05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 09:03
Remarks by Deputy President Paul Mashatile on the occasion of The Presidency Budget Vote, National Assembly, Parliament
Your Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Honourable Members of the National Assembly,
I am honoured to address this house on The Presidency 2023/24 Budget Vote.
I would like to reflect on the social and political context in which we are delivering this Budget Vote Speech.
Honourable House Chair,
This year marks the formation of the Union of South Africa, formed 113 years ago exactly on this day. It also marks the 110th anniversary of the 1913 Native Land Act, which displaced our people and excluded them from the economy.
We are on the cusp of 30 years of Freedom and Democracy and nearly three decades since the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
During this period, we have demonstrated our commitment to the principles of the Constitution by, among others, ensuring that we hold free and fair elections, adhering to the rule of law, building credible and innovative democratic institutions and a concerted effort to change the lives of our people for the better.
As we reflect on these milestones, we should acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead, the better to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of the South Africa envisaged in the Constitution.
Similarly, we acknowledge the role of heroes and heroines who contributed to our struggle for freedom and millions of ordinary men and women who continue to work tirelessly to realise the South Africa of our dreams.
In particular, we recall the role of three important generations - starting with the 1976 student uprising generation which went on to play a critical role in rendering the apartheid system ungovernable.
This generation inspired the formation of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) whose 44th anniversary we are celebrating today. COSAS would go on to play an integral role in the United Democratic Front which was founded 40 years ago in Mitchells Plain here in Cape Town.
The endurance of these generations in the face of injustice laid the foundations for democratic South Africa.
Honourable Speaker, despite the entrenched colonial and apartheid system, we have made significant gains as a nation. In this regard, I would like to report on the following areas of government responsibility: Governance, State Capacity and Institutional Development and Justice, Crime-Prevention and Security. Further, the Deputy President is the Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
We will also outline a roadmap of elevated priorities for the remainder of the term of the sixth administration. Specifically in the next six to twelve months, we are going to implement rapid response interventions on service delivery and trouble-shooting in service delivery hotspots.
As the President indicated in his address, we are here to outline what we have done in realising our mandate as given by the people in 2019 to grow South Africa together in line with our long-standing commitment to building a better life for all.
Working with all spheres of government, we are continuing to strengthen the rollout of the District Development Model through effective coordination of the different spheres of government, which will improve the functioning of municipalities and address community concerns.
We have been engaged with critical stakeholders to improve coordination and mobilisation in support of service delivery measures in Municipalities and Districts. This includes consultations with Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders on the implementation of Government programmes aimed at accelerating service delivery. We are also strengthening partnerships with
businesses, labour and government to source the critical skills required by the economy and the state through the Human Resource Development Council.
Madam Speaker, the work done over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period will contribute towards the 30-Year Review Report of democratic governance, which will be released in 2024.
Our country has registered progress in the areas of electricity delivery, health care, infrastructure development, cushioning the indigent, the provision of free basic water, housing and improvement in literacy:
More than 85 percent of South Africans have their homes electrified;
Over 5.7 million people on treatment for HIV;
2 trillion rands invested in national infrastructure projects over ten years;
Over 18 million South Africans benefit from social grants;
90 percent of South Africans have access to clean drinking water;
Over 14 million people have benefited from the 3.2. million free houses built since 1994;
95 percent of South Africans can read and write.
We are aware of and working tirelessly to solve problems in electricity generation, water provision, and infrastructure, amongst others.
We will equally be engaging various sectors of society on their lived experiences and provide reflections on the Government's performance over the last 30 years. Government accepts criticism because as a nation we are a diverse people and believe in the principle that everyone must be heard so that we can forge ahead with the nation-building project of a better South Africa as envisaged in our Constitution.
The State of Local Government Report of 2023 has presented a challenging picture with regard to service delivery across the country. Overall, municipalities suffer from:
We have not only acknowledged the challenges in local government. Central to the responsibilities of the Deputy President is to enforce One-Plan integration across Government, through the District Development Model. It is the whole of government approach, it is the maximisation of resources. Through the District Development Model and the Service Delivery Rapid Response approach, we have been working to ensure that we have One Plan that is measurable, implementable, and citizen-focused.
Over the last two months, I have visited Gauteng, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape to help to resolve service delivery problems. In all the six districts and metros where we undertook oversight visits, we received reports on how together, we are addressing service delivery challenges and progress made in the adoption of the One-Plans.
We are pleased that good work is being done; however, there is a need to strengthen partnerships to improve service delivery.
We are committed to building a stable democracy that works for the people. That is why in response to the unstable coalition government especially in municipalities we have proposed to convene a dialogue on the coalition governments. The intention is to reach a consensus on the principles of coalitions and to ensure that we continue to build a strong and stable democracy in our country.
As we said before, engaging in the development of a coherent framework for coalition government is part of the nation-building project.
Honourable Speaker, our work through the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) is bearing fruit. Together as Government, civil society, private sector, labour and development partners, we are on track in
mitigating the impact of the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB).
The implementation of the National Strategic Plan for HIV, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2017 - 2022 has had a positive impact on combatting HIV and AIDS in the last five years. In the latter part of 2022, 94 percent of the estimated number of people living with HIV knew their status,
76 percent of the people who knew their status were on anti-retroviral treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment had suppressed viral loads.
A special focus has been given to accelerating prevention to reduce new HIV, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), providing treatment to reduce illness and mortality, as well as reaching all key and vulnerable populations with interventions, and leaving no one behind.
It is for this reason that SANAC has been holding a series of engagements with civil society, interfaith leaders, traditional leaders, traditional healthcare practitioners, and the private sector on the particular subject of addressing structural barriers and social determinants of the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The new iteration of the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs for the period 2023 to 2028, will build on the successes of the previous NSP by way of maintaining the multi-sectoral, people-centred approach to eliminate HIV, TB and STIs as public health threats by 2030.
Honourable House Chair
Land Reform remains a key programmatic response to effecting restorative justice, and transforming the colonial and apartheid spatial planning.
We will continue to fast-track the land reform agenda, as it relates to access and the beneficial use of land. The Land Reform programme is also aimed at empowering beneficiaries including rural communities.
The success of our work depends on investing in a capable, ethical and developmental state that has the capacity to redirect capital and resources towards development and that has no tolerance for corruption.
In realising our commitment, we have embarked on a process to review career management of Directors-General and Head of Departments with a
view to place emphasis on outcomes. Secondly, we are moving with speed to institutionalise the professionalization of the public service, including having ethical leadership and meritocracy as the cornerstones of this administration.
As Leader of Government Business in Parliament, I will continue to monitor and strengthen Executive Accountability to Parliament. Central to this responsibility is ensuring that Members of the Executive attend to their Parliamentary responsibilities, by appearing before Portfolio Committees, and responding to questions for both oral and written replies within stipulated periods.
Linked to our role in monitoring executive accountability is the development of a realistic legislative Programme with priority Bills.
In April this year, we submitted the 2023 Legislative Programme as approved by Cabinet for introduction to Parliament. Cabinet Ministers have also been requested to identify priority Bills in line with Government priorities to be introduced to Parliament before the end of this administration.
Through our continuous engagements with Presiding Officers of Parliament, we will continue to fast-track and monitor the processing of priority legislation that will improve the planning capacity of line departments to effectively deliver services to the people.
One of the key priorities we are ceased with is to promote social cohesion and nation-building. In this regard, as the Government we continue to conduct a series of engagements with various partners, including Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, Traditional Health Practitioners, Military Veterans, Faith-based organisations, labour as well as the private sector.
We have been engaging with the National House of Traditional and Khoi- San Leaders to tackle challenges such as the safety of Traditional and Khoi- San Leaders in our country. We have also agreed to work with all Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, focusing on the following, among others:
We will continue to engage and report to this House on the work of the Inter- Ministerial Task Team to further strengthen our partnership, and address matters of concern to the institution of Traditional Leadership.
At this stage, we must acknowledge the role played by all social partners and individuals at different levels, in responding to various societal challenges that confront us as a country, including disaster relief and community upliftment efforts.
We have no country other than the Republic of South Africa. In our diversity, which in itself is our strength, we must continue to work towards a common goal of a non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous nation.
Our continent requires peace, growth and prosperity. It is for this reason that we will accelerate peace efforts in South Sudan, the Great Lakes, Central Africa, the Horn of Africa and the rest of the continent.
Furthermore, the socio-economic opportunities of our continent will be realised through the implementation of the African Continental Free-Trade Area Agreement (AfCTA).
Equally, we will continue to advocate for a world and a global community based on the principle that all people are created equal and deserve equal opportunities and instruments to realise their full human potential.
Here at home, we are addressing all the factors that impede implementation, including local and departmental government capacity, red tape, governance, poor contract management, long turn-around times, and corruption.
We are equally monitoring underspending, fiscal dumping, and the quality of expenditure. We have begun to implement decisions around insourcing, especially on maintenance, standardisation, the decision on manufacturing of paving bricks for roads and other options.
We are going to strengthen Good Governance by building up capacities for implementation, ensuring ethical processes and addressing the challenges of construction mafias, criminality, and corruption, which lead to non- delivery.
We are not looking back. We are steaming ahead to build a better life for all!
I thank you!