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Speaker`s Notes on the occasion of the Annual Address of the President to the NCOP by the Chief Whip of the National Council Pronvices Hon SJ Mohai

22 November 2018, Johannesburg

Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP, comrade Thandi Modise
The President of the Republic of South Africa, honourable Cyril Ramaphosa,
Honourable Premiers and Special Delegates to the NCOP
The distinguished representatives of the Organized Local Government;
Distinguished Permanent Delegates to the NCOP;
Fellow comrades and friends;

Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP, the first annual address of the President of the Republic of South Africa, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa represent a critical watershed in the evolution and history of our country post the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

We are here to firstly reassure the people of South Africa by reaffirming that, ours is not a cheap grand standing motivated by the desire to be popular but to reconnect with them for the building of national democratic society envisaged in the Freedom Charter.

Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, the testimonies of the last three days can attest that; ours is a fitting tribute to the legacy of two giants of our struggle, comrades Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. What is the legacy of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu about whose century coincides with this event. Amongst the abiding legacy of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu is the courage of conviction of to listen to our people even if we do not derive joy from what they tell us about the performance of government.

To borrow from Amilca Cabral, we were here to tell no lies and claim no easy victories as the African National Congress but to listen to and tell the truth as it is, even if it coincides with our detractors. We are indeed humbled that, despite many challenges, Gauteng Province is a collective pride of South Africa and its people in terms of good governance, accountability and responsiveness to the needs of our people. The 100 percent clean audit of Gauteng is a living testimony of this.

THE IMPACT OF MIGRATION ON SERVICE DELIVERY

Comrade President, contemporary history teaches that whenever there is paralysis of thought and action by those entrusted with leadership to respond to the needs, concerns and fears of the people, anarchy and decay are bound to predominate. Honourable Members we will all concede that; the era of globalization has precipitated the migration to be at the center of global development and governance policy discourse.

For too long, South Africa has relegated this challenge to legal processes without a coherent and effective strategic and political leadership. We don’t need a rocket science to understand that the relative political stability and economic development of South Africa is bound to attract international migrants especially from poor African countries in search of better economic opportunities and livelihood. As the economic hub of the continent, Gauteng province is equally bound to have highest concentration of the foreign nationals of all sorts.

Whilst we should concede that the overconcentration of these foreign nationals put a strain on our already limited resources, we should equally denounce the fallacy that blames all our service delivery and development challenges squarely on them. According to the Department of Economic Development; the export of manufactured goods to the rest of the African continent has grown at a faster rate than to any other part of the world which sustains over a quarter million jobs in South Africa.

There are many foreign nationals who are legally permitted to work and contribute to the development of our country. As an internationalist movement, the ANC has always been consistent to call on government to tighten our border control to ensure that every foreign national is documented and his/her movements are regulated and monitored.

This is in sharp contrast to the opportunistic posture of the Democratic Alliance that seeks to whip the anger and hatred of our people against foreign nationals for narrow political gains.

PRESIDENT’S ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE SONA

Honourable President, as this is your first annual address to the NCOP as the President of the Republic, the eyes of the people of South Africa are firmly cast on this event with a great sense of hope. Our people are keen to know how far you have gone since your State of the Nation Address in implementing the priorities you have outlined in your inaugural state of the Nation Address.   

We raise this question cognizant of the global context of economic decline which is also affecting South Africa and thus limiting its choices for sustained inclusive growth and development. Comrade President, following on the resolutions of the historic 54th ANC national conference, you have outlined, amongst others, the following as the strategic priorities of government:

  • Isolating and rooting out corrupt elements in the public and private sector;
  • Uniting government, labour, business and communities in a common partnership to mobilize international investments;
  • Fighting poverty and unemployment

GROWING THE ECONOMY AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT, POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

The painful truth about economics is that government alone cannot address unemployment and poverty without meaningful participation of business. To this end, we should not cease to call on business to come to the party in pushing back the frontiers of poverty and unemployment. This is the difficult task that cannot be addressed by cheap populist rhetoric but sound policy choices, accountable and capable state as envisaged in our National Development Plan.

Comrade President, we are proud that in less than a year of your tenure, South Africa and the international can count on the successes you have made in turning around the economy for inclusive growth. Amongst the critical milestones you made are:

  • Placing South Africa at the center of key global institutions to boost jobs and growth;
  • Convening investment conference that brought together 1500 participants who made investment pledges of 294 Billions;
  • Unbundling the economic concentration in the hands of monopolies thus opening opportunities for mass economic participation in line with the Freedom Charter;
  • Unveiling the economic recovery plan that enjoys the support of significant sections of organized labour and business as a catalyst for sustained growth;

THE FIGHT AGAINST CRIME AND CORRUPTION  

Honourable Chairperson, the scourge of crime and corruption undermined the legitimacy of the democratic state in the eyes of the majority of our people. These twin crimes robs our people their dignity and capacity to act as agents for social change in their communities. South Africa will forever be indebted to you comrade President in the bold steps that you have taken, which include, amongst others:

  • Re-engineering and overhaul of the Organizational and Management architecture of the SOEs which have been generally conceived as havens of corruption;
  • The Commission of Inquiry into the Mal-Administration in the South African Revenue Services;
  • The speedy appointment of the leadership of the leadership in the Hawks and the NPA;
  • The speedy assenting to the Public Audit Amendment Act which gives powers to the Auditor General to recommend punitive measures against truant accounting officer;
  • The renewed confidence of the police to handle crime without fear or favour;

DEEPENING THE CAPACITY OF A DEVELOPMENTAL STATE    

The building of a capable developmental state capable of intervening in the economy in favour of the poor, the vulnerable and the working class has always been at the beach head of the ANC vision. According to the 53rd ANC national conference; the fostering of the integrated co-operative governance is critical for accelerated service delivery, development and the building of a developmental state.

The ANC further acknowledge that; fragmented planning and lack of synergy between the three spheres of government are amongst the critical challenges of governance . This challenge continues to undermine the capacity of the state to accelerate development and the provision of quality services to our people. The persistence of this fragmentation questions the efficacy and effectiveness of our existing executive intergovernmental relations structures and systems.

The key question is how is the President as the head of state and the leader of the governing party going to address the challenges of fragmentation and lack synergy in the planning between the three spheres of government.

As the 53rd ANC national conference proclaims; building a co-operative governance system is critical for the building of a developmental state. The more we build a co-operative governance system, the more we build a developmental state .

CONCLUSION

As we conclude this debate today, we must humble ourselves as selfless servants of our people to renew our efforts to serve South Africa both in deeds and words like Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Harry Gwala, Walter Sisulu, Moses Mabida, Oscar Mphetha, Lawrence Phoka Noka, Basil February, Ahmed Timol, Barney Molokwane, Ting ting Masango, Walter Sisulu who left nothing for us, but the urge to keep the fires of revolution burning.

Comrade President, allow me to conclude on by saying the following; “The ANC that you lead will never succumb to any form of bullying from whatever quarters, they be left or right. South Africa is looking upon you to break new grounds in defense of the legacy of our fore bearers. The people of South Africa have confidence in you and are prepared to defend you. Rise to the occasion Cyril Ramaphosa.

Thank you.

See the National Development Plan. 2011

The 53rd ANC National Conference Resolution on Governance and Legislature 

     
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