State of the Nation Address 2013
Government has started a massive infrastructure programme to develop South Africa. It has spent around R860 billion on various projects between 2009 and March 2013. President Zuma reported on the progress of some of these in the SoNA:
- The Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation Project: the construction of the first phase has started. The project will provide part of the water required for the Matimba and the Medupi power stations.
- De Hoop Dam: the construction of the bulk water distribution system began in October 2012 to supply water to the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities.
- The Majuba Rail Coal Line: construction will begin soon.
- The Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor: Government has committed to improve the movement of goods and economic integration through this project.
- The City Deep inland terminal: substantial work is now underway.
- Pier 2 of the Durban Port: initial work has started in the expansion of the port. Land has also been purchased for the development of a new dug-out port at the old Durban Airport.
- Port of Ngqura: the port has officially been opened and construction is underway to develop a major new transhipment hub.
- The Umzimvubu Dam: preparatory work has commenced for the construction to begin next year.
- The upgrading of Mthatha Airport runway and terminal and the construction of the Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Road and Bridge are currently underway.
- Work in the North West will be fast-tracked further in light of the huge backlogs in that province, especially electricity, schools, clinics, roads and water in the next two years.
- Saldanha: to improve the transportation of iron-ore and open up the west coast of the country, rail capacity was expanded through the delivery of 11 locomotives. The first phase of the expansion – to increase iron ore port capacity at Saldanha to 60 million tons per year – was officially completed in September 2012.
Protecting women and children
- The Bill on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment has been approved by Cabinet for public comment. The Bill criminalises practices that negatively affect women and girls. It further legislates the 50/50 policy position regarding the representation of women in decision-making structures.
- Government has put in place mechanisms to protect women. These include the Protection from Harassment Bill (the Bill also deals with harassment by persons who stalk their victims by means of electronic communications). The Domestic Violence Act provides protection only to persons who are in a domestic relation-ship.
State intervention in key industries
In the last two years, Government has intervened in key industries that face external and internal threats. Here are a few examples:
- Train and bus production in South Africa were revitalised, largely because of the drive for local procurement. PRASA and Transnet have committed hundreds of billions of rands to improve our commuter and freight train network.
- The clothing, textiles and footwear industry has stabilised after 15 years of steadily falling employment. A clothing support scheme provides broad financial support, saving a number of factories and jobs.
- On broader economic transformation, the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act and codes are being finalised.
- Government has several programmes supporting small business. A key project for The Presidency currently is to get Government departments to pay small businesses within 30 days. Departments are required to submit monthly reports on this.
- R3 billion has been allocated for Government’s Jobs Fund, which aims to support employment-creation programmes.
Did you know?
Tourist arrivals grew at an impressive 10,7% between January and September 2012, which is higher than the global average of 4% for last year.
Did you know?
As of 2012, 84% of households have access to sanitation services. This is an increase from 64% in 2009.