Bua Briefs 123

30 May 2008

Attacks on people from other countries

South Africa’s transition to democracy remains a remarkable testimony of tolerance and peaceful co-existence. The recent spate of attacks on people from other countries, involving intense violence and inhumanity, are a threat to our historical achievements as a nation. We cannot forget the hospitality that was given to South Africans who were in exile in neighbouring countries and the rest of the continent, as well as other parts of the world during the days of apartheid. The attacks are unlawful and incompatible with our Constitution. Government is resolved to bring the full weight of the law on those who have perpetrated these criminal acts and to do all it can to ensure the right to safety and security of all law-abiding people in South Africa.

Government condemns violent attacks on people from other countries in the strongest possible terms

For many decades, South Africans in many parts of the country have lived side by side with people from other countries with no acts of violence – as such, we cannot allow a few individuals to reverse and undermine our historical achievements.

Government condemns violent attacks on people from other countries, whatever their motive.

Nobody should be left in doubt about the seriousness with which the entire Government views this matter. No one should doubt the capacity of the State to deal firmly and decisively with criminal elements, however daring they may be

Everything possible will be done to bring the perpetrators to justice – units of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been deployed to work with and support the police.

These forces and other law-enforcement bodies have been instructed to do everything necessary to stop and apprehend the killers and looters, and ensure that everybody in our country lives in conditions of safety and security.

Working together with the SANDF, the South African Police Service has already apprehended more than 1 380 alleged perpetrators. The police will continue to do their job and will root out of our communities the criminal elements that deserve to be nowhere else but in jail!

Concerns that people have about their access to services and economic opportunities are being exploited and misused in motivating attacks on people from other countries

Nothing can justify the criminal activity and bigotry that these attacks represent.

It is clear that some elements within South African society are taking advantage of concerns of citizens who feel they are affected by competition for economic opportunities and other government services.

South Africa is a signatory to the Geneva Protocol on Refugees [PDF] 301 kb and will fulfil its obligation to protect all people from other countries

The 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention ensures the basic human rights of vulnerable persons and that refugees will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they face persecution. Providing them with food, shelter and other material assistance is the first step towards their long-term protection and rehabilitation.

As a signatory to this protocol, and as a country that cherishes human rights, we have to protect the basic rights of every human being within our borders, including foreign nationals.

Government will do everything within the law to ensure the safety of all citizens and foreign nationals, irrespective of their status.

Government calls on all communities and organisations to ensure that everyone in South Africa, including people from other countries, are protected from any form of violence

All communities are encouraged to actively oppose any violence and to report any such acts to the relevant authorities.

Community and political leaders, and organisations in every sector of society are urged to use every opportunity to educate South Africans about the need to co-exist with people from other countries. This includes improving refugees' access to fundamental rights, enhancing their means of self-reliance and expanding opportunities for durable solutions.

Humanity, democracy and protection of the law are indivisible. What begins as attacks on people from other countries, as we have seen, can also affect fellow South African citizens.

We will work effortlessly together with all peace-loving people to ensure that our country regains its status as a welcoming nation to the people of the world

All our communities should remain vigilant, making it forever impossible for anyone to manipulate their concerns and aspirations for criminal purposes.

Government calls on communities to be vigilant and to avoid being manipulated by criminal elements who seek to exploit people’s fears and concerns.

These violent attacks will not in any way impact on our country’s capabilities to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We remain ready to welcome the millions of people from all over the world who will descend on our country to enjoy this spectacular tournament.

We thank all civil-society organisation and individuals who have given generously of their time, energy and resources, to provide humane and humanitarian assistance to the displaced. These actions represent the virtues of our people, and not the barbaric acts of violence by a few.


Child Protection Week

Business Unusual: Accelerating the fight on poverty and violence against children!

Child Protection Week is celebrated from 26 May to 3 June with the aim of mobilising all of society to extend the advances made in promoting and protecting all children’s well-being.

In the spirit of Business Unusual, let us use Child Protection Week to accelerate our efforts in a national partnership against child-directed violence and poverty

A multisectoral response is required to end child-directed violence and poverty, because government alone cannot eliminate these scourges.

An effective partnership between government, faith-based institutions, media, labour, traditional leadership and civil society is essential to prevent child abuse, tackle child poverty and promote access to social grants for eligible children.

Child Protection Week is an opportunity for all of us to strengthen the partnership and help ensure that children are protected from abuse and vulnerability.

Our democratic government has brought about comprehensive policies to promote children’s rights and create a nurturing environment

Government policies and programmes give practical meaning to children’s constitutional rights to love and care, and protection from neglect and hurt.

Millions of children benefit from free primary healthcare, school feeding schemes and the no-fee school policy for children from poor families. Such interventions create an environment in which children can grow and develop to their full potential.

Many more children now receive child support and foster care grants.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign and the 365 Days Plan of Action [PDF] 443 kb reflect the determination of government, civil-society partners and communities to ensure that all children enjoy their constitutional rights.


World Economic Forum on Africa 2008

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2008 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 4 to 6 June 2008. The meeting aims to generate critical insight and identify those priorities for action that will have a lasting impact on Africa's bright future

The forum continues to serve as a platform for leaders to reflect upon Africa’s position in an increasingly globalised world where opportunities, such as new geopolitical constellations, must be leveraged.

African leaders should ensure that the foundations for sustained growth continue and lead to positive change in Africa.

We should invest in human capital development and reinvent our values and subordinate personal gains to societal gains.

We must focus on building the capacity necessary to help our economies to sustain the strong growth that we have achieved in recent years.

South Africa is now entering the ninth year of the longest economic upswing since national accounts have been recorded, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development now ranks the country among the Emerging 7 (E7) group of nations comprising the strongest economies in the South

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme will also contribute towards achieving greater food security on the continent.

South Africa ranks 52nd out of 157 countries in the world in terms of economic freedom, according to the Index of Economic Freedom 2007, while global management consulting firm AT Kearney regards the country as the 18th most attractive foreign direct investment destination worldwide.

Our economy is expected to grow by 4,5% in 2008, before returning to about 5% a year in 2009 and 2010.

Trade with the continent has grown almost seven-fold since 1994:

  • exports to the African continent have increased from $1,3 billion in 1994 to $7,6 billion in 2006; imports from Africa during the same period increased from a low base of $0,4 billion to $4,2 billion
  • foreign investment has grown robustly with the recent largest foreign investment in the banking sector – a 20% stake in South Africa’s Standard Bank bought by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The WEF provides a platform for the country to consolidate our economic stability and confront the emerging challenges

The establishment of the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund presents an advantage to access capital for infrastructural development on the continent.

2010 projects will ensure that we take advantage of the opportunity to leave a developmental legacy, speed up economic growth and halve poverty and unemployment by 2014:

  • Between 2006 and 2010, government will invest more than $59 billion in infrastructure, from rail freight services, energy production, to communications, airports and the upgrading of ports of entry.
  • Infrastructure and fixed investment projects over the next five years are estimated to be worth about R1 trillion; approximately 25% will go to small, medium and micro enterprises, generating R250 billion in income from the infrastructure boom in the coming years.
  • To date, 35,4 million people have visited South Africa, of whom 23 million visited for leisure and 10 million were visitors from Australia, Europe, the Americas and Asia. The remaining 12,4 million visitors came mainly from the southern African region.

South Africa is still transforming from a divided and bitter past. Millions of lives have been transformed since 1994, but much more needs to be done to eradicate apartheid’s legacy of poverty, inequality and racism that still affect millions

At the centre of our economic programmes is, and should always be, the consideration whether our economic development is helping to improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

The recent intensified spates of attacks on people from other countries, in particular from other parts of our continent and Asia, expressed through acts of intense violence and inhumanity, are a threat to our historical achievements as a nation. We are taking firm action against those who are fuelling these forms of violence.



Investments flow brings remarkable change: Johannesburg’s inner city has attracted significant new investments since its urban renewal programme began to take effect in 2000/01. From 2001 to 2006, it amounted to at least R7,5 billion, with possibly a further R15 billion between 2007 and 2011 well underway.

South African housing projects get R1,3-billion boost: Financier International Housing Solutions received R1,3 billion on behalf of its sister organisation, South Africa Workforce Housing Fund, to build 30 000 affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income families.

Infrastructure development programme - Gautrain: The Gautrain Project recently earned international respect in the Public Private Partnerships industry after winning the “Best Global Project to Sign” Award at the 2008 Public Private Finance Awards.