Bua Briefs 13 of 2011

21 September 2011

Presidential monitoring and evaluation visit to the Free State

National priority: rural development, food security and land reform

President Jacob Zuma will undertake a visit to the Free State on 4 October 2011 as part of the monitoring and evaluating of service delivery as highlighted by government’s five priorities. The visit is in line with the adoption of the outcomes-based approach by government, where progress is periodically monitored and remedial actions taken, if necessary.

During this visit, the President will assess progress in the implementation of the province’s rural development plans as expressed in Outcome 7 for the creation of “vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all”.

Five outputs underpin Outcome 7 delivery targets. These are sustainable agrarian reform with a thriving farming sector, improved access to diverse and affordable food, improved rural services to support sustainable livelihoods, improved employment opportunities and economic livelihoods, enabling institutional environment for inclusive growth and cross-cutting coordination.

Agriculture and rural development also feature prominently among the six priority job drivers for 2011/12 as defined in the National Growth Path for economic and social development.

Key messages
Supporting statements
The land question is at the core of South Africa’s democratisation process.
  • The lessons from the past 16 years of land reform prompted government’s interventionist Recapitalisation and Redevelopment Programme where 25% of every Medium Term Expenditure Framework’s (MTEF) budgetary allocation to land reform has been set aside for development and capitalisation of land reform projects. For the current fiscal year, the allocation stands at R1,3 billion.
  • In this way, government aims to assist land reform beneficiaries to bring most of the unproductive farms into full production, guarantee food security, create jobs in the agricultural sector and enable the graduation of some farmers into the commercial mode of production.
  • The Recapitalisation and Redevelopment Programme plans to recapitalise farms in distress, including providing economic and agricultural infrastructure, technology and mentorship to improve agricultural production.
  • Government is committed to providing support to local associations, producers and cooperatives and to facilitate preferential procurement from small-scale farmers in pursuit of sustainable agrarian reform and a thriving farming sector.
  • Achieving household food security is a critical enabler towards the development of sustainable families and communities. The support of households, communities and local institutions contributes to the production of food to reduce household food insecurity and the establishment of community markets. This facilitates accessibility and affordability of food as part of government’s Zero Hunger Programme.
  • Government aims to enhance rural services by working with relevant sector departments, local government and agencies which aims to improve socio-economic development and growth in rural areas such as the construction of new and the rehabilitation of old public amenities infrastructure.
  • Government will enable an institutional environment for sustainable and inclusive growth by ensuring that all rural local governments have their top posts filled and also establish local government coordination and community structures to support social cohesion.
Restitution is a constitutional imperative and all South Africans need to honour this constitutional provision.
  • The impact of forced removals on the social and physical landscape of South Africa is ineradicable.
  • Government is committed to restorative justice through the return of land to the victims of dispossession, or a comparable redress.
  • The Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights has settled the majority of land claims lodged by various communities, households and individuals in terms of the Restitution of the Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act  22 of 1994).
  • Government has put in place measures to ensure that all land claims are settled within the MTEF baseline allocation.
Land ownership remains imbalanced with 87% of commercial land owned by white farmers and businesses while 13% is shared among blacks and coloured people and Indians.
  • Land reform requires the development of a new land tenure system.
  • Since the start of South Africa’s land reform programme, the Government has distributed 6,4 million hectares of land but only 10% of this land is currently productive.
  • The Green Paper on Land Reform aims to speed up the process, helping the Government meet its 30% redistribution target by 2014, while increasing agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product.
  • Government plans to ensure that all land reform is productive and is currently undertaking an audit of all state land within the country to be completed by March 2012.
  • Government’s new land reform policy proposal is intended to implement programmes that will allow a break from the past without significantly disrupting agricultural production and food security and, avoids redistribution that does not generate livelihoods, employment and incomes.
Government’s proposed land reform plan will help create sustainable rural communities and food security.
  • A properly re-configured single, coherent, four-tier system of land tenure, which ensures that all South Africans, black people in general and Africans in particular, have reasonable access to land with secure rights, will contribute towards fulfilling their basic needs for housing and productive livelihoods.
  • Government will pursue the effective land-use planning and regulatory systems, which promote optimal land utilisation in all areas and sectors; and effectively administer rural and urban lands and sustainable rural production systems.
  • Government is seeking clearly defined property rights sustained by a fair, equitable and accountable land administration system within an effective judicial and “governance” system.
  • Secure forms of long-term land tenure for resident non-citizens engaged in appropriate investments will result in enhanced food sovereignty and livelihood security, and improved agro-industrial development.
Land is a national asset, which requires proper control, management and recording of ownership.
  • There are plans to limit foreign ownership of sensitive land, in particular farms that were crucial for the production of food for the domestic market and the sale of land to foreigners, which will be subject to limiting regulations.
  • Government intends to establish a valuer-general who would be responsible for the provision of fair and consistent land values for rating and taxing purposes.
  • A Land Management Commission (LMC) will be created to coordinate different land management functions of the State, including ensuring that land is used and managed in a sustainable manner. The commission will assure the integrity of land ownership and assist to coordinate land reform initiatives. The LMC will be an organ of state, playing an advisory and coordination role on matters related to land administration.
  • South Africa lacks a nationwide comprehensive, reliable and collated hub of property values. Government will set up a Land Rights Management Board to deal with the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable persons who live or work on farms, including the management of sustainable settlements for them. The board will work through local land rights management committees in consultation with the Deeds Registrar and the Department of Labour to oversee the use of land in specific areas.


Transport Month - October

Transport Month is being celebrated throughout October 2011 under the theme “Year of Job Creation and Service Delivery in the Transport Sector: Moving South Africa to a Better Tomorrow”. This is aligned to the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17/CMP7) theme: “Working Together: Saving Tomorrow, Today”.

Key events which will define the national communication platform include the:

  • Launch of Transport Month on 22 September, on World Maritime Day, which includes the Maritime Skills Summit on 21 and 22 September 2011.
  • Opening Ceremony in Polokwane, Limpopo, on 30 September 2011. The launch will show innovative ways being used to bring modern technological solutions to the people.
  • Southern African Development Community Ministers of Transport Summit from 5 to 7 October 2011.
  • Business breakfast with transport stakeholders on 10 October 2011.
  • Closing ceremony in Mangaung, Free State, on 28 October 2011.

Transport Month will be used to highlight transport initiatives which have a positive impact on all modes of transport, and to highlight investment made to create jobs and expand services and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. Transport Month is also a platform to raise awareness of the important role that transport plays in the economy of the country.

Transport Month will also be used to contribute to the climate change agenda of the country in support of COP17 taking place in November and December 2011, in Durban.

Key messages
supporting statements
Government has prioritised the country’s transport infrastructure.
  • The integrated rapid public transport networks, established through our priority rail corridors and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, creates a seamless transport network, which provides commuters with a standardised high-quality service.
  • New initiatives such as the Gautrain, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, Open Road Tolling and the BRT system contribute towards an enhanced integrated transport system.
Rail is the backbone of South Africa’s public transport system.
  • Key elements of our rail investment strategy are already being implemented. As of 1 April 2011, government is spending R30,2 billion over the next three years for rail upgrades across the country, with R19,5 billion earmarked for capital spending to upgrade existing infrastructure, signalling systems and rolling stock.
  • The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is embarking on a bold programme to invest in new rail rolling stock, worth R97 billion over a period of 18 years, for Metrorail and long-distance rail services.
  • These investments will significantly improve the country's passenger rail transport network, offering new routes and destinations throughout South Africa.
Investing in our transport infrastructure is expected to boost job creation.
  • Over the next two years, government's public transport plans will enhance transport infrastructure, which will radically change the way South Africans travel, due to a multibillion rand boost by government.
  • In partnership with all provinces, the S'hamba Sonke programme will improve access roads to schools and clinics and public social infrastructure by drastically upgrading the secondary road network and fixing and repairing potholes throughout the country. This includes rehabilitation of key arterial routes in support of the rural economy through labour-intensive projects.
  • R6,4 billion has been set aside for this initiative in 2011/12, R7,5 billion in 2012/13 and R8,2 billion in 2013/14, amounting to a total of R22,3 billion in the medium term. The programme is also expected to create around 70 000 jobs in 2011/12.
Road safety is not only government’s responsibility; it is everybody’s responsibility. 
  • As part of the United Nations Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020, government calls on public transport operators to take responsibility for the safety of their commuters.
  • The Road Traffic Management Corporation is to intensify investigations into acts of corruption and poor service delivery at licensing centres.
  • Government will shortly be rolling out 24-hour traffic law enforcement across the country.
  • As part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan, the month of September has been dedicated to public transport enforcement. The safety of commuters is paramount, and all public transport vehicles will be monitored closely by transport authorities.
  • Government will ensure that basic minimum quality standards are in place to ensure that passengers are transported in a safe, efficient and reliable manner.



Economic development

New Growth Path

The Industrial Development Corporation plans to invest R102 billion over the next five years in sectors prioritised in the New Growth Path. The institution approved R8,6 billion in funding for South African-based developments in the financial year that ended in March 2011.


South Africa signs agriculture Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swaziland

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Government of Swaziland have signed a MoU, which focuses on technology transfer, training, capacity-building and research cooperation related to food security issues.

Science and technology

Heart disease detection device developed in South Africa

A computer-aided auscultation software programme, which is able to distinguish between physiological and pathological heart murmurs to accuracies of more than 90%, has been developed by South African medical device company Diacoustic Medical Devices. This helps medical examiners to make informed decisions in cardiac diagnoses by providing an analysis of the heart’s sounds.


Minister praised for help to taxi industry

President Jacob Zuma has described the launch of the first black-owned airline company as a practical example of economic and social emancipation. This comes after the South African National Taxi Council launched its all-in-one transport airline in different provinces. Taxi operators have praised the Minister of Transport, Sibusiso Ndebele, for helping the taxi industry to grow.

Gautrain ridership increases to 28 000 passengers a day

Operator Bombela confirmed that the Gautrain is currently carrying an average of 28 000 passengers a day and has exceeded its punctuality target despite interruptions due to cable theft. The Tshwane−Johannesburg link of the system achieved train punctuality of 97,8% in the first 50 days of operations, which was above the 95% target.


R198-million boost for maternal, child healthcare

The Ministry of Health has secured an additional R198 million from the Department for International Development (DFID) in the United Kingdom (UK) to help the country strengthen maternal and child healthcare service delivery. This support from the UK Government will enable South Africa to make progress towards achieving the millennium development goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Primary healthcare (PHC) gets an European Union (EU) boost

South African PHC has received a multimillion rand donation from the EU to assist the country in improving access and quality of public health services.


South Africa's new Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism

South Africa has officially launched its new, globally aligned Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism, entrenching the importance of sustainability in the industry and asserting South Africa's position as a leading responsible tourism destination.

Safety and security

South African Police Service (SAPS), schools partner to fight crime

The SAPS and the Department of Basic Education have signed a protocol agreement aimed at reducing violence in schools. This agreement was launched following concerns of violence, which affect learning at schools. This initiative will see learners in identified schools being promoted into various police ranks, thereby linking the community and the police. The main task of the selected learners is to identify criminal activities at their schools and communities, before conveying the information to their police superiors.