.
  • Addressing Equity
  • Extended Public Works Programme/labour issues
    • More than 480 000 public works’ job opportunities were created by the end of December 2009 in areas such as construction, home- and community-based care and environmental projects.
    • Government will ensure more labour-intensive projects.
    • A further expansion of public employment programmes, which include local infrastructure and literacy projects, home-based care, school maintenance and early childhood development initiatives, is also underway.
    • A subsidy to incentive firms who take unemployed young people and inexperienced staff will soon be tabled.
    • We will also increase the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors.


3. Human Development Issues

  • Education and skills development are at the centre of these government policies
    • We will improve the ability of our children to read, write and count in the foundation years.
    • Learners and teachers must be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day.
    • Government will assist teachers by providing detailed daily lesson plans and  easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages to students.
    • From 2010, all grade three, six and nine students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated.
    • Government aims to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35% and 40% to at least 60% by 2014.
    • Each of the 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education.
  • Improving our Matriculation Maths and Science output and  tertiary institutions
    • Government aims to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.
    • Government plans to increase the training of 16 – 25 year olds in further education and training facilities.
    • Skills-development targets have been set to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified Mathematics and Science teachers


  • Ensuring a long and healthy life for all South Africans
    Government will:
    • continue to improve the healthcare system by building and upgrading hospitals and clinics and further improving the working conditions of healthcare workers
    • collaborate with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation in a public-private partnership programme to improve hospitals and provide finance for projects
    • intervene to lower maternal mortality rates, reduce new HIV infections and effectively treat HIV and tuberculosis
    • Continue to reduce infant mortality through a massive immunisation programme
    • reinstate health programmes in schools
    • continue preparations for the establishment of a national health insurance system


4. Social Protection

  • Youth, women and persons with disabilities
    • The National Youth Development Agency is  working faster to establish its structures throughout the country, in order to accelerate the mainstreaming of youth development programmes within government.
    • We need to integrate gender-equity measures into the Government’s Programme of Action to ensure that women, children and persons with disabilities can access developmental opportunities.
  • Rural development
    • Government has 231 houses built since the launch of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in Giyani, Limpopo, in August 2009. Progress has also been made in providing infrastructure to support agricultural development and training for community members.
    • Government is implementing similar programmes in seven sites across the country, benefiting 21 wards. By 2014, we aim to have sites in 160 wards. The target is to have 60% of households in these sites to meet their food requirements from own production by 2014.
    • We aim to integrate land reform and the agricultural support programme to increase the number of small-scale farmers who become economically viable
  • Human settlements
    Plans are underway to:
    • upgrade well-located settlements and provide proper service and land tenure to at least 5 000 households by 2014
    • set aside over 6 000 hectares of public land for low-income and affordable housing
    • set up a guarantee of R1 billion to incentivise private banking and housing sectors to develop new products to meet the housing demands.
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup™
    • The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament


5. Governance and Administration

Government commits to:

  • improve planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation to build a performance-oriented state
  • improve the provision of housing, water, sanitation, electricity, waste management and roads by municipalities.
  • Work is already underway on the development and implementation of a public service development programme to set norms and standard for public servants in all spheres.
  • Government will continue with efforts to eradicate corruption and fraud in areas such as procurement and tender processes, applications for drivers’ licences, social grants and identity documents.


6. Justice, Crime Prevention and Safety

Plans are underway to:

  • ensure that everyone in South Africa feels safe and is safe
  • work further to reduce serious and violent crimes
  • ensure an efficiently working justice system
  • increase the number of police officers by 10% over the next three years
  • fight against hijacking, business and house robberies, as well as contact crimes such as murder, rape and assault, which have been identified as top priorities.
  • The nation is further urged to participate in community safety forums, stop buying stolen goods and be ready to provide the police with information about criminal activity.


7. International Cooperation, Trade and Security

Government will:

  • work with international counterparts towards a legally binding climate change treaty, and at the same time continue working on our long-term Climate Change Mitigation Strategy
  • support efforts to speed up the political and economic integration of the Southern African Development Community region and promote intraregional trade and investment
  • continue to play a leading role in continental efforts to strengthen the African Union and its organs and to work for unity
  • focus energy on revitalising the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, as a strategy for economic development on the continent.