Governments Report to the Nation
Building has Begun!
chapter 1 Three-and-a-half years of
chapter 2 The state of the nation
chapter 3 Government programmes
chapter 4 Reports submitted by
Ministries and departments
Three-and-a-half years of democratic
In voting for a better life for all, the people of South
Africa set the Government a mandate with three broad and interrelated goals, namely
1. the establishment of a legitimate government that is
democratic and an effective instrument for change
2. nation-building and reconciliation
3. reconstruction and development.
Through reconciliation and nation-building, together with
firm action we as the Government have reduced political violence to a minimum. Today, we
are proud not only to have turned our back on a terrible past, but the new nation has
started to take root in all spheres of life, including sports, the economy and the fight
against crime. We are a free people, masters of our own destiny.
The economy has been turned around decisively: today, about
20 mega-projects each costing more than half-a-billion rand are operating or under
construction in Richards Bay (Alusaf), Saldanha Bay (Iscor), Port Elizabeth and elsewhere;
and many are to start in Mpumalanga along the Maputo Development Corridor, in the Eastern
Cape, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Province.
There is a massive increase in exports and markets have
opened for our entrepreneurs worldwide, with more opportunities than we are able to
exploit. From negative growth, the economy is in its sixth year of growth; direct foreign
investment has increased tremendously compared with the period before 1994. A partnership
has been forged between business, Government and trade unions reflecting the shift from
the intense conflict of the past.
We have turned the corner in so far as programmes to uplift
people's conditions are concerned. Since 1994, we have started many impressive projects
such as school feeding, free health care for pregnant mothers and children, water
provision, housing subsidies, infrastructure and services. During the first two years, the
main emphasis was on planning and setting up the machinery for delivery.
Today, particularly with democratic local government,
communities throughout the country are beehives of activity. Away from national media
coverage, streets are being tarred, refuse collection being improved, schools being
renovated, clinics being built and upgraded, and housing projects being started.
No-one can challenge the fact that on all the major
questions that South Africa has to address, this Government has the best possible
policies, strategies and laws for the countrys needs. But now the challenge is not
just good policies - we have them. The foundation has been laid, and we are well into a
phase of implementation and clearing problems that we find on the way.
A year ago the Government published its Mid-term Report
to the Nation. This booklet updates that report and sets out the progress made and the
difficulties experienced in fulfilling the Government's mandate to the citizens. It also
briefly outlines the concrete projects the Government will implement in 1998 and beyond.
[ Top ]
The State of the Nation
Address by President Nelson Mandela to Parliament, 6
Madame Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly;
Honourable Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the
National Council of Provinces;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I should start by expressing my appreciation for this
opportunity to exchange views with you at the beginning of this penultimate sitting of our
first democratic Parliament.
I wish all of you a productive New Year in the service of
As Government, we are confident of the progress being made
to meet our mandate. We are resolved to build on the solid foundation that has been laid
over the past three-and-a-half years. As always, the most critical challenge is whether we
are succeeding as leaders in mobilising the people in actual practice to be their own
We know too well that on our own we cannot succeed. We know
that the programmes of Government are not the panacea for all the ills of our terrible
past. They are but a platform for South Africans to let their strengths shine through.
By our own pronouncements and actions, we could relate to
these citizens as passive recipients of government delivery, as if Government
were a force on high. Worse still, we could turn some constituents into passive critics,
their own rationality drowned in the chorus of regret that the past has passed. On both
counts, this would be a recipe for sure failure.
Making an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable
That is why, during the course of last year, we once again
put the Masakhane Campaign at the centre of our activities. And our performance should be
judged above all on the basis of whether our programmes are positively affecting the lives
of especially the most vulnerable sections of society: the poor, women, the disabled,
children and the rural masses - the primary victims of the iniquitous system from which we
have just emerged. We are proud to answer this question in the affirmative.
Last year, we increased the supply of clean and accessible
water from 700 000 to 1,3 million South Africans.
We have surpassed our plans to build or upgrade 500 clinics
last year, and the primary school feeding scheme reaches 4,9 million children.
From 250 000 in 1996, we are in line to make 421 000
telephone connections this financial year, making life that much easier for millions of
With more than 400 000 electricity connections made in 1997
alone, today, South Africa has reached a 58 per cent electrification level so millions can
Besides the impressive land redistribution programmes, the
law on secure tenure will bring more certainty in the lives of over six million citizens.
[ Top ]
There is no magic in numbers as such. But we are proud
that, through these and many other projects, our programmes are impacting on the lives of
particularly the poor. This applies to varying degrees with regard to other challenges to
which we shall return later.
And it is all a result of a clear strategy, properly
managed plans, good governance and, more than anything else, the determination of the
overwhelming majority of our countrymen and women to change their lives for the better. It
is therefore understandable that, unlike some of us, those who had borne the brunt of
apartheid oppression say that things are a lot better.
A protracted struggle of many years
But they also say, and are justified in saying so, that
what has been done is not enough. Not because they expect the legacy of centuries of
colonialism to be eradicated in a few years, as we ourselves have said on countless
occasions before. Not because they are frustrated with Government. But because they
appreciate that together we need to do much more, over many years, to realise a truly just
and prosperous society. They do recognise that in this Government, they have a serious,
committed and caring institution - a Government that they can call their own.
We are at the beginning of an arduous and protracted
struggle for a better quality of life. In the course of this struggle, we shall have
immediate successes, we shall have setbacks, but we shall certainly progress, inch by
inch, towards our goal.
Problems in achieving our goals
From time to time, incidents do happen which bring out in
bold relief the enormity of the challenges we face. As the saying goes, one falling
tree makes more noise than millions that are growing. As such, for both good reason
and bad, occasional problems are seized upon by our detractors as the stock-in-trade of
this Government; indeed as the essence of democracy.
I will raise a few of them, particularly, difficulties with
regard to old-age pensions, education, crime and corruption, housing, and job-creation,
because they touch on the very essence of the issues of resources needed to meet our
obligations, the size of the Public Service and its management, civic duty and a new
Social grants and pensions
A few weeks ago, the problem of disbursement of old-age
pensions and other social grants came to the fore.
Let me start off by saying that, in the way that we
increased old-age pensions last year, and as we eliminate fraud, we shall seek to find
resources this year for a further increase - modest as it may be - working towards a life
of dignity for our senior citizens. Let me further emphasise that we are committed - not
merely because of statutory obligations, but because we care - to ensuring that, whatever
the occasional administrative hiccups, the right to a pension will always be met.
What has not received much public coverage is the fact that
the problems we experienced recently derived from the following:
[ Top ]
Firstly, that the audit of our newly integrated system is
not only eliminating ghosts; but it also identified people who were callously
refused these pensions under the apartheid system and its bantustan off-shoots. Today,
they are on the roll; and it was decided that their right to back-pay could not be
Secondly, the measures that have been taken to eliminate
corruption have uncovered many fraudsters in the government machinery, but we still have a
long way to go to resolving this problem.
Thirdly, some public servants are, to put it mildly, not
imbued with the spirit of public service - to the extent that even in instances where
these funds are available, they do not turn up on time and/or they relate to senior
citizens with attitudes bordering on the criminal.
Through co-operation between national and provincial
governments concerned, we shall ensure that these problems are dealt with methodically and
with a ruthless determination.
Managing public resources for sustainable development
Related to this, we did indicate last year that we expected
some teething problems in the first year of total budget allocations to the provinces.
Indeed, we need to pause here, to pay tribute to the provincial administrations, which
were able to come through without debilitating dislocation. Given the serious problems
identified by central government task teams last year, it is thanks to the efforts of all
provinces without exception that the problems have not been much worse. But we must
A related and critical matter is the issue of how the
public resources at our disposal correspond with the social backlog that we have
In our view, the starting point in addressing the question
of the national budget and public finances in general is that we cannot behave like fools
who cut their nose to spite their face: to throw policy out of the window in search of
fractions of percentages in deficit targets. We have creatively to strive to meet our
obligations within the context of a reduction of the public debt.
Indeed, we cannot pretend that the deficit targets we have
set ourselves do not test our capacity and will. But we cannot divert from the course we
have chosen. There is no other route to sustainable development.
Two critical matters arise from this.
In the first two years of our democracy, we sought to use
the special mechanism of a so-called Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) Fund
to lever changes in the patterns of departmental spending. Today, this task is built into
the normal functions of all departments. Reprioritisation and more reprioritisation is the
challenge that we shall continue to grapple with in the coming years.
[ Top ]
For, if we should not and cannot cut down on houses and
clinics being built; on the supply of water; on improving the quality of education,
including the building and equipping of schools; on improving policing, and so on, then we
have to cut down elsewhere.
There have been some commendable savings from better cash
flow management. But this is limited.
There has been some reduction of staff in certain
departments and provinces. But it is not nearly enough.
And we cannot use the proceeds of privatisation to fund
salaries and other consumption expenditure.
Put in simple terms, we need to cut spending on personnel.
I am confident that all of us, and the trade union movement
in particular, will agree that apartheid South Africa was over-governed and
over-supervised. The size of the Public Service had nothing to do with public service.
On the other hand, democratic governance is management of a
process whereby people govern themselves. Government is not an employment agency.
This year, we shall go into this question without
equivocation. Frankly put, we shall need to start comprehensive discussions with the
unions on retrenchment in accordance with the provisions of our labour laws. These
negotiations will need to take into account the principle that shedding jobs in the Public
Service does not necessarily have to translate into worsening the problem of unemployment.
For instance, retrenchment packages that include investment
capital and tender obligations on the part of Government can, in fact, help expand the job
market especially in depressed rural areas. We shall, as a matter of urgency, require our
Public Service Department and provinces to work out proposals in this regard.
Job-creation and investment
Jobs, jobs and jobs is the clarion call that should guide
us. We do pride ourselves on the health of our economic fundamentals: the declining rate
of inflation; the incentives that we introduced which have attracted over R7 billion in
investments; close on 400 projects related to Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) such
as the Maputo Corridor which have attracted investments to the tune of about R77 billion;
the rising graph of productivity, and increased exports.
With regard to the budget, we have introduced transparency
and certainty through the Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). And tax collection is
improving as more people are brought into the net. We can quote many more examples,
including a relatively stable exchange rate in the face of global adversity; and the
hundreds of thousands of jobs created through public works, municipal infrastructure and
investment promotion programmes. But the economy continues to shed too many jobs.
[ Top ]
This is in part because the rate of investment,
particularly by ourselves as South Africans, is not enough. Within an overall increase in
fixed investments of about 3 per cent, public authorities show a massive decline in the
rate of growth of capital expenditure. Public corporations are doing much better and they
need to be commended for this. The rate of growth of productive private investments has
not been impressive.
As such, we should all agree that the issue is not merely
one of Government creating a favourable environment to attract investments. This it has
done with commendable determination. What is required is a deliberate effort to increase
investments: the type of investments which create jobs.
These are the things, I am told, that the various sectors
in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) are addressing in
preparation for the Jobs Summit. By the time of this Summit, we hope that a real
partnership will have emerged among Government, business and labour to tackle this
One will not be exaggerating by saying that, given its
impact on everything else we do as a nation, including crime prevention, reconciliation
and the very survival of our democracy, the Jobs Summit is perhaps the most important
event since our first democratic elections; an important launching pad for a determined
national drive as we move into the twenty-first century.
It is quite clear that as we finalise preparations for this
Summit, we cannot continue to imprison ourselves in the paradigm of large profits and only
large profits as the driving force of business operations. We cannot continue to wallow in
the illusion that the protection of the narrow interests of the employed is the driving
force to poverty alleviation.
We must launch joint efforts towards an economy that
creates jobs; towards a society that cares by helping the unfortunate in its ranks to help
Restructuring state assets
Within the context of facilitating economic growth,
transfer of technology and black empowerment, we have made great progress in the programme
to restructure state assets. As we promised at the last opening of Parliament, the
previous year has seen Telkom acquire strategic partners; Sun Air has been privatised, and
South African Airways (SAA) is completing its restructuring towards acquiring a strategic
partner. While the Airports Company and the South African Forestry Company Limited
(Safcol) processes are taking longer than anticipated, they are on their way to completion
The pace in the restructuring programme is broadly in
keeping with our set time frames. Where difficulties have been experienced, they represent
lessons both about our past and our present.
With the Aventura Holiday Resorts, for instance, a
government of the people could not ignore the complex land claims that are attached to
some of these resorts. With Alexkor in diamond mining, we once again learnt that much
information about the net worth of many state assets has been concealed by those who ran
the previous government, or they simply did not care about these assets. But we are on
course to resolve the problems.
[ Top ]
I wish, once more, to reiterate that, for us, the issue of
restructuring state assets is not driven by ideology. We shall privatise where necessary.
But we shall also set up new state enterprises where market imperfections and failures
play themselves out to undermine social programmes. Such is the case with elements of the
liquid fuels industry and the servicing of housing construction, which has not received
optimum support from the banking industry. Restructuring also means strengthening
management of existing enterprises; a programme that we have intensified.
On the issue of housing in particular, it is necessary to
go back to the basics.
The numbers of close on 400 000 subsidised houses either
completed or under construction and about 700 000 subsidies allocated are important
indicators of progress. But as we indicated earlier, there is no magic in numbers as such:
and the target of one million houses in five years, provided directly by Government, may
not be attained. What we need to examine closely is whether, after the delays in the
launch of the housing programme in 1994, we have mustered the capacity to accelerate this
programme. And the answer is, yes!
The pace of housing construction is accelerating. Today, 1
000 houses are started or completed every two-and-a-half days and, as a result of our
programmes, 1,2 million South Africans have a permanent roof over their head.
In consultation with some of the banks, we have cleared
hundreds of so-called red-lined areas; we have ensured over 60 000 loans at the upper end
of the subsidy market; many constructors have been registered; and the monitoring of
quality and the capacity of provinces have been enhanced.
In addition to issues of quality, questions have also been
posed about the sizes of houses that are being built. Going back to the basics here means
appreciating that Government is focusing on the poor and most vulnerable sectors of
If we have to reach the widest spectrum of these citizens,
with the resources available, we cannot increase the size of the subsidy. In addition to
services and a plot of land that families can call their own, possibilities are left for
them to exercise initiative with the resources available, and to improve the basic
structure when they are in a position to do so.
Indeed, among the proudest moments of this programme is the
involvement of the people themselves, especially women who, through their own labour and
creativity, are able to achieve much more with less. In consultation with local
government, we have also started to examine in greater detail the question of density,
integrated development and rental accommodation.
In brief, whatever the difficulties and initial delays in
the first year, we are on course to ensure that, in the end, there shall be housing and
security for all.
[ Top ]
Honourable members and delegates will agree that
significant progress has been made in transforming education, including adult basic
education, from the mess it was under apartheid. Today, children starting their schooling
can, for the first time, do so just as children - not a black piccanini or a white kleinbaas.
From the self-criticism last year about the school-building projects, we are now happy
that provinces have started to use more of the funds set aside for this purpose.
But, as in other areas, there have been moments in this
sphere which bring to the public mind the enormity of the tasks that we face. Such were
the matric results of last year. It is encouraging that, in typical South African style,
after the brief flurry of accusations and counter-accusations, we started to focus
attention on the real issues. Among these issues is the fact that the standard of the
papers was somewhat higher and security of exams somewhat tighter; most inconsequential
subjects taken in the past simply to fill a certificate were done away with; the marking
was more rigorous, and there was minimal adjustment of the marks. As such, though ironic
to say, there were fewer but better passes.
This is not to detract from the fact that we have only
scratched at the surface of the legacy of apartheid education. Many children still study
under trees and in dilapidated buildings. Many schools are hollow shells without even the
most basic equipment for normal teaching. Many teachers do not have the capacity to
transmit knowledge in a professional manner. And some simply do not see it as their civic
duty to relocate to areas in need.
There are inexcusable and unacceptable delays in the supply
of textbooks which derive from poor management and shoddy tendering deals; let alone the
non-existence or malfunctioning of many school governing bodies.
Yet when all is said and done, many schools in
disadvantaged areas have shown that serious application to duty by the school authorities
and the students can bring positive results. We pay tribute to these heroes.
Combating crime and corruption
This spirit of community, of partnership and of hard work
is required when dealing with problems of crime and corruption.
Again, in this area, the tendency often is to exaggerate
and distort the real situation; to use half-truths and sensationalism to paint a picture
of a situation out of control. It is understandable that unscrupulous politicians, media
commentators and those who wish to question the legitimacy of the democratic process as
such will conjure up crises in their heads, where, in reality, there are no crises.
The task of those interested in improving the
countrys quality of life is to examine the real situation in its complex forms, even
if this may not please the prophets of doom.
[ Top ]
That reality is that, since 1994, there has been a marked
decline in virtually all serious crimes such as murder, robbery, taxi violence,
car-hijacking and others. In other words, since this democratic Government came into
being, there has been a decline in most serious crimes. This is a result of better
coordination among all arms of the security services: the police, the intelligence
services and the defence force, as well as co-operation across southern Africa. One such
example of effective coordination is in the farming areas, where there is an 80 per cent
success rate in apprehending the murderers.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) has got off
the ground. And as we promised last year, the law on bail and mandatory sentences for
serious crimes has been passed. A Detective Academy - interestingly the very first one in
the history of South Africa - has been opened to improve the polices investigative
capacity and skills to do their jobs. Proposals on reducing commercial entry points
including closing some so-called international airports have been finalised: and we hope
that we shall receive the co-operation of all affected parties, despite the formal
agreements that they may have entered into with the previous government.
Among the elements who know how effective the security
forces are becoming are the crime syndicates themselves. It will happen that from time to
time, and not seldom during crucial political moments, they will engage in dramatic acts
such as robbery of cash-in-transit, syndicate turf wars and prison escapes.
But they know, better than any politician, that the net is
closing in on them; that the intelligence services are on their heels even if it may take
time to build watertight cases against them; that wherever they may be hiding - even in
the police and other state structures, in the private security companies, among prison
warders and even the legal fraternity - and that even if they may form a web of political
forces bent on destabilising our young democracy, they know that their days are numbered.
The same should be said about corrupt elements who see
public service as an opportunity for self-enrichment. Mechanisms are in place and are
being improved all the time to root them out. In this regard, I wish to thank the media
for its vigilance. While there may be instances where fingers were pointed at individuals
without justification, there a good many examples where investigative journalism has
helped us uncover the scoundrels - old and new - who prey on the public purse.
To find a lasting solution to all these challenges requires
a community spirit among all of us, a New Patriotism which is finding root within the
populace. We must build our nation into a community of citizens who appreciate their civic
duty as each one of us improves our well-being. We must be ready to give back to society
part of what we gain from it.
In this respect, the words of one eminent citizen who has
actively joined the campaign against crime are worth repeating in this august Assembly:
this country, warts and all, has been good to me -
it is unbelievable. It has fed me; it has clothed me; it has educated me; it has given me
opportunities in the business world that were unthinkable when I was a kid in Brits. I
think the very least I could do is put something back. And this is my kind of national
service and I am enjoying it
[ Top ]
This is a challenge to all of us, especially those whose
past privileges have afforded them skills that are in high demand in public service, to
volunteer skills to help improve the lot of the nation.
Indeed, on the vexed question of crime, we could do more if
all South Africans of integrity consciously ask themselves everyday whether they may have
assisted in the commission of crime:
- as a parent who conceals the activities of a child who is
taking drugs, without assisting the police in tracking down the suppliers;
- as a customer who co-operates in a transaction which allows
one a large discount because the seller will not pay value-added tax (VAT);
- as a trade unionist or ordinary worker who turns a blind eye
to pilfering on the shop-floor or, worse still, to corruption in government service;
- as a politician who stands behind individuals who break the
law, in the name of challenging bodies such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- as a parent or spouse who avoids asking questions when a
relative is suddenly awash with money, and behaves like a fugitive from justice.
Dont many of us do this and more; and yet express
bewilderment at the high rate of crime.
What this emphasises is that we need a campaign of moral
regeneration. As we reconstruct the material conditions of our existence, we must also
change our way of thinking, to respect the value and result of honest work, and to treat
each law of the country as our own.
This is our call to all South Africans to firm up the moral
fibre of our nation. It is a call to artists and musicians and sportspeople, to religious
leaders and traditional institutions, to intellectuals, to the media and to all those who
should give leadership as we establish new symbols and role models: all of us to join
hands in a New Patriotism; not because the Government says so, but because it is in our
common interest to do so.
In this regard, it is encouraging that the youth of our
country, through the National Youth Commission, have taken important steps to define a
youth policy that will give all - irrespective of the skin colour that is the accident of
birth - a stake in our new society. Particularly heartening is the proposal for youth
community service, which can be broadened to encompass most of society: be it in helping
to clean streets, volunteering services in schools and so on.
Civic duty is the central purpose behind the Masakhane
Campaign, whose awareness week last year was fairly successful. We shall continue this
year and beyond to intensify this drive, including the mobilisation of, and assistance to,
non-governmental and community-based organisations who truly have the interests of the
community at heart.
[ Top ]
It is to promote the spirit of Masakhane that we set up the
Presidents Award for Community Initiative. This annual award honours those who roll
up their sleeves and take the initiative to uplift their conditions.
We are privileged today to have with us, as guests of the
President, representatives of the nine communities that were the first provincial winners.
Selected from some 2 000 entries, they embody the unquenchable determination of South
Africans to better their own lives.
We recognise the Buhlebemvelo Garden Project from
KwaZulu-Natal; the Ikgodiseng Sewing Project from Huhudi; the Malungeni Training and
Development Centre; the Bekkersdal Flagship Project for unemployed mothers; the Dassie
Pre-school Centre from Oudtshoorn; the Khotsong branch of the Homeless Peoples
Federation; the Nkomazi Farmers Association; the Hantam Community Education Trust
and, finally, the project which was announced yesterday as the national winner of the
Presidents Award for Community Initiative, the Mhala Development Centre in the
Northern Province, set up by retrenched mineworkers working with their union and their
Our congratulations to those whom you represent, and indeed
to all the 54 runners-up. May the financial prizes from Government strengthen your efforts
and may your example inspire others to seek this honour in future years.
There are also countless others outside the limelight who
deserve our admiration and gratitude, such as school principal Mr Mandla Hlatshwayo of
Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, who braved a raging river during torrential rains to deliver
matric examination papers to his students; the security guard who risked life and limb
single-handedly to hold highway robbers at bay, leading to their arrest; the many
sportspeople and other citizens who make us proud to be South African.
Truth and reconciliation
This multifaceted effort to build our society on the basis
of a new morality demands that we should be open about mistakes that we committed in the
past. Such is the importance of the TRC. Because these mistakes were committed by us, so
will their airing in public be hurtful and at times embarrassing. But the more we know
about how low we once sank, the more difficult it will be to repeat these mistakes.
At the hearings of the TRC over the past year, many horrid
details emerged. We cannot fail to have been moved by the remorse of some perpetrators and
the preparedness of victims to forgive. We cannot fail to have been astounded by their
very modest appeals for their dignity to be restored. But this should not be surprising,
for their suffering was not for pecuniary gain, but for the great prize of freedom and a
better life for all.
The Government has heard the appeals for urgent
reparations. And we shall be ready to provide modest assistance when the details have been
forwarded. As part of the multi-year budget, account will be taken of the needs, within
our limited resources; and we hope that those who benefited from the suppression of others
will find it within themselves to make a contribution. As the TRC moves towards finalising
its work, we shall do our best to ensure that their (the victims) needs are provided
for. But we know too that this will not be the end, but the beginning of the process of
[ Top ]
It is quite unfortunate that some among us still refuse to
co-operate with the TRC. Given that part of its task is to unmask the networks that not
only violated human rights, but also formed one web with crime syndicates, the question
will haunt such forces forever, why it is that they continue to conceal this information!
We need to make it clear that those who cringe at the banks of the Rubicon of truth, those
who served in state structures and refused to apply for amnesty, will not be assisted by
the State in the face of whatever consequences accrue to them from their past.
Consensus for transformation
Related to this is the danger of any political leadership
and media continuing with the campaign of exploiting the fear, uncertainty and anxiety of
certain communities about the transition. The clamour among some parties to outdo one
another in this regard is counter-productive, to say the least. It worsens polarisation
and stokes the fires that have the potential of consuming all of us.
In any case, it is pointless because it will not stop
change. Transformation is this Governments reason for existence; and we shall not
for a moment shirk our responsibility to the poor. This Government is humane, and we know
that the well-being of those previously denied their rights is the sure guarantee for the
well-being of all.
It is for this reason that it pains me personally when I
listen to some of the debates in this chamber. Always, a clear distinction emerges between
those who were at the cutting edge of the struggle for freedom who strive for change; and
those who implemented or benefited from oppression who seek to block transformation, in
defence of a modified form of the old order.
I should take this opportunity to pay homage to the
institutions charged with the task of enhancing our democracy and culture of human rights.
If we say with confidence that South Africa will succeed, it is in part because we know
there is the Constitutional Court, the Public Protector, the Human Rights Commission, the
Electoral Commission which has started its challenging work and the Auditor-General, all
of whom will assist in ensuring that what we do is not only constitutional, legal and
legitimate, but that it is seen to be so by all and sundry, including the weakest among
A word of congratulations to the Gender Commission which
has started its work to ensure that our society is true to the principles of consistent
equality in everything we do. Yet this Commission and the Office on the Status of Women
should not be seen as watchdogs of an alien force bent on doing wrong. Rather, society as
a whole should see them as part of our joint efforts as men and women, to liberate
themselves from gender prejudice.
We are also encouraged by the systematic work being done
regarding the position of the disabled. What matters is not merely the thousands of
wheelchairs, hearing aids and tens of thousands of cataract operations provided in the
past year alone, but also ensuring that the attitude in employment practices, in
discourse, in design of infrastructure and more - all of these issues should be changed
with the participation of the disabled themselves.
[ Top ]
This year we shall ensure the intensification of the
efforts regarding multi-lingualism in government work, and we should thank the Pan-South
African Language Board for its vigilance. Further, after extensive consultations during
the course of last year, we are a step closer towards setting up the Commission for the
Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
Speeding up delivery
Our programme for this year will once more seek to speed up
the improvement of the lives of all, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable and
Some of the additional highlights of this programme, whose
detail will be announced by the various Ministries during the course of next week,
- Our commitment to meeting our budget deficit targets, as we
further improve the efficiency of tax collection. As the further steps we took recently
indicated, we shall continue, on a case-by-case basis, to lift exchange controls as
conditions for such mature. Construction starts on many Maputo Development Corridor
projects; two new development initiatives on the Cape West Coast and in northern
KwaZulu-Natal will be launched in the first half of the year. Work starts in the west to
complete the highway across South Africa from Maputo to Walvis Bay. The basic economy is
- The integrated tourism programme will be launched in
earnest, with the potential to create 300 000 jobs by the turn of the century.
- In the workplace, the departure from apartheid practices
will be felt even more keenly as we finalise and implement the Bill on employment equity.
And let us hasten to add in this regard that we shall not be discouraged by the sirens of
self-interest that are being sounded in defence of privilege, and the insults that equate
women, Africans, Indians, coloureds and the disabled with a lowering of standards. As we
have said before, affirmative action is corrective action. There is no other way of moving
away from racial discrimination to true equality. We therefore reject campaigns which are
based on fear, rumour and gossip.
- This year, special attention will be paid to the further
consolidation of local government, with its critical contribution in areas of
infrastructure, job-creation, small business development and the very legitimacy of
democracy. We should also take this opportunity to acknowledge local government delegates
present here, and with them celebrate the beginning of their full participation in the
National Council of Provinces and intergovernmental forums.
- The White Paper and new legislation on local government
which should be finalised this year will help streamline this sphere of government without
derogating from representivity and accountability. And to start meeting the requirements
of the Constitution in the context of poverty alleviation, this year, over R3 billion will
be equitably and directly allocated to this sphere of government.
- As we attend to these matters, particular attention will be
paid to continued dialogue with traditional leaders, so as to ensure that all of them
become full and active partners in the struggle for local development.
- This year also sees the launch of the new Government
Communication and Information System (GCIS) which, we are certain, will contribute to the
challenge to improve communication among South Africans; to afford citizens their right to
information and to air their views.
- Our continuing work to reduce incidents of crime will also
pay particular attention to women and child abuse; crimes which regrettably seem to be on
the increase. Special programmes for the six metropolitan areas which account for the bulk
of violent crime are being finalised for immediate implementation. Let us, once more,
underline to those who choose to live a life of violent crime that, as recent incidents
regarding cash heists have shown, we shall, with the combined might of the security
services, return fire with overwhelming fire.
- This year we launch the programme that will streamline the
judicial system so as to alleviate overcrowding in prisons, without creating any new
dangers to society. Above all, we shall appoint the National Director of Public
Prosecutions and provincial counterparts - a first in the history of our country.
- Within the intelligence services, it has become even more
urgent to unearth the few rotten apples who arrogantly pursue an agenda counter to
transformation. To put it mildly, they are an affront to our security and our pride as a
nation; they are a blight on the commendable work that these services are doing to defend
- We are proud that, after a year or so of healthy and
informative debate, we can now start the protracted process of re-equipping our National
Defence Force. We wish to congratulate the armed forces and economic Ministries which have
ensured that much of this will be done without a strain on the budget, and in a way that
will benefit the economy.
- Our social programme will be aimed at accelerating
implementation and consolidation of what has been achieved, within the limits of our
resources. This includes:
- Ensuring that 90 per cent of mothers and young children have
access to free medical care; starting the child support grant system which will reach
three million children by the fifth year; achieving an 85 per cent cure rate for
tuberculosis (TB); implementing the new laws to make drugs and doctors accessible, and, in
addition to the building of clinics, dedicating R100 million to the upgrading of
- In this, the Year of Science and Technology, our programmes
to improve the learning environment, including the setting up of the Council on Higher
Education, will be enhanced by a campaign to usher in a new and dynamic culture of
scientific and technical innovation rooted in our schools, communities and enterprises.
- In the next financial year, a further 580 000 telephones
will be installed. And we aim to supply a further one million citizens with clean and
accessible water. At the same time, it is our responsibility, as the Water Bill is
finalised, to change our own culture of water consumption, recognising that this is a
scarce resource that must not be squandered.
As Cabinet finalises these and other plans in the context
of multi-year budgeting, we shall, as always, be guided by our concern for the poor and
most vulnerable sectors of society: to provide basic services; to improve the economy and
job-creation; to deepen democracy and good governance, and to improve the safety and
security of all.
[ Top ]
I should also announce that, as a proactive measure to
improve good governance further and in accordance with the Constitution, this year the
Presidents Office will start drafting legislation on ethics in Government, including
a statutory Code of Conduct applying to members of the executive at national and
In these our efforts, we draw inspiration from countries
that have, to varying degrees, to address problems similar to ours.
In our relationship with the world, we can now confidently
say that South Africa has found her niche as an independent participant in world affairs.
Our starting point in these relations is the obvious: that
South Africa is an African country. Thus we draw pride from the fact of increased trade
with Africa reflected in a 70 per cent increase in exports and 60 per cent in imports
since 1995. We shall continue to expand these relations and close co-operation with our
sister African nations bilaterally and through the Organisation of African Unity (OAU),
within the context of Africas renaissance. We are grateful that African nations have
afforded us the opportunity to make our humble contribution to the resolution of problems
and reconstruction in places like the now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Great
Lakes Region and the Sudan.
During the course of this year, we shall host Africa
Telecom, to work out strategies and plans for the continent to become part of the
Within the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
we were honoured to take collective leadership of the process towards a Free Trade Area.
The matters to be resolved on this course are complex and, as to be expected, there is
much individual self-interest. But the will and determination are there, including the
difficult question of ensuring that the democratic gains that have been made over the past
few years are not reversed.
As an active and respected part of the developing world, we
shall host the Summit of Leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in August. As such, we
shall be afforded the opportunity to play a leadership role as these countries, in their
own terms, define the nature and direction of globalisation. All of us in these countries
are concerned about the widening gap between the rich and the poor both within and among
nations. But we also recognise the challenge of ensuring that our own co-operation helps
to define the new world order.
As a country, we are making strides in this direction: as
shown by the fact that today, Asia is our second largest trading partner after Europe; and
we are starting to exploit the huge potential that exists with regard to Latin America.
This year we started a strategic relationship with the Peoples Republic of China,
the biggest nation on earth. The launch last year of the Indian Ocean Rim Association is a
great step that will re-establish, in the new age, strong relations that date back to
pre-colonial days. At the same time, we have intensified dialogue with the North about a
common human agenda as we enter the next millennium.
[ Top ]
In such dialogue, pertinent questions about the structure
of the United Nations (UN) and its agencies, as well as the issues of the international
financial system, the debt crisis and world trade, are on the agenda. There is world
consensus that solutions need to be found to the causes and rampant effects of stock
market crashes that can beggar even those economies which have got their fundamentals in
It is encouraging that the Commonwealth of Nations, a body
straddling the North-South divide, and whose summit we attended last year, put the issue
of economic development high on the agenda. Again, as a reflection of the place we occupy
in international relations, this body decided to hold its 1999 summit in South Africa.
Our relations with North American countries, Europe and
Japan have grown from strength to strength. We value these relations with our main trading
partners and sources of investment and aid. More particularly, we have now reached the
point at which negotiations with the European Union (EU) on free trade should soon reach
We shall continue to make our humble contribution to the
search for peace and the humane conduct of international relations. Our contribution on
these issues, including the campaign for a ban on anti-personnel mines and nuclear
disarmament, derives from our own experience of what humanity should not do to itself.
Ahead of any other country, South Africa destroyed its
stockpile of over 200 000 land-mines in a record five months. The severed limbs of
children, women and men in our neighbouring countries are a loud warning to us that, never
again should our country be a source of destabilisation. As such, we shall support the
stern action taken by countries whose peace is disturbed by any South Africans.
We are driven by this desire for peace when we urge for the
resumption of Middle East peace talks on the basis of the Oslo Agreements. We are driven
by what we believe are the long-term interests of the Palestinian and Jewish communities
when we condemn prevarication and provocation by those who calculate that they can use
might to prevent right. We condemn without equivocation violence perpetrated by any party,
for it feeds animosity rather than encourages reconciliation.
In the same spirit, we call for a peaceful resolution of
the conflict in Western Sahara and East Timor, and we shall do our best to assist where we
The foundation has been laid and the building has begun!
Wherever we go internationally, we are always moved by the
appreciation of the world for our efforts in resolving problems that seemed intractable.
These international forces are always willing to assist in
our exciting transition. But they recognise that, in the final analysis, our success will
depend on our own efforts. They appreciate and have confidence in our economic environment
and, equally, they expect the same among South Africans themselves.
[ Top ]
They respect our nation because they know we are
contributing to the collective efforts of humankind redefining itself and reclaiming its
humanity as we move into the new millennium.
This, our programme for 1998 is a humble contribution to
the quest for a better world. As always, we are encouraged, first and foremost, by the
fact that South Africans are ready, and they have rolled up their sleeves to build a
society that cares.
These millions of South Africans are joining hands to
sustain their democratic achievement; and they will protect it like the apple of their
eye. They are filled with hope about the bright future that beckons. They shall not be
distracted by the noise of a falling tree amidst the dignified silence of a new future
starting to blossom; because they know that:
The foundation has been laid and the building has begun!
The Government's programme of action is structured around
its principal policy thrusts, which bring together clusters of Ministries and departments
in integrated action. The main initiatives are the following:
- Social service delivery.
- Macroeconomic Framework for Growth, Employment and
- National Crime Prevention Strategy.
- Governance and Democratisation.
The foundation for more rapid implementation of these
policies has been laid. What does Government intend to do during 1998 to build on this
Social service delivery
Food security and nutrition
Alongside the immediate steps to deal with malnutrition,
Government has longer-term programmes to create employment through land reform and
The year During 1998, there will see be a major focus on
nutrition. The National Integrated Nutrition Programme, finalised in 1997, will be
implemented within a framework discussed with the the provinces. The Primary School
Nutrition Programme will increasingly be integrated with community development and 240
community-based nutrition programmes will be established by March 1999.
Allocation of state land to black farmers and
redistribution of private land through the market to aspirant farmers will gain further
momentum. These new farming ventures will benefit from improved provincial support
services; improved financial services through a restructured Land Bank; improved market
access from with the deregulation of marketing and closure of control boards, and improved
rural infrastructural networks like roads, electricity and telephone services. By the end
of 1998 the Agricultural Sector Investment Programme will have established black farmers
in 18 commercial ventures, two in each province.
[ Top ]
Housing and infrastructure
With the obstacles to delivery having been overcome, the
foundation has been laid for faster and sustained delivery. The number of houses under
construction or completed under the subsidy scheme will pass the half-million mark during
the year. Effect will be given to the decision to extend the subsidy scheme to rental and
social housing; to housing meeting the special needs of the disabled, and to rural
housing. The involvement of the people themselves in building their own housing will be
The capacity of housing boards, provincial and local
government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and communities to contribute to
sustained housing delivery of housing will be boosted by legislation, by the People's
Housing Partnership and by the Masakhane Campaign.
Rural housing will also benefit from the Rural Housing Loan
Fund. It will bring about the production of As a result of its establishment, 100 000
homes will be produced in the first five years. The living conditions of rural dwellers
will also be improved through land redistribution and restitution.
During 1998, the pace of land restitution will increase,
speed up both because of the preparatory work that has already been done on cases referred
to the Land Claims Court or which will soon be heard, and because of legislation passed in
1997 which removes procedural delays. The amount of land allocated to people through
redistribution will double to half-a-million hectares. Security of tenure will be improved
for millions of rural dwellers through transfer of ownership of former 'homeland' and
Development Trust land and as a result of through the enforcement of 1997 legislation to
prevent unfair evictions.
The community water supply and sanitation programme will
serve another a further one 1 million people during 1998. Under the R1,3 billion Municipal
Infrastructure Programme, over 1 000 projects will have been completed in the course of
1998. In the end, this programme will have benefited more than 12 million people with new
or rehabilitated infrastructure for water, sanitation, roads, refuse collection,
electricity and community health care.
The electrification programme, which connected over 420 000
homes in 1997, will reach be extended to 450 000 more in 1998. Rural areas are also being
supplied with electricity from solar energy in a programme that will eventually reach 16
000 schools, 2 000 clinics and 2,5 million homes. The installation of a further 580 000
telephones will improve communications for millions of people.
Health and welfare
The health of the nation will be improved by nutrition
programmes, better housing and supply of clean water. At the same time, primary health
care will be further developed and improved during 1998, when another 165 clinics will be
built during the year, and R100 million will be spent on the rehabilitation and
reconstruction of hospitals. .
[ Top ]
Action to prevent disease will include the immunising
of millions of children against polio and measles, with meeting a target of 90 per
cent of children under the age of one year being immunised by the year 2000. The campaign
against to combat the TB epidemic, although not yielding quick results, will continue
towards its aim of an 85 per cent cure rate.
Efforts to combat the spread of HIV/Aids will be
strengthened during 1998 by the implementation of national Governments Aids Plan
which seeks to mobilise Government and civil society to change behaviour on a national
The programme to reduce the cost of medicines to an
affordable level will be extended from the Primary Health Care level, where it was
introduced in 1996, to the rest of the health system.
In a partnership of Government, private sector and NGOs,
access for the disabled to health care at all primary and other levels will be extended as
will work to promote their socio-economic integration.
While continuing to improve the administration of pensions
and grants to about three million beneficiaries, and eliminating fraud and corruption, the
restructuring of the system will continue. During 1998, implementation of the new Child
Support Grant will begin in 1998: over 370 000 about 400 000 children will benefit be
reached from in a process that will reach three million by the end of five years. A new
framework for Government funding of NGOs concerned with welfare will be implemented from
Social welfare services will be improved by programmes to
re-orientate social workers, both public and private sector, towards the developmental
approach in social service delivery and to build management capacity further in national
and provincial government.
During the course of the year, the government will put
before Parliament will consider new proposals to ensure adequate financial provision for
people's health needs.
Human resource development
Integrated human resource development will be promoted by
measures in the educational system, at work, and in the field of sport and leisure will
all promote integrated human resource development.
The three-year campaign to restore a culture of teaching
and learning which started was launched in 1997 will continue. The implementation of
educational policy will focus on a curriculum development for the country's needs,
including the introduction of Curriculum 2005 in Grade 1. Government Attention will attend
also be given to teacher development;; promoting the most effective use of technology in
teaching, and advancing Adult Basic Education and Training and early childhood
development. A new HIV/Aids and Life Skills Education programme will be implemented this
[ Top ]
In terms of the the South African Schools Act, passed in
1996, national funding norms for schools will be finalised. During 1998 attention will be
given to dealing with weaknesses in management highlighted by the low matric pass rate and
problems with the delivery of textbooks.
With the higher education policy framework in place, the
focus will be on implementation, to attain a system that is responsive to social and
economic needs. In 1998, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will again reach about
60 000 students in need of financial assistance.
A Skills Development Bill will be finalised during 1998
after discussion with Governments social partners, to promote expanded investment in
education and training.
The South African National Games and Leisure Activities
(SANGALA), which involved a quarter-of-a-million new participants in sport and recreation
during 1997, aims at half-a-million participants this year. Construction of sports and
recreation facilities to broaden access will continue.
By 1995, the economy had been turned from stagnation to a
trend of long-term growth. However, we have to achieve a new and higher growth path to
create more jobs and produce resources on a scale to reach meet our goals.
Transforming our economy to meet the needs of our new
democracy and at the same time gearing it for the to take its place in a competitive world
economy are the twin objectives of the Macroeconomic Strategy for Growth, Employment and
Redistribution adopted in 1996 to promote the realisation of RDP goals.
By the end of 1997, it was clear that sound economic
fundamentals were in place. Despite turbulence in international financial markets, the
South African currency remained relatively stable. The economy grew for a the fifth year
in succession - although the rate of 1,7 per cent was lower than forecast, it is expected
to recover to around 3 per cent during 1998. The structural changes the country needs for
sustained and faster growth are in progress.
Among the new trends of recent years are the role of
private sector investment as the driving force behind growth;, rising productivity; and
continued strength in export performance, and a the steady increase in manufacturing value
added in the overall economy.
A range of measures has been initiated to promote the
continuation of the se positive trends, and the process will continue in 1998.
[ Top ]
Social infrastructure development during 1998 will include
s the projects referred to under Housing; Health Care and Educational Facilities;
Municipal and Rural Infrastructure, and Recreational Facilities. In addition, Major
capital expenditure will upgrade our telecommunications infrastructure; develop our
national water resources, and improve the road transportation network.
The programme for the year includes the start of road
construction in the Maputo Development Corridor Initiative. Other large SDIs involving
investment in roads, and other infrastructure and as well as industrial enterprises will
reach further stages of planning and implementation. Regional initiatives include the
Lubombo Agriculture/Tourism SDI; the Fish River SDI in the Eastern Cape, based on
proposals for a large port at Coega, and the West Coast SDI. Metropolitan corridors will
combine industrial hubs, housing, roads and other infrastructure - the most advanced of
these is the Philippi/Wynberg Corridor in Cape Town.
Within the SDIs are some 20 or more mega-projects -
involving investments of more than half-a-billion Rand each - many of which are in
progress or will be nearing implementation during 1998. At the beginning of 1998, some 390
projects to the value of R77 billion were at different stages of planning or development,
with a potential to create 60 000 jobs.
Measures to promote competitiveness and employment
There is a range of government measures to promote
investment that helps restructure the economy in ways that boost productivity,
competitiveness and employment. These measures will continue to make their impact felt
Of critical importance is the Presidential Jobs Summit
which will bring together organised labour, business and Government to seek solutions to
persistently high levels of unemployment, in the context of a broader all-round
partnership for growth and development.
Government will continue to enhance support measures for
the promotion of technology. These actions include the Technology and Human Resource for
Industry Programme (a partnership between industry and higher education), , and programmes
to support industrial innovation, technology transfer, productivity, training and better
Investment incentive tax measures adopted at the end of
1996 (accelerated depreciation and the tax holiday programme) have facilitated R6 billion
in private investment and helped create 39 000 jobs in 1997. These goals will continue to
be promoted, especially by Investment South Africa, the national investment promotion
agency launched last year. During 1998, the Cabinet Investment Cluster will put in place a
mechanism for interdepartmental coordination in an integrated approach to investment for
growth and development.
Employment will also be promoted by the small business
support programmes and the National Industrial Participation Programme which ties tenders
with large import content to participation in the South African economy.
During 1998, which has been declared the Year of Science
and Technology, a review of South Africa's Science and Technology system will take the
country closer to a system that meets its economic needs.
[ Top ]
Restructuring of state assets
With some major structural problems in the parastatals
themselves largely overcome, restructuring of state assets will continue at a steady pace.
With Following the sale of regional radio stations, in 1996 and Telkoms acquisition
of a strategic equity partner and the sale of Sun Air in 1997 achieved, 1998 will see
further steps in the restructuring of SAA, the Airports Company, Autonet, Safcol and
Alexkor (diamond mining).
Fiscal and financial discipline, and the reprioritising of
With the achievement of a reduced deficit in 1997/8, the
budget for 1998/9 is based on a planned 3,5 per cent deficit.
Far-reaching measures will continue to improve the
management of public finances. During 1998 there will be a focus on improving management
information on budgets and expenditure patterns in all sectors and all three spheres of
government, as well as further improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of tax
Multi-year budgeting, through the MTEF, begins with the
1998/9 budget. The shift towards social services and combating crime which was achieved in
the 1997/8 budget will continue throughout the three years 1998/9 to 2000/1 of the MTEF.
National Crime Prevention Strategy
The launch of the NCPS in May 1996 represented the start of
a major offensive against crime, with involving much better coordination between
government ministries and departments as well as the security forces.
As part of the escalation of that offensive, there has,
since last year, been stronger political management and coordination of the strategy
through the Presidency and Cabinet.
Criminal justice system
One area of emphasis will be the upgrading of the criminal
justice system to turn it into an effective weapon against crime.
Further significant progress will be made during 1998
through the provision of the necessary infrastructure for courts, including basic
facilities such as computers; the appointment and training of court officials; improvement
in the investigative capacity of the police, and a more effective witness protection
programme. Children testifying in court will be better protected. There will also during
this year be an emphasis on better court management to improve the speed with which cases
are handled to combat corruption. The appointment of a National Director of Public
Prosecutions will help streamline the system.
[ Top ]
Work on a longer-term major overhaul of the criminal
justice system will gather pace during 1998 as the Government implements with the
implementation of plans to create a single integrated system comprising police, court,
prison and welfare functions, with a common database and information system.
Crime statistics will be published and improved
continuously. While these figures indicate that there is success, the overall level of
crime is too high
Coordinated focus on priority crimes
Another major emphasis will be on more effective
coordination of activities focused on priority crimes.
Border control will be tightened by reducing the number of
airports with international status to 10 and the number of commercial road entry points to
19. This will have a major impact on the control of contraband and evasion of customs and
excise duties, and as well as narrowing the opportunities for syndicates involved in drug
trafficking, illegal arms dealing and hijacking
During 1998, for a second year, vehicle theft and crimes
relating to firearms, rape, child abuse, domestic violence, corruption in the criminal
justice system and commercial crime will be the target of improved priority focus. Among
other things, the police and revenue service will coordinate their investigations into
prime suspects in organised crime...
Developing the capacity of the police to combat crime will
include focusing on crime analysis, intelligence and rural protection, amongst other
things. More attention will be paid to a greater focus on policing major metropolitan
areas, especially Johannesburg.
Action built on provincial crime summits held last year
year, will be taken will be taken to facilitate the involvement of provincial governments
and local authorities in crime prevention.
More attention will be paid to social crime prevention
issues, including the role of sport, recreation and community values.
Governance and democratisation
If we are To reach Governments goals, South
Africas democratic Constitution must be implemented in ways that ensure that
authorities in every sphere can act as effective instruments of change and make efficient
use of public resources.
Implementation of the Constitution
In order To promote understanding of the new Constitution,
there will be an ongoing outreach programme to educate all South Africans about the
fundamental changes it brings.
A report will be made to Parliament during 1998 on the
progress made in implementing the new Constitution and establishing new institutions that
[ Top ]
Steps will be taken towards Legislation will be introduced
providing for the establishment of establishing the Commission on the Promotion and
Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
The National Council of Traditional Leaders, established
last year, will help find assist in finding the best ways of integrating traditional
authority in within the new democratic system, including building enhancement of their
capacity and encouraging their participation in local government, community empowerment,
development and land administration.
In order to give effect to the peoples constitutional
the rights, the National Youth Commission, established in 1996, as well as the Office on
the Status of Women and the Office on the Status of the Disabled, both established in the
Presidency during 1997, will pursue an enshrined in the constitution, during 1998 active
programmes of policy development and implementation this year.
The South African Constitution introduces a new era of
co-operative governance between the three different spheres of government - national,
provincial and local. Developing this system will be a major focus for 1998, which will be
built on the establishment of the National Council of Provinces in 1997 and on the
non-statutory intergovernmental structures that have been functioning over the past three
years. During the year, a national policy on co-operative government will be developed
through discussion and consultation, which will lay the basis for a White Paper in 1999.
The establishment of nine provinces has brought Government
closer to the people, created more space for regional diversity, and has set up mechanisms
for the implementation of national policies. The strengths and weaknesses of the provinces
were highlighted by the 1996 publication of an audit of provincial government by the
Provincial Review Task Team, and again in 1998 when provinces for the first time devised
their own budgets for the use of finance allocated to them as a block by Central
Government., principally for use in Education, Health and Welfare.
On the basis of this experience, attention will be given
during 1998 to developing financial management capacity in provincial government within
the framework of co-operative governance and the MTEF.
The local government elections, completed in 1996,
established a legitimate but interim foundation for local government. The final structure
of the local government system will come out of a review process based on a White Paper
released early in 1998.
[ Top ]
This year Government will help There will be an emphasis
during 1998 on developing the capacity of the new local authorities to administer
finances, through training and legislation. Project Viability will help stabilise the
finances of further local authorities through training and technical assistance.
Guidelines are being formulated, through consultation, for facilitating and regulating
public/private partnerships at municipal level for infrastructure delivery. A redesign of
the municipal fiscal system will include provision for poverty alleviation grants from
Central Government direct to local government.
Community/municipal partnerships will be promoted through
the President's Award for Community Initiative.
Transformation of the Public Service
The transformation of the Public Service includes the
right-sizing of this service following the integration of the previously separate
administrations, and its reorientation towards reconstruction and development.
The programme of action for 1998 will include discussions
aimed at finding ways of achieving the setting of further appropriate staffing levels.and
negotiations on procedures for achieving them, and their implementation during the course
of the year
A thorough review and reform of management systems within
the Public Service will be advanced by the work of the Provincial Review Task Teams
which last year published its audit of provincial government. Greater decision-making,
autonomy and responsibility for Public Service managers, within a framework of national
norms and standards, is one of the themes of the new Public Service Regulations which will
come into force during 1998.
A White Paper on Public Service delivery, entitled
Batho Pele, will be the basis of action during 1998 to transform Public
Service delivery in ways that put the people first.
The report of the Presidential Review Commission will
assist in planning for long-term changes in the public sector.
Reports submitted by Ministries
At the end of each year the Ministries report to the
President on their activities and plans for the year. What follows are brief abstracts
from the reports submitted at the end of 1996 and 1997.
Agriculture and Land Affairs
Transformation of agriculture
Good progress has been made towards a more efficient
agriculture which corrects past inequalities of access to resources and support services.
This will bring about faster growth of income, production and exports leading to a more
self-reliant commercial farming sector; an active medium and small-scale sector; better
household food security, and a stronger stimulus to the rest of the economy.
A Green Paper on Agricultural Policy will be published
[ Top ]
A framework for transforming agriculture was set by the
1995 White Paper. It gives priority to national and household food security, income and
job-creation and sustained animal and plant health. Agricultural markets have been
liberalised and access to them broadened, by legislation and by changes to the National
Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), which is now also representative of small farmers
and labour. With the phasing out of marketing control boards almost complete, the NAMC
will concentrate on integrating small-scale and emerging farmers into the mainstream.
Agricultural policy is being reviewed, with the focus still
on food security and sustainable use of agricultural resources including water - a Green
Paper will be published during 1988.
Deregulation of agricultural marketing
Agricultural markets have been deregulated since the
Marketing of Agricultural Products Act came into effect last year. Marketing control
boards have been closed and trusts established to develop the marketing system. The new
National Agricultural Marketing Council, representative also of small farmers and labour,
will increasingly concentrate on promoting competition and integrating small and emerging
farmers into the mainstream.
Food security and broadening access to agriculture
Establishing a viable small-scale farming sector is
critical to revitalising agriculture; generating income and jobs; and food security.
Government seeks to provide financial services while reducing dependence on the state, and
to develop human resources, technology, marketing systems and infrastructure. Tractors
have been donated by private companies. Groups of small farmers have been trained inside
and outside the country. By the end of 1997 over 1 300 new small-scale farmers had been
settled, 2 900 food gardens started and 5 out of 18 planned agribusiness ventures were
New rural financial services
The Land Bank has been restructured with a new mandate,
board and management. It can provide new financial services to a wider range of clients.
Among other things, rural women will be able to borrow as little as R250 from the Bank.
Economic impact of change
The impact of change is encouraging. Agriculture has grown
in the past few years, after a period of stagnation. The private sector, including small
and medium enterprises, is expanding and diversifying in production, processing and trade.
Agricultural exports, mainly from high-value labour-intensive production, are growing
faster than in any other sector of the economy.
Progress is being made towards implementing the SADC Free
Trade Protocol. However, restricted access for South African exports to EU markets will
affect future growth and job-creation.
[ Top ]
Economic growth and international co-operation.
The sector has grown in the past few years after a period
of stagnation. Our strategy of opening markets and encouraging exports, including the
removal of trade distorting policies, has helped agricultural exports grow faster than any
other sector. In addition exports have shifted towards high-value, labour-intensive
products. Research has opened up new export opportunities, including the a Camel Pox
vaccine for the North African market and new fruit varieties. We are making progress
towards implementing the SADC free trade protocol.
Land affairs policy and departmental reform
After extensive a broad consultative process, including a
national conference, the path towards land reform was mapped out in a White Paper adopted
The Department is developing has been integrated and is
creating a uniform system of land administration in consultation with the provinces. It is
working on a system for registration of informal rights. The Development Facilitation Act,
1995,, which creates a new framework for democratic land use, planning and development -
it, is being implemented and land development tribunals have been are being set up in
The pace of land reform has increased rapidly since it
started in 1994been more challenging than anticipated but it is now accelerating. New
legislation which was passed last year and will be passed this year, will speed it up
still more. to speed up the restitution has been enacted and further legislation before
parliament will lead to faster redistribution.
Restitution of land rights: The Commission is
investigating over 19 000 11 000 urban claims and 3 500 rural claims. - Seventeen have
been resolved with 24 000 people recovering land.
Redistribution of land: Over Some 340 land
redistribution projects under the subsidy system are completed or under way, affecting 685
000 households, have been completed or are under way. These projects involve over three
million hectares of land, of which over 220 000 have already been transferred. or 325 000
people - over 90 0000 people have already received land).
Equity schemes: There are currently 16 equity schemes
(partnerships between businesses, investors and land reform beneficiaries) ranging from a
small chicken farm to a fruit and sugar cane farm with 450 households.
Tenure reform: The Labour Tenants Act, 1996, virtually
ended unfair evictions of labour tenants, benefiting 250 000 people. The Extension of
Security of Tenure Act, 1997, brought greater security to six million rural dwellers on
land owned by others. A system for registration of informal land rights on state, former
homeland and trust land is being developed.
[ Top ]
Arts and culture, science and technology
Arts, culture and heritage institutions
Reform of the Performing Arts Councils began when new and
more representative boards were appointed and facilities were opened to a broader spectrum
of artists. Now each province is being encouraged to establish its own performing
institutions. Museums are transforming towards a National Museum Service to promote the
heritage of all South Africans.
, The Legacy Project is formulating a portfolio of heritage
projects for adoption during 1998, to promote accessible and inviting commemorative sites
that are seen as an expression of a living heritage and can therefore be developed
Culture and the economy: Reprioritising the budget:
The Cultural Industries Growth Strategy will develop the
potential for arts and culture to contribute to the economy and to create employment. The
cultural industries include craft, film, television, music, and the publishing and
multi-media sectors. Cultural tourism and the craft industry will play a significant role
in several of the SDIs. Business Arts South Africa, established last year, facilitates a
partnership of Government and the private sector in the sponsorship of the arts.As part of
a more representative funding policy, community-based arts and culture organisations are
receiving more funding. New institutions will reinforce this. We have already established
a new National Arts Council, to promote universal access and equity, and a National Film
and Video Foundation with a R10 million budget. A National Heritage Council to foster our
diverse heritage will be set up in 1988.The Cultural Industries Growth Strategy will boost
the economic impact of arts and culture.
The National Archives Act came into force in 1997. It
commits the Service to transparency and accountability, RDP imperatives and to high
standards. The senior management team was restructured with a transformation unit to
State Language Services
A draft National Language Plan has been drawn up along the
lines of recommendations made by the Language Plan Task Group, for discussion during 1998.
Multilingualism, which the Task Group strongly supported, will be promoted by a
Multilingualism Awareness Campaign. The Pan-South African Language Board has been
functioning since 1996. A new National Language Service, which will follow the
Boards recommendations, will be set up in 1998.
[ Top ]
Science and technology Transformation
The 1997 Science and Technology (S&T) White Paper
established policies for S&T in support of national goals. A number of It initiatives
which started in 1997 and will be completed this year will enhance the impact of S&T
on economic and social development. The department started three processes: a review of
Science and Technology institutions; creating an accountability framework for science
councils, and establishing an innovation fund for competitive allocation of research
A review of the science councils, now completed, will
provide a basis for a better system of innovation and greater accountability and
transparency. Proposals for a new accountability framework for science councils will go to
Cabinet during 1988. A national audit and other S&T initiatives include a stocktaking
of the strengths and weaknesses of the research system and an assessment of the brain
drain; a research and technology foresight exercise will also be completed this year.;
building human resources and promoting international co-operation The foresight exercise
will guide South Africa on future technologies with a global role.
Government has declared 1998 the Year of Science and
Technology in order to create promote public appreciation of S&T awareness and
interest, especially among young people.
Policy and institutional change
The Telecommunications Act, 1996, Bill has fundamentally
changed this telecommunications sector. The department now concentrates on policy: the
after other functions were were transferred to a new regulatory body, the South African
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA), and a new Universal Service Agency.
During 1998 a report will be published on Proposals to for
a merger of SATRA and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will be published this
A cluster of Ministries will develop a strategy to improve
government services by using information technology., and the department will launch an
Information Communication Technology Strategy
The 1998 White Paper on Postal Policy , based on last
years Green Paper, will lead to be followed by new legislation and restructuring of
the SA Post Office. Operation FuturePost is promoting efficiency; customer orientation and
business sustainability. Both management and unions are involved in a campaign to combat
crime, in response to mail violation and theft.
Legislation is being prepared to allow the Post Office to
be the countrys only lottery agency.
[ Top ]
The sale of 30 per cent of Telkom equity to SBC
International and Malaysia Telekom was completed during 1997. This investment allows
Telkom to roll out three million telephones in six years and to restructure Telkom for
universal access. After installing 421 000 telephones during the 1997/8 financial year,
Telkom plans for 580 000 the following year.
During 1998 Telkom should sell the finalise the sale of 10
per cent of its shares allocated to black economic empowerment and telecommunications
employees of the sector.
A One of the central aims in restructuring our
telecommunications services is access for to ensure that all South Africans have access to
information resources in education, medicine and other sectors, wherever they are.
South African Band Replanning Exercise (SABRE)
A plan to reallocate the use of the radio-frequency
spectrum in a way that enhances growth, productivity and socio-economic development, is
being should be largely implemented through Project SABRE (South African Band Replanning
Exercise).in five years.
A White Paper on Broadcasting Policy, following last
years Green Paper, will provide the basis for a new broadcasting law during 1998.
Following a review of the SABC, which was completed last
year, progress has been made in right-sizing the organisation, improving programming and
marketing, and bringing in new skills and talent. A new and smaller SABC Board was
appointed in 1The principles of freedom of the media enshrined in our Constitution will be
given effect when work is completed on a mechanism to fund the public broadcasting mandate
of the SABC.
The goal of freeing the airwaves was promoted by the sale
of six regional radio stations, allowing in 1996 new broadcasting entrepreneurs to emerge
and promoting diversity of ownership. Eight new radio licences granted in 1997 and a new
television licence granted this year represent an historical turning point in South
African broadcasting. Having issued 88 short-term licences for community radio stations,
the IBA will now be issuing four-year licences. South African and Danish government
funding will help establish two community stations in each province in areas where
communities are unable to establish them.help are unable
A White Paper on broadcasting policy, following last
years Green Paper, will provide the basis for a new broadcasting law during 1998.
[ Top ]
Human resource development
The sectors needs for highly skilled personnel are
being promoted through a Human Resources Development Fund established under the
Telecommunications Act will be launched during 1998.
Constitutional Development and Provincial Affairs
Since the new Constitution took effect in 1997, there has
been a major effort of constitutional education has to promoted the ethos of the
Constitution and its contents. Twelve million copies were distributed during National
Constitution Week in 1997. Implementation of the Constitution is being monitored.
Two provinces have written provincial constitutions. The
Constitutional Court did not certify that of KwaZulu-Natal but certified the Western Cape
one the second time it was submitted.
The phased transition of local government continues. The
integration of old structures and the appointment of transitional councils prepared the
way for South Africas first democratic local government elections in 1995/6. These
elections took transformation into an interim phase. Following a comprehensive review and
a Local Government White Paper Summit last year, policy will be finalised early in 1998
for the transformation of local government into as a developmental sphere in its own right
in the context of co-operative governance.
The financial status of many local authorities and their
capacity for financial management causes is a matter of concern. Project Viability is
helping 130 municipalities experiencing difficulties in achieving financial stability
through training and technical assistance. More municipal capacity-building initiatives
will be launched in 1998, and a White Paper on Disaster Management will be published.
The R1,3 billion Municipal Infrastructure Programme has
reached 12 million people in more than 1 000 projects, employing 240 000 and training 78
The Masakhane Campaign gained new momentum in 1997,
building . It aims to build a strategic partnership between Government and communities. A
Masakhane Focus Week and the Presidential Award for Community Initiative helped boost the
campaign, as will again be the case in 1998.
[ Top ]
Traditional Affairs and Cultural Commission
Wide consultation has taken place on the establishment of
the Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic
Communities for which the new Constitution makes provision. Legislation is expected in
The National Council of Traditional Leaders was established
in 1997 after all the provincial houses of traditional leaders had been set up. In order
to clarify the role and position of traditional leaders, a policy document will be drafted
in 1998 as a basis for a White Paper.
Intergovernmental relations and co-operative government
The Intergovernmental Forum and MinMEC (Ministers and
Members of Executive Councils) structures have improved co-operation between spheres of
government. National and provincial development programmes have become more coordinated.
In 1997/8 for the first time, provinces received global budget allocations and drew up
their own budgets. A discussion document on co-operative government will soon be published
in preparation for a Green Paper.
The Department dealt with several interprovincial boundary
disputes during 1997. Interim proposals include the interprovincial transfer of functions
on an agency basis and cross-border delivery of services.
Reform of services
The treatment of offenders is changing in line with the
Constitution and international practice. A new Correctional Services Bill will go to
Parliament during 1998.
Changes include new youth development centres at Brandvlei
and Ekuseni (and one with another at Baviaanspoort to open in 19988), and new programmes
for juveniles. There is a more individualised approach to the development of offenders.
Community Service has reached expanded to most areas. Within As part of the NCPS the
Department is helping to strengthen the justice system.
Prison development seeks to eliminate overcrowding and
enhance a human rights culture. A plan for electronic monitoring of parolees, probationers
and awaiting-trial offenders in the community is awaiting Cabinet approval. This plan
could reduce the prison population by 10 000.
The building programme has accelerated. Five new prisons
have been commissioned since 1996 (Umzinto, Brandvlei, Porterville, Goodwood and
Malmesbury) and two are at tender stage (Empangeni and Pietermaritzburg). A closed maximum
security unit opened in Pretoria in 1997 and a super maximum prison is planned for
Kokstad. Plans are afoot Plans are being made to build four new prisons in partnership
with the private sector in Louis Trichardt, Boksburg, Bloemfontein Grovel and Barberton.
[ Top ]
Prison security has been strengthened under the NCPS,
through the erection of electrified security fences at 19 prisons. Another 21 will be
electrified during 1998.
Transparency has been increased promoted by promoting
public participation in parole policy design; active support for the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission and Human Rights Commission; support for community law centres
in monitoring children held under Section 29; participation in a Transformation Forum, and
briefings to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. The Department has exposed prisons and
prisoners to the media (through, for example, choirs).
Communities are represented on Correctional Boards and on
the Parole Boards to be established during 1998, as well as on the National Advisory
Council. A greater role for NGOs, and community-based organisations in literacy training
and, prisoner motivation and so on has increased community involvement. Community safety
centres will be set up in 1998 as part of the NCPS, each of them with a community
corrections office to monitor and reintegrate offenders.
Transformation of the Department
The Department has been demilitarised since 1996. Training
now emphasises participate management and a human rights culture. The year 2000 target of
having By 2000, 70 per cent of staff will be from those who had previously been currently
underrepresented, has already been achieved. The Management Board is now more
representative and a new commissioner has been appointed.
New defence policy
A national consensus on defence has emerged through the
1996 White Paper and the Defence Review, whose first phase Parliament has adopted. During
1988, the Review will be completed and the Military Disciplinary Code and Defence Act
Military and civilian functions have been separated through
the establishment of the Defence Secretariat. The Secretary of Defence controls
expenditure on behalf of the Minister. A Civic Education Programme is being implemented to
instilling democratic values throughout the South African National Defence Force (SAND).
[ Top ]
Integration and rationalisation
Integration and demobilisation of the eight former forces
is complete. Provincial commands will gradually be phased out. The Defence Force is
downsizing from 100 000 to a peacetime target of 70 000 through demobilisation, voluntary
severance, retirement and resignation. Assistance to those leaving includes:
demobilisation and retrenchment packages; Service Corps training; assistance from
veterans associations, and struggle pensions for former Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) and
Assassin Peoples Liberation Army (APPLE) members who qualify. A Directorate of
Military Veteran Affairs is to be established.
The Force is becoming more representative: it is now 69 per
cent black and 19 per cent female. There are 13 black generals, including the first black
woman general and the first black head of an arm of service.
A reduced Defence Budget and strict control of the arms
industry reflect are part of continuing demilitarisation. Compulsory national conscription
has been replaced with an all-volunteer force. A new Defence Liaison Council made up of
business and labour leaders will promote the part-time force.
During 1997, South Africa declared a comprehensive ban on
anti-personnel mines and destroyed over 240 000 mines. Government chaired the Oslo
conference and signed the banning convention that emerged from it.
Peace support operations and international role
South Africa joined seven other were amongst eight SADC
countries in the Blue Hung peace-support exercise in Zimbabwe in 1997. SAND humanitarian
support has included airlifting medical supplies, mine clearance; and food for Rwandan
refugees. The Department participates in SADC bodies concerned with peace support;
disaster relief; counter-coup measures and early warning systems. The South African
Navy has been in joint exercises with foreign forces, and an International Fleet Review in
Cape Town marked the Navys seventy-fifth anniversary.
Within As part of the NCPS, up to 8 000 troops have been
deployed to assist the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Army has taken over border
patrolling. It has assisted other departments in drought relief, flood relief,
immunisation, and the national census. Defence acquisition, managed jointly with the
departments of Finance, and Trade and Industry, is being structured to bring substantial
investment in the economy.
National education system and policy
A single, unified and non-racial education system has been
established. Policy for such a system has been created through commissions, White Papers
and legislation. This year a report on gender equity and Green Papers on Further Education
and Training and on Learners with Special Education Needs will be drafted. The emphasis
will shift from policy development to service delivery through more focused collaboration
between national and provincial departments.
[ Top ]
The Interim Constitution opened the school system to all
learners, and the South African Schools Act, 1996, established formal unity. General
education is now compulsory for all children, and almost all of the 30 000 public schools
have now elected governing bodies.
A new national curriculum based on the principles of
outcomes-based education was introduced in all Grade 1 classes in January 1998. New policy
and a national Early Childhood Development Pilot Project are steps toward a compulsory
reception year for all children. The consequences of apartheid education are reflected in
poor senior certificate results, and high repetition and dropout rates. As a result,
special attention is being given to building the capacity of teachers to address this.
The School Register of Needs survey, completed last year,
detailed the massive inherited infrastructure backlogs and provided a good basis for
planning investment. The RDP programmes for school refurbishment and school building are
being completed, and a new phase of investment is beginning under the MTEF. The Primary
School Nutrition Programme reached 4,9 million children in 1997.
The 1997 White Paper on Higher Education and Higher
Education Act, 1997, set the scene for transformation of the system. A new Council on
Higher Education will be established in 1998. Students have been assisted with more than
R1 billion in grants and loans through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
Other educational programmes
The national Campaign on the Culture of Learning, Teaching
and Service launched last year is making a strong impact, especially through mobilising
opinion and building community partnerships.
A new policy and multi-year plan for Adult Basic Education
and Training have been adopted, and 150 000 adult learners have been targeted for 1998.
Some 8 000 secondary school teachers were trained last year
in Life Skills and HIV/Aids education, and the project will expand in 1998.
A national Education Management Development Institute and a
provincial assistance unit in the Department are being established to address problems
related to poor management capacity.
South Africa has resumed membership of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and will host the seventh
Unesco Ministers of Education in Africa Conference during 1998, as well as the SADC
ministerial meeting on human resource development.
National Education Policy
Policy for a single system for all children has been
established with the help of commissions, through White Papers and legislation. A national
language-in-education policy has been adopted. There will be a report this year on Gender
Equity and Green Papers on Special Educational Needs and Further Education and Training
[ Top ]
After the Interim Constitution opened our school system to
all, the old separate education departments have been integrated. Matric exams are now
common to all students. By the beginning of 1998, most schools had elected governing
bodies. A new national curriculum is being introduced through Curriculum 2005, starting in
1998 with Grade 1.
With examinations now unified attention will be given to
addressing the level of the matric pass rate which fell to a disappointingly low level in
1997. The building of education management capacity in the context of the Medium-Term
expenditure Framework will help address problems experienced during 1997 regarding
The RDP programmes for a Culture of Learning &
Teaching; for School Building; and for funding of youth community colleges have promoted
the upgrading and expansion of facilities. The Primary School Nutrition Programme reached
4,9 million pupils in 1997.
The 1997 White Paper on Higher Education set the scene for
the transformation of the sector. The Higher Education Act has been promulgated and a
Council on Higher Education will be appointed during 1998. The Council will work with
Government for new funding and planning frameworks, including a sustainable National
Students Financial Aid Scheme based on government and private sector funding. Since
1996, R300 million a year has been available for financial aid to needy students
Other educational programmes
Adult Basic Education and Training is a priority, with 150
000 learners targeted for 1998. A National Early Childhood Development pilot project is
the first step towards a compulsory reception year for all children. The need to upgrade
science and technology education is being addressed by the SYSTEM project (Students and
Youth into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) - already 800 students have
been taught. The Technology 2005 project is training school technology teachers.
Life Skills and HIV/AIDS education is starting in 1998
after the training of 8 0000 secondary school teachers last year.
Education management and resources
The goals of transforming the Department are efficiency,
service to the public and representivity. Norms and Standards for School Funding are being
finalised in consultation with stakeholders. Problems experienced in 1997 are being
addressed with a focus on improving education management.
We have resumed membership of UNESCO and are involved in
SADC human resource development. We have concluded technical/financial assistance
agreements with a number of governments.
[ Top ]
Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Tourism development is being promoted through training and
education; prominence of tourism in SDIs which empower previously marginalised
entrepreneurs, and attention to tourist safety. Sixteen per cent more foreigners visit
South Africa per year than three years ago.
Implementation of the White Paper on Tourism Development
and Promotion will be assisted by a Tourism in Gear Policy. This is aimed at foreign
exchange earnings of R23 billion by the year 2000, 300 000 new jobs and an increase in
tourisms contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 4,5 to 8 per cent.
A new South African Tourism (Satour) Board was appointed in
1997 with the brief to restructure the organisation and improve international marketing.
International links are developing around South Africas membership of the World
Tourist Organisation and the Council of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern
Africa. The Department is the SADC's contact point for tourism.
A White Paper on National Environmental Management is to be
finalised during 1998 will introduce a new framework for environmentally sustainable
development. Environmental management has become an important aspect of the SDIs, and
Environmental Impact Assessment is now compulsory for all major development projects.
A PA White Paper on the protection and conservation of our
country's rich biological diversity, adopted last year, will be implemented in 1998. The
Wetlands Conservation Programme has already registered 290 natural heritage sites and 1
Policy for Integrated Pollution Control and Waste
Management is being developed to streamline the system and to reduce duplication and
fragmentation.This includes regulations already promulgated making it compulsory to do
environmental assessment of development projects.
The Global Environmental Facility has approved funding for
the Table Mountain Project and the Biodiversity Support Programme. South Africa active
role in regard to the natural environment in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.
A White Paper on the protection of the country's biological
diversity, adopted last year, will be implemented in 1998. The Global Environmental
Facility has approved funding for the Table Mountain Project and the Biodiversity Support
Programme. South Africa continues to be active with regard to the environment in the
Antarctic and Southern Ocean. South Africa ratified the World Heritage Convention last
year and is nominating three sites for World Heritage status, namely Robben Island, the St
Lucia Wetlands and the Sterkfontein Hominid Site.
[ Top ]
Legislation on a National Fisheries Policy will be drafted
during 1998, to promote restructuring of the industry and environmental protection. Issues
dealt with include regulation of public access and equity. Co-operation with SADC in
building capacity and sharing expertise continues. Pending restructuring of the fishing
industry, interim relief is being provided for impoverished fishers. Co-operation with
SADC in building capacity and sharing expertise is increasing.
Co-operation programmes within SADC include water resource
management. The South African Weather Bureau is the regional specialised meteorological
centre responsible for providing forecasting products. The Weather Bureau is also giving
operational training opportunities to meteorologists and technicians from the region and
technical assistance to some other countries. Co-operation within SADC includes water
Transformation and restructuring of the Department
Transformation and restructuring of the Department are
guided by the Constitution, policies and demand for delivery that democracy has brought
about. Functions have been transferred to the department from former TVBC countries and
other national departments. An institutional audit in progress will lay the basis for
integrated and more efficient implementation of policy. Since 1994 black representivity
has increased by 42 per cent and gender by 29 per cent.
The Government reduced the fiscal deficit from 5,2 per cent
of GDP in 1996/7 to 4,3 per cent in 1997/8, and with plans for a 3,5 per cent deficit is
planned for in 1998/9. Although GDP growth was lower than anticipated, during 1997/8 6/97
improved financial management and tax collection combined with careful expenditure
management fiscal discipline to maintain a sound fiscal policy to lower the deficit.
Substantial progress has been made in reallocating
apartheid-type expenditures, and the 1997/8 budget achieved a significant shifted
expenditure towards social development and poverty alleviation.
Government initiated introduced a major budget reform in
1997 with the initiation start of three-year budgeting within a budgeting through the MTEF
to take effect with the 1997/8 budget. Nineteen ninety-seven It was also the first year in
which provinces received an equitable share of revenue from the national treasury,
according to a formula developed by of the Fiscal and Financial Commission, and were
required to develop their own budgets.
Monetary policy environment
Monetary policy is constrained by a combination of factors,
namely the level of reserves, exposed forward cover and the deficit on balance of
payments. While a depreciated rand brings opportunities for increased competitiveness, it
a too-weak Rand can also import inflation. Attention has therefore been given to
stabilising the currency, contributing to greater investor confidence and a strong inflow
of capital in 1997.leading to its being relatively stable compared with other emerging
The rate of inflation resumed its downward trend during
The phased relaxation of foreign exchange controls went was
taken a step further during 1997 with regard to the export of currency by individuals and
investment in the SADC region.
[ Top ]
Tax collection is a high priority. The South African
Revenue Service (SARS) has been restructured from Customs & Excise and Inland Revenue
and is now autonomous within the Public Service. Revenue rose by 10,7 per cent 9,2% in the
first 8 months of 1997/8 compared with the previous year. Over 30 000 taxpayers were
registered or located through a tax-relief campaign conducted in during the 1996/7
Assuming development finance RDP functions
A new chief directorate deals with all development finance
co-operation. Capacity is being developed in the departments of Finance and State
Expenditure to meet the challenges of creative development financing and support for
project management. Apart from carry-through costs of original projects, the funding of
RDP objectives has been absorbed into the main budgets of departments and provinces.
The Government is committed to contributing to the African
Development Bank efforts to finance African development. The countrys relationships
with the World Bank has deepened: six grants have been received, and a Country Assistance
Strategy is . Is under way.
Foreign policy development and diplomatic ties
New foreign policy objectives have been refined through
broad consultation around a Foreign Policy Discussion Document and a draft White Paper.
South Africa has effectively doubled its diplomatic ties since 1994. Altogether 97 96
foreign embassies and 59 57 consular missions have been established in South Africa.
Southern Africa and the African continent
Relations with southern Africa are a cornerstone of foreign
policy. As SADC chair since 1996 South Africa continue to co-operates with its neighbours
for balanced regional development and regional stability.
Exports to Africa have grown by 70 per cent in the three
years 1995 to 1997since 1995 and imports by 58 per cent60%. As OAU member, South Africa
assisted the Zaire/Congo peace process and worked with the DRC and other war-ravaged
countries for reconstruction. Legislation to curtail South African-based mercenary
activities and a draft White Paper on participation in Peace-Support Operations will be
put before go to Parliament during in 1998.
Europe: Good relations are symbolised by many
high-level visits in both directions and agreements to boost trade, aid and technical
assistance. Bilateral Extended trade negotiations with the EU should be concluded in 1998
and should to the benefit of SADC and the Southern African Customs Union.
Asia and the Indian Ocean Rim: Relations with Asia are
a priority and the region is now our largest trading block after the EU. Relations with
China have been normalised. The Indian Ocean Rim Charter was adopted in 1997.
Middle East: Relations with the Gulf are expanding
rapidly, bringing increased exports. Relations with other Middle East countries continue
to deepen and diversify. South Africa supports the Middle East peace process.
[ Top ]
North America: The Bi-national Commission opens the way
to closer ties in various fields. Strong United States investment in South Africa
Latin America : Our relations with Latin American
countries are expanding. South Africa is now a member of the Zone of Peace and
Co-operation in the South Atlantic.
Government has actively supported UN reform in line with
the policies of the NAM and the African Group. We have taken initiatives on Our role in
arms control in has grown through membership of the Conference on Disarmament and as well
as other forums including involvement in the Nuclear Test Ban Treaties and Oslo
Conferences aimed at banning anti-personnel mines.
South Africa hosted the ninth United Nations conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference and will host the 1998 summit of the NAM Summit
in 1998 and the Commonwealth Summit in 1999, whose chair we will also become. Such events
allow Government to help sharpen the focus on issues facing developing countries and to
work for a new international order. South Africa has ratified a number of conventions
including those on the rights of women, children and refugees, and will act as this year
become chair of the UN Human Rights Commission.
After integrating former so-called homeland structures, the
Department was rationalised, which included making 250 staff redundant. Since 1994, 90 per
cent of appointments and 48 per cent of foreign postings have been black. Sixteen Heads of
Mission are now women, 12 of them black. A Gender Unit and a Transformation Unit soon to
be established will apply the Departments affirmative action policy.
Access to health care
All The former separate health departments have been
integrated into one national health department with nine provincial departments and 45
regional offices. Free health care for pregnant mothers and young children was introduced
in 1994 followed in 1996 by universal access to primary health care was introduced in
April 1996. A National Health Bill will be introduced in 1998 to keep up the momentum of
improvements., and The implementation of other developments are charted in the White Paper
on the Transformation of the Health System will be completed by the year 2000.
Together with stakeholders, a policy on national health
insurance has been developed and legislation for better control of medical aid
schemes will go to Parliament during 1998. A new Drug Policy launched in 1996, including
the Essential Drugs Programme, and legislation passed in 1997 will, when implemented, help
bring more affordable drugs to all and hence more affordable health care.
By bringing 300 foreign doctors, mostly Cuban, to work in
under-served areas Government has promoted access to health care. Community service for
newly graduated doctors will begin during 1998.
[ Top ]
Maternal, women and child health
Following the introduction of free health care for young
children and pregnant mothers, at least two thirds of women say they find access to health
care much easier. Maternal deaths were made a notifiable condition in 1997 in an effort to
reduce them. Since the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act took effect in February
1997, over 15 000 women have had legal terminations.
The Primary School Nutrition Programme is fed 4,9 million
children in 1997, improving health and learning.
South Africa has ratified the Convention on the Elimination
of Discrimination against Women and launched the National Programme of Action for Children
jointly with the United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Clinics and hospitals
During 1997 Government exceeded its plans for building or
upgrading 500 clinics. Since April 1994, Government and non-governmental sources were
responsible for the building of 504 new clinics, bringing access to primary health care to
an estimated five million more people.
R100 million has been budgeted for the coming year for
hospital rehabilitation and reconstruction. Hospital management will be improved through a
programme of decentralisation.
Communicable disease control and health promotion
In 1995 the Department embarked on national immunisation
campaigns. Coverage during 1997 was about 80 per cent for polio and measles. A new
strategy to combat TB was introduced in 1996, and accelerated in 1997.
Increasing resources have been committed to combating
HIV/Aids, and a campaign to change behaviour on a national scale has been launched under
the leadership of an interministerial committee. A joint life skills programme with the
Department of Education was launched in 1997 to train 10 000 secondary school teachers who
will implement the programme in schools from this year.
Policy and legislation
In line with the new Constitution and new policies,
legislation has been enacted to normalise citizenship and passport rights; to change
registration of births and deaths; to regulate marriages, and to achieve publications
control and control of illegal immigrants. The Film and Publication Act passed in 1996
increased the autonomy of the new Board and the Review Board.
A draft Refugee Bill will be tabled in Parliament this
year. Legislation on the Marriage Act will be drafted after recommendations from the South
African Law Commission, and a discussion document on customary union has already been
released for public comment. A White Paper on Immigration Policy is expected in 1998,
based on last years Green Paper.
[ Top ]
Since the beginning of 1997, there have been 11 000
applications for identity documents (IDs) per day, on average. The Department has taken
steps to deal with this unprecedented work load. The goal is for every South African of 16
years and above to have a legitimate, unforgeable ID. A new machine-readable passport was
introduced during 1996 and preparations for a new automated fingerprint identification
system and identity card are at an advanced stage.
South Africa co-operates closely with became a member of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and became a member of the
International Organisation for Migration in 1997. Visa-issuing offices in all missions
have been computerised and linked to promote efficiency and to prevent abuse.
Deportations from South Africa have been increasing
steadily since 1990. Measures are being taken to address this serious strain on the
After bilateral discussions with SADC countries, a draft
protocol has been adopted on facilitating the movement of people in the region. Over 200
000 people have applied for the exemption granted to Mozambican refugees and SADC citizens
who were in South Africa for five years before 30 June 1991. Ultimately, the solution of
problems relating to illegal entry and residence requires economic development of the
The Constitution requires an Independent Electoral
Commission, and commissioners were appointed in 1997. In preparation for the 1999 8
election, efforts are being made to ensure that all eligible voters register. This
includes the provision of more mobile units for rural areas and an ID campaign to be
launched in 1998.
A gender desk has been established and substantial progress
made with affirmative action. In order to enhance efficiency, fundamental restructuring as
well as a plan to improve service delivery will take effect during the year. With the
integration of the former TBVC structures complete, the department is concentrating on
training and representivity. A transformation unit and gender desk will be launched this
year, and an affirmative action policy approved.
[ Top ]
Foundation for delivery
Most problems relating to and obstacles in the way of
delivery have been isolated, and the necessary adjustments made. Several national
institutions have been established to facilitate sustainable housing delivery and they
were all operating by the end of 1996.
The National Housing Finance Corporation has granted
facilities likely to lead to over 250 000 200 000 loans.
The Mortgage Indemnity Fund has covered more than 500 areas
previously red-lined by banks and mobilised 66 000 loans in subsidy market;
By mid-1997 Servcon Housing Solutions was managing some 20
000 properties-in-possession and non-performing loans.
The National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency is
guaranteeing loans for the building of more than 15 000 houses.
The Mortgage Indemnity Fund guaranteed over 130 000 loans.
It has covered more than 540 areas previously red-lined by banks and mobilised 74 000
loans in the subsidy market.
The Rural Housing Loan Fund was set up with German grants
to facilitate the construction of 100 000 homes in five years.
Low-cost housing programme
Never before have so many low-cost units been under
construction. After the period devoted mainly to clearing the obstacles to housing
delivery, there has been a substantial acceleration, especially since early 1997. By the
end of 1997, 469 000 383 000 houses were completed or under construction under the subsidy
scheme, and . more than 700 000 680 500 subsidies had been allocated by end of 1997.
Owing to government programmes launched since 1994, 1,2
million people now have a permanent roof over their heads; 500 000 people own the home
they have lived in for many years, and the accommodation of 75 000 hostel residents has
Capacity to implement policy
Capacity is being developed in provincial and local spheres
of government, NGOs, communities and homeless people. This includes the People's Housing
Partnership, which was established in 1997; the National Capacitation Programme, which
helps ensure that provincial housing departments and municipalities have the capacity to
carry out their housing functions, and measures to improve the efficiency of housing
Joint-venture operations will be facilitated to provide
higher density housing at scale, and a wide range of tenure choices are now being made
available, including freehold, rental and social housing options.
The promotion of rental stock is part of the housing
subsidy policy, and a review is being conducted to give effect to this.
The 1997 Housing Act abolishes all apartheid housing
legislation. It replaces it with a single Act reflecting the new priorities of South
Africas democracy. It creates a framework for housing action by the three spheres of
government in line with current housing policy. It will be implemented from April this
[ Top ]
Transformation of the justice system
To restore the Rule of Law, Government needs to restructure
the legal system and its institutions to promote accessibility and democracy. A strategic
plan entitled Justice Vision 2000, is being used to draft a White Paper on the
Administration of Justice. New institutions such as the Public Protector's Office,
Judicial Service Commission, Constitutional Court, Human Rights Commission and Gender
Commission have been set up to nurture a human rights culture and promote transformation
in line with the Constitution.
The South African Law Commission, the Rules Board for
Courts and the Legal Aid Board have been restructured. A Legal Aid system has been
There are new laws are to ensuring uniform administration
of justice, the courts and legal practice. The new Lay Assessor system encourages
community participation. This In the coming year the Public Defender system will be
extended; a National Director of Public Prosecutions will be appointed; sentencing
guidelines for serious crimes will be developed, and citizens advice desks will be
established in courts.
Strategies and programmes on crime
More people are laying charges and testifying in court, and
the criminal process is being made more speedy. New legislation has closed legal loopholes
and strengthened the hands of judicial officers to deal with organised crime, reduce
delays and to promote international co-operation. The bail laws have been tightened and
witness protection strengthened.
Changes in the administration of bail is are being changed
introduced through pre-trial services which will both improve witness protection and
reduce the number of awaiting-trial prisoners. The Department has strengthened its
capacity to deal promptly with allegations of serious maladminstration and corruption,
even within the Department.
South Africas new justice system has a strong focus
on women and children. There are new guidelines for sexual offence victims and business
plans for community safety centres. The South African Law Commission is investigating the
law regarding maintenance, domestic violence, juvenile justice and child care.
A National Plan of Action to help realise human rights will
be launched in December 1998, when the fiftieth anniversary of the UNs adoption of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is commemorated.
Courts and the administration of justice
Courts are being made more user-friendly and their
management and coordination of lower courts improved. Two reports of the Hoexter
Commission will lead to legislation to rationalise the courts during 1998.
A Family Courts pilot project will soon establish six new
family courts to deal with divorce, maintenance, children and family violence.
Court management is being improved to combat corruption in
the justice system. New courts will be established and some existing ones amalgamated to
Transformation of the Department
With the 11 former separate departments now integrated,
induction and training programmes are being implemented. Almost 40 per cent of
magistrates, and half the prosecutors and the Departments staff and management are
now black. R20 million has been spent on upgrading the Attorney-Generals Office with
modern technology and equipment.
[ Top ]
Collective Labour Relations: The new dispensation came
into effect in 1996 when the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)
and the new Labour Court began to function. The CCMA has achieved a 65 per cent success
rate in dispute resolution. The new legislation may have contributed to a decline in
labour conflict during 1997.
Labour Market Policy: Following the report of the
Comprehensive Labour Market Commission, a policy document was approved by Cabinet in 1997.
In order to address the critical need for the creation of more jobs, a Presidential Jobs
Summit this year will provide an opportunity for Government, business and organised labour
to seek consensus around a strategy for job-creation and to launch this strategy.
Unemployment Coverage: The five previous unemployment
insurance schemes have been integrated. Proposals for restructuring the fund, based on
recommendations made by a task team, have been submitted to the Minister.
Occupational Health and Safety: Recommendations of a
Committee of Enquiry appointed in 1996 are being considered after consultation on its
report. The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993, has been
amended to bring it in line with the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1992.
Employment Standards: The Basic Conditions of
Employment Act, which provides for minimum standards to protect vulnerable workers, was
passed by Parliament in 1997. Before it is implemented, its impact on small business will
Employment Equity: The Employment Equity Bill, aimed at
correcting imbalances of the past in employment, training, promotion and remuneration, was
approved by Cabinet in 1997. It is expected that the Bill will soon be finalised after
consultation with social partners and approval by Cabinet and be implemented during 1998.
Skills Development Strategy / National Human Resources
Development: The Department has worked with the Department of Education on
establishing a unified system of certification and qualifications - the SA Qualifications
Authority Act was passed in 1996. A Skills Development Bill drawn up in the light of
reaction to the 1997 Green Paper on a Skills Development Strategy will soon be finalised
after consultation is being discussed with social partners and approval by Cabinet. The
skills development policy framework should be finalised during 1988 and implementation
begin. The Bill provides for a national compulsory levy or grant system to promote
national skills development. Standards and qualification regulations should also be
finalised during 1998.
A new Labour Market Chief Directorate oversees research and
collation of statistics. Research projects are helping to enhance labour market efficiency
and monitor the impact of labour market policies. A major document on Labour Market Policy
has been completed as part of the Departments work to coordinate formulation of an
employment strategy for discussion with social partners leading up to the 1998 Jobs
[ Top ]
The pre-1994 system has been integrated to create one
national labour department and to rationalise statutory bodies linked to the Ministry. New
representative management appointments have been made. Longer-term restructuring is guided
by a strategy formulated in 1996.
Minerals and Energy
A Green Paper on Mining and Minerals Policy was launched in
February 1998 and a White Paper should be ready is expected later in the year. The White
Paper will guide the use of the countrys mineral wealth for the benefit of the whole
A Draft White Paper on Energy will be released during 1998.
It will emphasise equity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability of energy services.
New legislation to regulate mining and energy, including electricity, will be tabled this
During 1997 the Mining Qualifications Authority and the
Mine Health and Safety Council were established. The Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996, was
fully partly implemented by during 1997 and fully so in January 1998.
Discussions with employers and unions are taking place to
find ways of minimising retrenchments in gold mining are being discussed with employers
and unions. These talks include facilitating beneficiation and small-scale mining.
Small-scale mining is being promoted by investment promotion strategies that eliminate
barriers. Government and private sector also give support to and through support by both
private sector and government for new entrepreneurs: companies such as Ikwezi Colliery,
OTR mining and Eyethu are recent successful examples.
Developments in energy
Development of the Mossgas satellite fields and
phasing-down of financial aid to Sasol continue. Work is being done on the restructuring
of the liquid fuels industry.
In order to reduce the impact of energy on the environment,
unleaded petrol has been introduced; motor pollution is being monitored; radioactive waste
management has been improved; environmentally friendly energy sources are being promoted,
and clean coal technology is being evaluated.
Each year since 1994, electricity has reached hundreds of
thousands of homes. In 1997, 428 000 homes were electrified by Eskom or local authorities.
The most rural provinces have benefited most.
Regional and international
Governments participation in SADC and co-operation
with countries in the region have developed. The SADC Energy and Mining Protocols promotes
enhanced co-operation. The Southern African Power Pool is paving the way to a regional
electricity grid and a coordination centre will be established in Harare in 1998. The
Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project has been restored and electricity will flow to South
Africa as soon as price negotiations have been concluded.
Human resource development
The Department promotes technical training through its own
activities (50 trained mine inspectors will be placed by year-end) and through associated
institutions such as Mintek, the Geoscience Council and the Atomic Energy Corporation. In
conjunction Together with employers and unions, it actively promotes Adult Basic Education
and Training in the mining industry.
[ Top ]
Monitoring the performance of public enterprises
The Ministry and Office for Public Enterprises manage six
state-owned assets with the goal of furthering the public interest and maximising their
contribution to national economic growth and development.
All six have undergone transformation through affirmative
action, democratised decision-making and orientation towards stakeholders. Procurement and
outsourcing are being managed to assist economic empowerment - significant auditing and
legal services are outsourced to black companies and procurement is being opened to small
black business suppliers
An ongoing audit of assets owned by state enterprises
points to idle or under-utilised assets that might be effectively used for small business
development, housing and job-creation.
In 1998 focus will be on implementing the framework for
corporate governance of state-owned enterprises. Government will examine the need for
establishing new strategic state-owned enterprises, for example in the liquid fuels
industry or in housing by consolidating the housing portfolios of state-owned enterprises
and combining them with existing parastatals.
Management and coordination of restructuring programmes
Guidelines for the restructuring of state assets adopted by
Cabinet in 1995 have been shaping the process of restructuring. HBSC Investment Bank is
the government advisor for the process.
Structures established under the National Framework
Agreement negotiated between Government and labour have kept the restructuring programme
within the broad time frames set for it.
The sale of six regional radio stations in 1996 started the
process. The next year Telkom acquired a strategic equity partner and Sun Air was sold.
During 1998 SAA and the Airports Company will acquire strategic equity partners and
Autonet will be privatised. Aventura is to be completely privatised and there are five
bids to purchase it. A transaction advisor will recommend the best way forward in the
restructuring of SAFCOL. The management of Alexkors various operations will first be
transferred by tender to private companies who will later have the option of acquiring
In terms of the National Framework Agreement, a social plan
is taking shape for employees adversely affected by restructuring. Priority is being given
to finalising the plan through Nedlac and in conjunction with the Department of Labour.
Having started from a weak position in terms of skills, the
Ministry and Department expanded and restructured to become more effective.
The enhancement of the Ministrys capacity to manage
state-owned assets and the restructuring process itself is being promoted by Project 2000,
in collaboration with Warwick University. This project is designed to expose middle and
senior managers to international state-of-the-art management techniques, practices and
[ Top ]
A transformation unit and a human resource development
committee have successfully promoted gender and race representation in management.
Public Service and Administration
Rationalising and right-sizing the Public Service
The Public Service was transformed which by integrating the
old various apartheid administrations and this has required rationalisation of structures,
reprioritisation of activities in accordance with the goals of reconstruction and
development, and right-sizing of personnel numbers.
The Public Service has shrunk by more than 100 000 posts
personnel over the past two years. This has been partly due to a result of the short-term
measures of abolishing funded vacancies (25 000 posts) and voluntary severance packages
(48 000 posts by September 1997). Funds saved by abolishing through abolition of funded
vacancies in 1997/8 were used for to finance improvements in conditions of service.
However, rationalisation and reprioritisation have not been
fully matched by corresponding reduction in personnel. and the department is working on
proposals to reduce personnel to what is required. This includes measures to enable
redundant employees join in developmental efforts outside the civil service. The
recommendations should be finalised for implementation during 1998. This will be addressed
during 1998 in the context of comprehensive discussions with unions and the need to find
ways of facilitating the transition of individuals into other areas of the economy.
During the year more effective steps will be taken to deal
with the problem of ghost workers, particularly in provincial governments.
Public Service reform for service delivery
The Batho Pele/People First Initiative is aimed at a
service-orientated Public Service. A Code of Conduct was launched in June 1997 to help
eliminate malpractice, corruption and poor service. Information technology is being used
to improve services delivered.
To coordinate public sector reform, interprovincial and
national transformation committees have been established.
Legislative Amendments to the Public Service Act based on
the 1996 Green Paper will, come into force during 1998,. They redefine the roles of the
Public Service Commission and the Minister; devolve powers to Ministers and MECs, and
enable the issuing of revised Pre-writing of Public Service regulations.
[ Top ]
The new 14-member Public Service Commission which was
established by established by the Constitution, replacing the former national and
provincial commissions, should be appointed during 1998.
The new salary grading system developed in 1996 will be
implemented over three years. It simplifies personnel administration; improves
career-pathing, and reduces the wage gap in the Public Service. A personnel performance
management system, a job evaluation system and a code of remuneration will be phased in
during 1998 and employee benefits will be reviewed. A draft White Papers on a New
Employment Policy for the Public Service and Affirmative Action will be implemented.
Human resources development
Managing and developing human resources will be a priority
during 1998, based on the White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service
launched at the beginning of the year. The aim is a civil service that strives to meet the
objectives of public service rather than one that is merely rule-bound.
A coherent training policy is outlined in the 1996 White
Paper on Public Service Training and Education. The Public Service and Training authority,
once established, will ensure uniform provision of training.
A EU-South African Public Service Management Development
Programme was launched in 1997, in order to train 65 000 people. To build capacity at
lower levels, of the Public Service the bursary scheme has been extended to study for
pre-tertiary qualifications Standards Eight to Ten and for acquiring basic numeracy and
literacy. The South African Management Development Institute, with the help of foreign
training institutes, has been repositioned to address the needs of transformation.
Public Works has transformed itself from is extending its
traditional functions as the states landlord to include the promotion of
development as part of its contribution to Governments socio-economic objectives.
Its , while concentrating on core functions have been
redefined to promote to improve efficient delivery of services to Government and society
as a whole.
The National Public Works Programme Unit now incorporated
as a core function, has a section that develops policy, helps transform the construction
sector and works with the Community-based Public Works Programme.
The strategic role of the Department into the next century
is outlined in a 1997 White Paper. Project management has become a core function and most
of the traditional construction work is outsourced to the private sector. The Renewal
Project has identified further possibilities for out-sourcing. In 1997 coordination of
government infrastructure delivery, previously an area of critical weakness, was made a
Public Works responsibility.
The strategic role of the Department into the next century
is outlined in a 1997 White Paper. Another 1997 White A Green Paper develops a strategy to
promote stability in the construction industry, foster growth and international
competitiveness, while generating new capacity and addressing imbalances. During 1998 a
Green Paper will formulate a sound framework for regulating the property industry, taking
into account historic imbalances and the size of the state property portfolio.
[ Top ]
Affirmative policies are opening access for small and
emerging business to public sector procurement and to architectural, engineering and
survey work. Since August 1996, 47,3 per cent of tenders went to companies with Previously
Disadvantaged Individual (PDI) equity (compared with fewer than 5 per cent before 1994).
A new model of public-private partnership in the provision
of infrastructure (Asset Procurement and Operating Partnerships) has been successfully
developed and is being introduced (Asset Procurement and Operating Partnerships).
Community-based Public Works Programme
Public works programmes contribute to poverty alleviation,
job-creation and infrastructure development. The Community-based Public Works Programme,
targeted mainly at rural communities, was allocated an additional R85 million for poverty
relief during 1997: This was used mainly in the provinces most affected by poverty, namely
KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Northern Province.
The programme has so far, more than funded a thousand
projects have been funded to providing sanitation, road building, water provision,
environmental protection, clinics, crèches, schools and community halls.
The programme, which has created over 140 000 jobs, 19 000
of them sustainable, has been redefined to meet new challenges.
Other Public Works projects
Provision for the disabled: Consistent with the
national strategy for the disabled, the Department is improving accessibility to public
National Asset Register: A national register of state
assets will improve the Departments work and unlock considerable financial
resources. The register has grown from 130 000 properties in 1996 to 214 834 in January
1998. The register will be completed by the end of 1998. Already savings of R24 million
were made in 1996/7 through the disposal of uneconomical leases.
NASREC development: - Invitations will be issued during
1998 for proposals for developing the NASREC site as a sport and recreational centre.
Construction will begin in 1999.
Safety and Security
Focus on effectiveness and legitimacy
The transformation of policing has focused on two things
required for effective policing, namely establishing the legitimacy of the police, and
developing policing skills and structures appropriate to democracy. As legitimacy has
taken root and action continues to deal with corruption within the Service, the focus has
shifted to improving the investigative capacity of the SAPS. South Africas first
Detective Academy was established in 1997. Capacity will be the priority for 1998.
To help eliminate abuse of police power, the Independent
Complaints Directorate was established in 1997. In its first four months it handled nearly
500 complaints, including 256 relating to deaths in custody or as a result of police
action. This directorate will be strengthened during 1998.
[ Top ]
Effects of strategies to deal with crime
The implementation of police plans and the strategies
linked to them have helped reduce general levels of crime through more effective policing
at local level, community co-operation and better use of intelligence.
Early successes included a massive reduction in political
violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Coordination with the SANDF in high-density operations has
improved security in trouble spots and farming areas.
Statistics released at the end of 1997 demonstrate the
successes and the problem areas. Although the figures do show a general decrease in levels
of reported crime, the level is still unacceptably high. An exception to the decreases in
the rate of serious crimes is an increase in reports of rape, and there are also
localities which did not share in the national trends.
Legislation to narrow the space for criminals
Legal changes have narrowed the space for criminals and
strengthened the hands of judicial officers and police. This includes laws administered by
the Department of Justice (affecting extradition, international police co-operation,
proceeds of crime, entrapment, undercover operations and the use of force during arrest),
and the Safety Matters Rationalisation Bill, 1996, (affecting internal security,
explosives, intimidation and the regulation of gatherings).
Reducing the number of international commercial airports
and border entry points will reduce opportunities for crime.
A crime prevention coordination unit in the Secretariat for
Safety and Security, and forums within the SAPS are coordinating interdepartmental
processes. The NCPS is promoting close co-operation with other Ministries. Crime
prevention summits have been held in all nine provinces and provincial multi-agency
mechanisms will facilitate implementation of plans.
Priorities for 1998 are those set in 1997: crimes against
women and children; organised crime; the possession of illegal firearms and corruption in
the justice system. More emphasis will be placed on policing in the metropolitan areas,
especially Johannesburg. A White Paper for Safety and Security will further efforts to
achieve police effectiveness.
[ Top ]
Sport and Recreation
Transformation of sport
Although persisting prejudice hinders deracialisation of
sport, progress is being made in close co-operation with the Health and Education
departments. A White Paper on the Transformation of Sport approved by Cabinet in 1997 will
provide the framework for legislation to promote change and make sport equally available
The Department provides financial support for sport
development at all levels and has a programme to encourage womens involvement in
To promote the provision of basic facilities for previously
disadvantaged communities, the Department organised a Facilities Convention during 1996.
Sympathetic organisations in the country and experts from abroad developed a plan to
address imbalances of the past.
A R50 million basic facility project of R48 million has so
far spent R40 14,7 million on building 126 basic outdoor facilities. An indoor
multi-purpose project launched in Sebokeng last year is the first of nine such facilities
that will be built - one in each province. These projects should be completed by the end
of the 1998/9 financial year. , and the emphasis will then shift to upgrading existing
Invitations will soon be extended for proposals for
developing the Nasrec site as a sport and recreation complex, for construction to begin in
A new Sport Information and Science Agency swill enhance
both elite and grass-roots participation in sport. A Sport Information Centre and a
Web-site were established in 1997 to provide information sportspeople which can help
Promoting participation in sport and leisure activities.
A new Sport Information and Science Agency will enhance
both elite and grassroots participation. A Sport Information Centre and a Website were
established in 1997 to provide information that can help improve performance.
The SANGALA programme was launched in 1996 to involve more
as many people as possible in physical activity programmes. S By the end of 1997, some 2
400 community leaders and officials have completed initial training and 250 000 people
have participated in the programme - the target for 1998 is for 500 000 people. About two
million people took part in Wellness Day and four million are expected to do so this year.
The Department is helping the fight against crime through
the its Sport Against Crime project. To promote health it hosted a conference with the
Department of Health on HIV/Aids in sport.
[ Top ]
Several international agreements have been reached, mainly
to boost capacity building in black communities, with a focus on . Countries involved
include Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Bulgaria,
Belgium, Brazil and India. The focus is on the development of administrators, grounds
managers, coaches and volunteers. The Department has subsidised costs of participation of
South African teams in international events.
A more gender and race representative management has been
appointed and the programme to achieve a more representative department will continue
Trade and Industry
Trade and industry policy
PA policy package has been developed to promote trade
relations for a globalised economy: an industrial strategy for competitiveness and
productivity, and equitable trade and commercial practices that encourage trade and
investment and foster opportunities for participation in the economy.
Industrial strategy is based on extensive research and
analysis, including the findings of working groups comprising organised business and
labour, to identify conditions to improve competitiveness and the creation of employment
in within particular sectors. Supply-side measures are promoting productivity and
One of the biggest programmes is for small, medium and
micro enterprises. It creates a supportive environment for this sector, and several
institutions have been created for this purpose.
The following set of support measures is facilitating
SDIs play a crucial role. They are located in areas of
unused potential and are generally well placed for export-orientated activity. The Maputo
Development Corridor was launched in 1996; the Fish River SDI in the Eastern Cape in 1997,
and the West Coast SDI in February 1998. International investors conferences linked
to the launch of the SDIs have attracted strong interest.
The Regional Industrial Development Programme provides
incentives for investment that promotes regional development.[#tax holiday?]
[ Top ]
The Cabinet Investment Cluster is a Ministerial level
committee designed that to coordinates growth and development strategy. It is developing
an Investment Projects Register which will come on- line during 1998.
Investment South Africa was launched in 1997 as a one-stop
investment centre to facilitate foreign investors investment decisions.
The National Industrial Participation Programme obliges
successful tenders with an imported content of over US$10 million to participate in the
South African economy.
Trade and global repositioning
The Department is engaged in two major sets of negotiations
which will lead to free trade areas, with SADC and the EU, within five and 12 years
respectively. The South African Customs Union is also being renegotiated. South Africa
participates increasingly in multilateral forums such as the World Trade Organisation (the
WTO), UNCTAD and other UN agencies, helping to keep development issues high on the
The Departments Global Economic Strategy Project has
identified untapped market potential in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and indicated that
Government should focus on strengthening links with these areas. Since 1994, there has
been significant growth in trade with African countries.
Exports are being promoted by market research,
participation in numerous trade fairs and inward and outward trade missions.
Policy for transformation
The new policy, outlined set out in the 1996 Transport
White Paper, shifts Government from operations to policy, planning and regulation. The
policy will base the delivery of infrastructure and services on public-private
partnerships, promote contracting-out of rail services, and draw the taxi industry into
the formal transport system. It will also also address the carnage on South African roads.
In this context, the Department has established three four
'arms-length' agencies to manage roads, maritime safety Aviation Safety; and
cross-border transport and a fourth (aviation safety) will soon follow. These agencies
will be funded through partnerships, user charges or levies. The formation of The
formation of the agencies and a a departmental focus on core functions will reduce the
Department to 220 by 1999 from the present level of over 1 000.
The Moving South Africa Project, to develop which maps out
a 20-year strategic plan for transport in South Africa, should be completed during 1998.
[ Top ]
Developing a customer-orientated public transport system is
Interim contracts with all subsidised operators have
replaced the bus subsidy system, to promote competitiveness and sensitivity to community
Commuter rail services are being shifted to a
concession-type contract which will create introduce incentives for better and more
The National Taxi Task Team has developed a framework for
addressing taxi-related violence. It is based on regulation and control; formalisation and
training, and economic assistance. After Extensive consultation laid the ground was laid
for implementation, including grassroots consensus. By the end of 1997, 95 per cent of
taxi associations were registered. Co-operation between the departments of Transport,
Justice and Safety and Security is a key to success.
Corridors and roads
Road construction is a major investment in infrastructure.
Some projects have been completed and others are in various stages of tender or
construction. Private sector participation is critical, and contracts are structured to
promote empowerment, growth and development.
The N1 toll road opened last year. Bidding on the N3 toll
road has closed and a tender will be awarded this year. A tender should also be awarded
this by the end of the year for the N4 Platinum toll road, from Pretoria to Botswana,
completing a link from Maputo on the East Coast to Walvis Bay on the West.
The Maputo Development Corridor reached financial closure
last year and toll road construction work will start during 1998. Construction of a key
road in the Lubombo SDI linking northern KwaZulu-Natal with southern Mozambique started in
Road safety and the National Traffic Information System
As part of a comprehensive plan to reduce road deaths by 10
per cent by the year 2000, a computerised National Traffic Information System is being
established. The new credit card-type drivers licence, now being introduced, will
help eradicate fraudulent licences and strengthen enforcement. The Arrive Alive road
safety campaign over the 1997 December holidays helped reduce achieved some reduction in
deaths and provided valuable lessons for the development of a sustainable programme to
reduce road deaths.
[ Top ]
Water Affairs and Forestry
Community water supply and sanitation
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme was started
as a Presidential Lead Project in 1994 to provide basic services to all. Over 1 300
projects have been initiated and funding was allocated to 700 projects to provide ready
access to clean water to 6,8 6,4 million people (about half the national backlog) and
sanitation to 100 000. By February 1998the end of 1997, community water supply had reached
1,7 1,3 million people.
Water resource management
The 1997 White Paper on a National Water Policy opened a
new era in managing South Africas countrys water resources on a fair,
efficient and sustainable basis. It emphasises water conservation and environmental
Water legislation is being redrafted entirely. The Water
Services Act, 1997, defined new responsibilities for all spheres of government, and a
draft National Water Bill is now before Parliament has been released for comment and will
be tabled in Parliament in 1998.
The successful National Water Conservation campaign has
been very successful. It includes a School Education Programme, a new water pricing policy
and the Working for Water Campaign. The last-mentioned is a Public Works programme,
greatly expanded in 1997 by R150 million as part of Governments poverty-relief
programme, which made it possible to employ on a short-term basis and train which has
employed and trained almost 9 000 40 000 previously unemployed people to eradicate in the
eradication of alien vegetation from water catchments, thereby increasing water supplies.
The scheme has been greatly expanded by the allocation in 1997 of R150 million as part of
governments poverty relief programme. This will allow the creation of another 40 000
short term jobs.
Construction of dams is increasing water supplies and
improving flood protection:
Phase 1A of the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme was opened
in January 1998, to secure water supply for six central provinces of South Africa for the
next 10 years. Contracts for major components of Phase 1B were awarded should be completed
shortly early in 1998.
The completion of the Qedusizi flood protection dam outside
Ladysmith, completed in 1997, is protecting has brought protection to a town frequently
devastated by floods.
The Injaka Dam and water transfer on the Sabie River will
protect the Bushbuckridge areas from having its water supply during cut off by
Driekoppies Dam on the Komati River allows an expansion of
farming, created thousands of new jobs, and helps benefits Mozambique by improved river
Construction of the infrastructure needed to build Maguga
Dam jointly with Swaziland was completed in 1997.
[ Top ]
Construction has started on the Mutoti Dam on the Luvuvhu
River in the Northern Province, to ensure basic water supply to about a million people.
The Forestry White Paper and the establishment of the
National Forestry Advisory Council in 1996 were milestones. The National Forestry Action
Plan translates the White Paper policies into practical action and a Forestry Bill to go
to Parliament this year will promote sustainable and equitable management of forestry.
The White Paper emphasises community forestry. Three and
over 2,4 million trees have been planted under the Community Forestry Programme and by
mid-1997. one million trees will be planted each year for the next three years.
An audit in 1996 helped incorporate the commercial forests
of former homelands into the Department. The Departments commercial component is
being made more viable, and options for restructuring are being investigated. A decision
was taken in 1997 to encourage private sector development of the Eastern Cape. A decision
on the restructuring is expected is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Policies for transformation
The 1997 White Paper for Social Welfare repositions welfare
towards a developmental approach, shifting from reliance on institutional care towards
that makes more use of community networks and care, while addressing past inequalities.
Backlogs of welfare needs and the concentration of resources on minority communities make
transformation a major and sensitive task which take time to achieve, although progress is
The White Paper on Population Policy, tabled in parliament
during 1997,. will bring policy in line with international trends by integrating
population concerns into the countrys development policies. Far-reaching agreements
have been made with Southern African Ministers on regional population and development
To realise this approach, a programme which will continue
during 1998 has been launched to re-orientate social workers and equip them with
appropriate skills. There is a wide range of initiatives to promote social and community
integration of those in need of care and support.
The welfare partnership of Government and NGOs has been
consolidated by the Not-for-Profit Act, 1997, which will create an enabling environment
for such organisations, and a more flexible financial framework - both changes come into
effect this year
[ Top ]
Welfare works closely with other departments. It leads the
NCPS Victim Empowerment Programme which emphasises empowerment of women affected by rape
and battery, and abused children. Other areas of co-operation include the National Plan of
Action for Children; fighting the spread of HIV/Aids and ensuring care for its victims,
and combating drug abuse and drug trafficking.
The White Paper on Population Policy, to be tabled in
Parliament during 1998, will bring policy in line with international trends by integrating
population concerns into the countrys development policies.
Social grants and pensions
The delivery of social grants and pensions is a high
priority as an anti-poverty programme reaching nearly three million households a month.
Parity in payments to beneficiaries has existed since April 1996.
With the previously separate social security systems
amalgamated, there has been progress in eliminating inefficiency, duplication and removing
from the system those who no longer qualify. Savings since early 1997 amount to R160
million a month. A new early warning system will help avoid management problems such as
those experienced during 1997.
The new child support grant replaces the state maintenance
grant from April 1998. It will reach about 378 000 children in the first year and three
million by the end of five years.
Poverty alleviation projects
The Flagship Programme for Unemployed Women with Children
under Five, launched in 1996, has taken root in all provinces but one. To date, 1 000
women and 1 500 children are benefiting from this programme which aims to boost employment
and skills as well as early childhood development.
The Department has also allocated R50 million of special
poverty-relief funding received in the 1997/8 financial year to existing projects in all
Restructuring the child and youth care System
The Lund Commission on Child and Family Support appointed
in 1996 developed options for extending provision to those previously excluded. As a
result a new child support grant will replace the state maintenance grant from April 1998,
and will reach 3 million children over the next five years
A new child and youth care system has been designed by
Welfare works with other Ministries in the Interministerial Committee on Young People at
Risk. , which has piloted alternative ways of dealing with young people in conflict with
the law. Since late 1997 the Department has been initiating the transformation of the
system, developing minimum standards and establishing models for replication throughout
The Three Secure Care Programme started in 1995. At least 3
000 child and youth care workers and 500 probation officers have received training, and by
mid-1998 seven facilities will be opened.facilities were operating by the end of 1997 and
most new facilities will open during 1998. Project Go aims to ensure that the system is
ready for the release of 1 400 children from prisons into alternative secure care
facilities this year.Every effort will be made to achieve the target of May for
eradicating the need for young people awaiting trial to be held in police cells.
Welfare is the lead department in the Victim Empowerment
Programme of the NCPS. The programme emphasises empowerment of women affected by rape and
battering and abused children. The Central Statistical Services will conduct a survey on
these offences during 1998, including the extent of unreported incidents.
Other areas of co-operation are: the National Plan of
Action for Children, the implementation of Beijing Platform of Action for Women and the
report of the Conference for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
[ Top ]