30 November 2015
Opening address by Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi at the National Imbizo Focus Week in Lephalale, Limpopo
The Programme Director
The Premier of Limpopo
The Executive Mayor
The community of Lephalale and neighbouring villages
All public representatives
Ladies and gentlemen
Thobela! Aa! Avuxeni!
This National Imbizo Focus Week is held within the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children launched by President Jacob Zuma in Mahikeng on Wednesday, 25 November 2015. Violence against women and children is a serious crime and must not be condoned in any way.
Eliminating this scourge is not the responsibility of government or the criminal justice system alone. It is very much a societal responsibility.
All sectors of our society need to play a leading role in taking this campaign forward, not only for 16 days but throughout the year.
While these 16 days are used to boost our commitment to terminate this cancer in our society of abusing women and children, we must remember that the campaign is commemorated as part of the 365 Days of Activism campaign which consistently raises awareness of violence against women and children, and mobilises individuals to be counted in this year-long activism.
I call on the community of Lephalale to stand up and protect the rights of the women and children in our homes, our communities, our schools and our country. Let us all unite and shout out, “No to Violence against Women and Children”. Let us take responsibility and amplify interventions aimed at stopping the abuse of women and children.
Today marks the start of the National Imbizo Focus Week, which is a critical platform for government to reach out to various communities throughout the country, and listen to their concerns and problems. Izimbizo provide government with the opportunity share important information with South Africans from all walks of life, especially on service-delivery challenges and the progress of projects that are underway in their communities. Izimbizo also allow leaders from national, provincial and local government the opportunity to intervene immediately and solve the challenges.
This week, the focus will be on the Nine-Point Plan to grow the South African economy and create jobs.
South Africa adopted the National Development Plan and Vision 2030 to create a better life for all its citizens in an inclusive society. We are over a year into the implementation of the NDP; on a path to accelerate economic growth and resolve the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
You will recall that President Zuma announced the Nine-Point Plan to ignite economic growth and create jobs, which makes a meaningful contribution to the current economic transformation process. South Africa is not immune to the devastating global economic meltdown, which retarded our economic growth and adversely affected our job-creation prospects. The Nine-Point Plan has priority interventions that are job drivers and create employment like unlocking the potential of small businesses, cooperatives, township and rural enterprises. There are interventions that help the economy to grow; like building a good transport network in the country. Other interventions that are aimed at solving the challenges we face include ensuring a good energy supply.
While government acknowledges that times are tough economically, we are positive that as government we shall do our utmost best to improve the lives of our people by creating better conditions that are conducive to economic growth and job creation.
Already, we are experiencing an improved electricity supply, the development of Agri-Parks, fisheries projects, infrastructure development and intense efforts by government to grow investment levels.
Government is doing all it can to draw in more investors so that it can create employment, reduce poverty and turn the economy around. South Africa has become an investment destination of choice to the world’s biggest companies.
We are determined to outline government’s plans for a better life for all but above all, to also listen to the needs of South Africans in communities, households, and structured community and town hall meetings in rural and urban areas.
In doing so, we shall undertake walkabouts in informal settlements and places where our people gather in numbers such as taxi ranks and malls.
As I launch the National Imbizo Focus Week together with the leadership of this province, my Cabinet colleagues will also be embarking on an outreach campaign to various communities of this beautiful country. I would like to mention some of the activities that would be undertaken today and during the course of this week:
- The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will conduct a follow-up visit to Ncera in the Eastern Cape;
- The Deputy Minister of Energy will conduct community engagements in Lichtenberg, Madibe Makgabana and Gatau in North West respectively;
- The Minister of Public Enterprises will visit Rietrivier High School in the Northern Cape as part of her 16 Days of Activism Imbizo;
- The Minister and Deputy Minister of Public Works will embark on site visits to Pilanesburg Airport and Mandela Village of Hope in North West;
- The Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation will undertake and adopt a river public participation programme at Zululand – Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.
Some of the highlights of the week will include amongst others a Cluster Ministerial Imbizo focusing on Agri-Parks in North West, which will be led by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, in pursuit of revitalising agriculture and agro-processing value chains.
Cluster Ministers will also conduct an Imbizo event focusing on the implementation of the 50/50 Policy Framework in support of profiling land-reform programmes in the Free State.
The Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Lynne Brown, will engage with the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Public-Private Partnerships with SoCs as a strategic partner towards the effective implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).
The Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, will undertake engagements with informal businesses and hand over a Youth Environment Project in North West as part of unlocking the potential of small businesses, cooperatives and township enterprises.
A detailed schedule of these activities with relevant contact people is available on the GCIS website for interested stakeholders. We are encouraging all communities and partners, stakeholders in building our country, to join izimbizo events in your community or those closest to you.
We urge all communities to mobilise – as part of an active and patriotic citizenry – and partner with government in the development of national goals.
We should strengthen our vision of expanded access to government programmes and information, as directed by the National Development Plan.
During this week we also urge our partners and stakeholders – including the private sector, civil society, organised labour, sectoral groups, faith-based organisations and the media – to share their creative ideas in order to build a truly prosperous, non-sexist and non-racial South Africa.
All South Africans must become involved in implementing the Nine-Point Plan. The economy is everyone’s business and we all need to play our part and contribute to the growth of the economy. It is clear that both private-sector investment and citizen engagement are critical to the successful implementation of the Nine-Point Plan.
We will also use the opportunity to reinforce communication on Broadcasting Digital Migration, which is one of the critical projects aimed at fast-tracking access to digital terrestrial television services for millions of South Africans so that they can benefit from information from government and other sources.
We will further mobilise communities to play an active role in the implementation of this programme of government. More information on this can be obtained from the exhibitors outside this venue. The entities reporting to the Ministry are here to talk to you on issues that you may need clarity on in order to participate fully in our democracy.
All South Africans have a responsibility to help grow South Africa and make our county a better place for all. The economy involves everyone, citizens and all sectors of society.
As government, we are demonstrating a collective responsibility with our communities to communicate about the developments taking place in their own communities and which are affecting their lives. Therefore, your involvement is very important.
You have a contribution to make – every effort counts. Play your part.
Let us work together to move South Africa forward!
Issued by Ministry of Communications