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What government will do this year - Growing infrastructure and creating jobs

State of the Nation Address

In addition to the huge investments in infrastructure, government will also continue to ensure that all of its five priorities – job creation, education and skills, healthcare, rural development, and the fight against crime and corruption – are focused on to further improve the quality of life of all South Africans.
Growing infrastructure and creating jobs
The Market Demand Strategy of Transnet will:
  • create more jobs in the South African economy, as well as increase localisation and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)
  • position South Africa as a regional trans-shipment hub for sub-Saharan Africa and deliver on Nepad’s regional integration agenda.

Agriculture
To expand agricultural production, government aims to build a dam in the former Transkei area of the Eastern Cape, using the Umzimvubu River as the source.

Energy
Government aims to install one million solar geysers nationwide by 2014/15. To date, 220 000 have been installed. 

Labour
Government is amending the Broad-Based BEE Act, 2003 (Act 53 of 2003). The amendments will:

  • establish a statuary commission that will deal with non-compliance
  • criminalise fronting and other forms of misrepresentation.

The Nation Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Process on the Atypical Forms of Employment and Labour Broking has now been completed – this is part of efforts to root out all forms of abusive practices in labour broking.

Other emergent economic sectors and employment issues

  • South Africa is waiting to hear whether we will win the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope. The winning bid is expected to be announced this year.
  • Business and communities remain concerned about high electricity costs. To address this concern, the President has requested Eskom to find ways to ensure that price increases are reduced over the next few years. The President also called for proposals in this regard for his consideration.
Did you know?
Government aims to create more than 1,5 million job opportunities in the next two years through its Expanded Public Works Programme.
Boosting education

Basic education

  • Efforts will be made to produce more teachers who can teach Mathematics, Science and African languages.
  • The President has called on teachers to be in school, in class, on time and teaching for at least seven hours a day.
  • Government has set a clear target of 100% coverage for Grade R by 2014. The progress so far is the doubling of    Grade R enrolment, from 300 000 learners in 2003 to 705 000 in 2011.
  • To fight poverty and keep learners in school, more than eight million learners benefit from the Government’s school-feeding scheme.
  • National government will continue to intervene in the Eastern Cape to assist the Department of Education to improve the delivery of education.
  • According to the General Household Survey (2010), just over 120 000 children between the ages of seven and 15 are out of school. Grade 10 drop-outs appear to be a problem, particularly in the rural and farm areas of the Western Cape. National government will work closely with the Western Cape Provincial Government to trace these children and provide support to them.

Higher Education (HE)

  • The Government has exceeded its targets with regard to HE. Close to 14 000 pupils were placed in workplace learning opportunities over the past year, and more than 11 000 artisans have completed their trade tests.
  • The number of students who register and study with Further Education and Training institutions has also increased.
  • To expand access to tertiary education as per government’s announcement last year, R200 million was used to assist 25 000 students to pay off their debts to institutions of higher learning.

Sports and recreation

  • The national women’s soccer team Banyana Banyana has qualified for the London Olympics for the first time.
  • South Africa has been given the honour to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.
Interesting fact
Government's National Strategy for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education will be implemented from 2012. It is aimed at improving the pass rate and the quality of Mathematics and Physical Science.
Social protection

Quality of water
An amount of R248 million is to be invested over the next two years to deal with the issue of acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand.

Rural development and land reform
The year 2013 will mark the centenary of the Natives Land Act, 1913 (Act 27 of 1913), which took away 87% of the land from the African people. The Government has only distributed 8% of the 30% target of land redistribution by 2014. A new policy framework, the Green Paper on Land Reform, has been introduced to address the issue of slow land redistribution in the country and help move towards the 2014 target.

Housing delivery
In 2010, government announced the R1-billion Guarantee Fund to promote access to loans. This fund will be operational from April, and will be managed by the National Housing Finance Corporation.
From April, people earning between R3 500 and R15 000 will be able to obtain a subsidy of up to R83 000 from their provincial governments.

Women empowerment
The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill aims to promote compliance in both the Government and private sector and provide for sanction in the case of non-compliance.

Strengthening governance

This year, government will work closely with various provinces to improve governance, systems and administration. These include Gauteng (health service delivery), the Free State (transport and roads) and Limpopo (financial administration in five departments, including Provincial Treasury).

Government will table the National Traditional Affairs Bill, which provides for the recognition of the Khoi-San communities, their leadership and structure.

Social cohesion

  • As part of promoting social cohesion, government undertook and is continuing with many heritage projects:
  • Museums and centres to be unveiled will include the 1980 Matola Raid  Museum in Maputo, the Ncome    Museum in KwaZulu-Natal, Phase Two of the Freedom Park Museum and the Steve Biko Heritage Centre in Ginsberg in King Williamstown.
  • Additional projects include the launch of the Dube Trade Port and unveiling the statue of John Dube at King Shaka International Airport, and renaming the King House presidential residence in Durban after Dr Dube.
  • In 2013, the Union Buildings will mark 100 years of existence. Planning to mark the centenary will start this financial year.
Interesting fact
The Recapitalisation and Development Programme was introduced to resuscitate land-reform projects. To date, 769 farms are being recapitalised by being provided with agricultural infrastructure, with 234
Fighting crime

Fighting crime
Government is continuing to implement programmes to make South Africans feel safe and be safe. Statistics show that there has been a 5% decline in the number of reported serious crimes, compared to the same period in 2010/11.

Fighting fraud and corruption
Government will continue to improve the performance of the State in various ways, including the fight against corruption. To further improve security, the Department of Home Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding with the banking industry to roll out the Online Fingerprint Verification System in all participating banks to assist in fraud prevention and detection.

Consolidating the African agenda
  • South Africa’s infrastructure work extends beyond its borders, as it champions the North-South Road and Rail Corridor, which is part of the African Union’s (AU) Nepad Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative.
  • The final outcome of 17th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP17) was historic, ranking with the 1997 conference where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.
  • Building on the success of COP17, South Africa will participate in the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.