Bua Briefs 131

23 October 2008

National Imbizo Week (1 – 8 November 2008)

The Imbizo Week, scheduled to take place from the 1 – 8 November, will be the last before the end of term of government. This week provides an opportunity for political leaders in all three spheres of government to interact with communities all over the country in profiling the work and success of the 15 years of democracy, while on the other hand acknowledging the challenges that still lie ahead. This period will also mobilise communities to work together in ensuring that we deliver a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Imbizo remains a popular and trusted platform for government to engage with communities and assess how far our intervention programmes have come and how they are improving their lives

Our policies and programmes are improving the lives of the people; however, a lot more needs to be done.

The 15 years of democracy have made a difference in the lives of the majority:

  • it has seen over 11 million households with access to water infrastructure
  • over eight million households have access to electricity
  • over 12, 5 million people now have access to various social assistance grant support, reducing the impact of poverty.

Our primary school registration numbers have increased over the 15 years, almost reaching universal access as stipulated in the United Nations millennium development goals.

Working together, we will achieve a better life for all; we will eliminate poverty and grow shared economic growth by all South Africans.

Imbizo is a platform to mobilise all South Africans behind the hosting of a successful 2010 World Cup™

Government is investing R500 billion on integrated infrastructure and R9,6 billion on stadiums to ensure that we host a successful 2010 World Cup. This prestigious competition will leave a lasting legacy for our country’s future generations.

Our infrastructure is our biggest investment in the future generations; we must all ensure that we have lasting sports developmental facilities, including roads for generations to come.

Through the Imbizo platform we will strengthen participatory democracy and grow partnerships with communities for a better life for all.

The Imbizo programme will be available on the South African Government Information website (http://www.info.gov.za/issues/imbizo/index.html), by 30 October 2008.

Business Unusual! Imbizo: Making a difference

National Orders

On 28 October 2008, National Orders will be awarded to men and women who have contributed to making a better life for current and future generations and who inspire the youth of our country.

National Orders are the highest awards that our country bestows on its citizens and foreign nationals who contribute to our nation

Since the achievement of democracy in 1994, men and women from all walks of life have been honoured for their performance of acts of bravery; their contribution to arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport; for accomplishing excellence and exceptional achievement; and for distinguished contributions to the South African nation.

National Orders are a part of the building of our nation and the consolidation of our democracy.

Through National Orders, we seek to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights

Our National Orders reflect democratic South Africa’s unity in diversity and our place on the African continent; in essence the spirit of the new South Africa.

National Orders are conferred on those who have performed acts of bravery as well as those who have achieved excellence; made exceptional and distinguished performance of acts of bravery; contributed to arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport to the benefit of South Africa and the rest of humanity.

The example set by the women and men being honoured should inspire all citizens to emulate their spirit, their courage and their commitment to the development of South Africa and to humanity as a whole. Their example should further renew our pledge for a national partnership to build a better life for all.

National Orders reflect the rich diversity of our society and the ideals for which we strive

The Order of Mendi for Bravery: To recognise South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery.

The Order of Ikhamanga: To recognise South African citizens who have excelled in the field of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The Order of Mapungubwe: To recognise South African citizens who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo: To recognise eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support.

Highlights from the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, 2008

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement presented to Parliament on 20 October has reassured the country that government will continue its investment in infrastructure – an investment set to contribute to the momentum of growth in South Africa, against the global economic slowdown.

Budget priorities

Revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth is 3,7%, below the forecast of 4% in February 2008.

Growth forecasted: 3% for 2009, accelerating moderately in 2010 and beyond as the global economy begins to recover.

Budget deficit: shifts into a moderate deficit of 1,6% of GDP next year.

R171 billion is added to the spending plans tabled in the February Budget, taking total proposed spending, including the social security funds over the next three years to R2,4 trillion.

Additional allocations: include adjustments amounting to R59 billion over the next three years for higher salaries and other costs associated with the rise in inflation.

New programmes: Over R60 billion is allocated to new programmes or expanded spending on key priorities.

Eskom funding: An amount of R10 billion this year and a further R50 billion over the period ahead will be provided as a loan to Eskom to support its capital spending programme. Provinces: will receive additional allocations amounting to R52,3 billion.

Additional allocations

Economy, Investment and Employment

  • Natural disasters and outbreaks of animal disease: R2 billion
  • Road Accident Fund: R2.5 billion
  • Expanded Public Works Programme: Additional R4 billion to incentives for the creation of longer-term, more stable employment in provinces, municipalities and non-governmental organisations. It is anticipated that this programme will be phased up to grow the number of full-time equivalent jobs from about 145 000 at present to over 300 000 a year.
  • Municipal Infrastructure Grant: R4,3 billion to accelerate the provision of basic services.


  • Education
    • No-fee schooling: Expanded to cover 60% of learners.
    • School nutrition programme: R344 million. The allocation to provinces increases from R1,9 billion this year to R4,6 billion in three years’ time. Increasing the number of teachers in poor schools and increased spending on school infrastructure, including Grade R infrastructure.
    • Kha Ri Gude mass literacy programme: R107 million, which has exceeded expectations in its first full year of operation.
    • National Student Financial Aid Scheme: R390 million.
    • Fuel, textbooks, medicines and medical equipment and inflation-related adjustments to social grants: R2,2 billion for other inflation-related adjustments.
  • Health
    • Additional resources for the health sector provide for the introduction of three new child vaccines to reduce deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea.
    • New proposed salary scales for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and related professions.
    • Expanding TB track-and-trace teams and increasing take-up.
    • Improving the provision of healthcare, with particular emphasis on reducing infant, child and maternal mortality and broadening prevention and treatment programmes tackling TB, HIV and AIDS ment programmes tackling TB and HIV and Aids.
  • Social security
    • Social security funds: total spending in 2008/09 of R650 billion is proposed, R19 billion higher than the budgeted amount.
    • Old-age, child support, disability and care dependency grants increased by R20 each.
    • Adjustments to deal with the short- and longer-term implications of higher food prices: R11 billion over the next three years.
    • Extending access to land and support for emerging farmers to decrease rural poverty by taking steps to raise rural incomes and improve livelihoods.
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium projects: R1,4 billion to cover cost overruns on World Cup stadium projects and R600 million for last mile Internet connectivity between the stadiums and the national backbone network.

Governance and Administration

Justice, Crime Prevention and Security

  • One of the most pressing priorities approved by Cabinet is investing in the criminal justice sector to reduce the levels of crime and to enhance citizen safety. The priority is to further expand police numbers and improve investigative capacity, forensic laboratories and information technology network infrastructure.

International Relation Peace and Security

  • Zimbabwe: R300 million has been allocated to assist in meeting Zimbabwe’s short-term food requirements, subject to the acceptance of an appropriate role for international food-relief agencies by a recognised multiparty government.