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State of the Nation

18 February 2013, 10:03

‘Ladies and gentlemen, Honourable Members, President Jacob Zuma!’

‘Heh heh, thank you and…good evening.’ Waits for applause and ululations to die down. Shuffles his papers and smiles at the gathered dignitaries. So far so good.

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;
Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;
Former President Thabo Mbeki and Mrs Mbeki,
Former President De Klerk and Mrs De Klerk,
Former Deputy Presidents Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete,
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Honourable Peeroo, Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;
Chairperson of SALGA, and all local government leadership;
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;
The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;
The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Ms Gill Marcus,
The Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission and Deputy President of the ANC, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and all ANC Officials,
Leaders from business, sports, traditional, religious and all sectors,
Members of the diplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests,
Honourable members,
Fellow South Africans
, sjoe, I’m tired before…I start!
Good evening to you all, sanibonani nonke, molweni, dumelang. First I want…to thank you…all for coming, sorry, bad word!...this evening. There are many iss…ues I want to address…amongst them the …idea that I am in… this position for favours… and money. That is not true! I am in this position…because of favours and money. Heh heh heh.’

‘Let me thank the… Presiding Officers for affording me… this opportunity to share…our 2013 programme of action with the…joint sitting of Parliament. It is a good thing that I am… making this add…ress on Velentine’s…Day, because I am…looking for a new wife, heh heh heh.’

‘On the 15th of Aug…ust last year, the National…Planning Commission handed over the National Deve…lopment Plan, the vision…of the country for the next 20 years, to…the President in this august house. The NDP contains proposals…for tackling the prob…lems of poverty, inequality…and unemployment. I have started to address this… issue by employing many…many people at Nkhandla.’

Waits for applause from the ANC sector of Parliament to die down. ‘It is a roadmap…to a South Africa where…all will have water, electricity, san…itation, jobs, housing, public…transport, adequate nutrition, edu…cation, social protection, quality healthcare, recre…ation and a clean environment.’

‘The National Deve…lopment Plan outlines intervene…tions that can put the economy…on a better footing. The target…for job creation is set at 11 million…by 2030 and the economy…needs to grow threefold to…create the desired jobs. So I have decided…due to the success of…Nkhandla, to build…compounds for…all the cabi…net ministers.’ The ANC portion of the house erupts in cheers. They were right to elect him as President!

‘In my last meeting with the bus…iness community, the…sector indicated that for the…economy to grow three-fold, we…must remove certain obstacles. We will en…gage business, labour and other social…partners in pursuit of solu…tions. No single force acting individually…can achieve the objectives we…have set for ourselves. There are still too many..whites with jobs and money. They control…everything, just like in…Apartheid.’ Rowdy cheers from ANC.

‘I would now like to..report on progress made…since the last State of the Na…tion Address and also to discuss our pro…gramme of action for 2013. I will look a… the five priorities - education, health, the fight against…crime, creating decent work as well a… rural deve…lopment and land reform. Crime is going…well, as expected and…is expanding our…small business drive. They are…employing more young…people than ever…before and making sure…they are not a burden on… the taxpayer. This has lead to the cre…ation and expansion of…the security industry…which creates more jobs…as I promised.’ More rowdy cheers from the ANC members.

‘We have extended…the Addo Elephant Park all the way… to the coast, to incorporate…Koega. We have undertaken this…task as a result of…long delib...eartions. We, as the Government, feel…that it is time…Addo had a white elephant as well.’

‘We established an…800 million Rand national green..fund last year. To date, over 400…million Rand investments in green…economy projects has already been approved…for municipalities, and other organs of state. We managed …to obtain a special rate… and received 100 million…greenbacks in exchange for…our money. This will be invested…for the ANC, as a strong AN… means a strong country.’

‘Corruption is a major…problem in this…country and we…mean to address it. Last year alone, more than…300 opposition MPs were…arrested and jailed…for corruption. We will not rest…until all the corrupt…politicians are in…jail.’ More raucous applause and ululating.

‘We have scored successes…in extending basic service… through the infrastructure pro…gramme. Close to  200 000 households…have been connected to…the national electricity grid in 2012. More than 1 200 000 households have been co…nnected by informal…means.’

‘Nine out of ten…households have access to…running water. Some of this… is sewage, I know, but…we promised the people…running water and… we keep our promises…because we care.’

‘With regard to social infra…structure, a total of 98 new…schools will have been…built by the end of March, of which…more than 40 are in the…Eastern Cape that are replacing mud schools. The next thing…we plan to…do is find teachers…and text books for…these schools.’

‘On broader economic trans…formation, revised Broad-based Black…Economic Empowerment Act and…codes are being finalised. The development of black owned…enterprises and black industrialists will be prioritised. Government has…several programmes of supporting small business. A key…project for the Presidency…currently is to get government departments…to pay SMMEs within 30 days. Departments are…required to submit monthly reports so that we can monitor progress in this regard. If we find they…employ any white…people, we will…punish them! That is not…democratic.’

‘We identified tourism…as one of our job drivers. Tourist arrivals grew at an im…pressive 10.7 percent between January…and September 2012, which is higher…than the global average of 4% for last year. Ironically, the very success…of South Africa's national conservation effort resulting…in over 73% of the worlds' rhino population being conserved here, has resulted in our country being targeted by inter…national poaching syndicates. We are working with recipient and transit countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and…China and are intensifying our efforts to…combat this increasing scourge. The rhino horn at Nkhandla was taken from…rhino that died of natural causes.’

‘On education, we are…pleased that the Grade 12 pass rate…is finally on an upward trend. This is …because we changed the…pass mark to 30%, in our wisdom as…government. We congratulate the Class of 2012, their teachers, parents and communities for the continued improvement. Comrade Blade Nzimandze will… be making the universities…accept these students. We congratulate the top province for 2012, Gauteng and top grade 12 learner, Miss Madikgetho Komane, from Sekhukhune district, Limpopo, who is our special guest. Who that people…who say there are no textbooks?’

‘In this regard, we will…establish a Presidential Remuneration Com…mission which will investigate the… appropriateness of the remuneration… and conditions of service provided by…the State to all its employees. Especially the ministers and Vice President and, of course…my salary, which is too…small.’

‘We should also remain mindful…of rapid urbanisation that is taking…place. The Census Statistics reveal…that 63% of the population are living in…urban areas. This is likely to increase…to over 70% by 2030. Apartheid spatial patterns…still persist in our towns and cities. Muni…cipalities alone cannot deal…with the challenges. We need a national ap..proach.  While rural development…remains a priority of government, it…is crucial that we also develop a…national integrated urban development…framework to assist municipalities to effectively manage…rapid urbanisation. As part of…implementing the National Development…Plan, all three spheres of government need to…manage the new wave of urbanisation…in ways that also contribute to rural development. Apartheid has made our young people into rapists and murderers.’

‘Look anywhere in Africa: you don’t…see this things…because they didn’t have Apartheid. Africans are good people and don’t do this things. When they do it…they learn it from the whites.’

‘There is increased vis…ibility of the police which… contributes to the reduction in…the levels of serious crime being seen. The operations focusing …on pirate DVDs, pirate designer…clothes, liquor and drug… which are regarded as main…generators of crime have assisted in crime re…duction. Our police can b… seen sitting in their cars all…along the highways and manning spee… traps, and it has worked very well. We have made…enough money from…fines to hire more…police.’ Applause from ANC members.

‘The capacity of the Special Inves…tigating Unit has grown from…an initial 70 staff members to…more than 600 at present. I have since 2009, signed…34 proclamations directing the SIU to investigate…allegations of corruption, fraud or maladministration in various…government departments and state entities. We have found… much corruption among…people like Glynnis Breytenbach…and other enemies of…democracy. Criminal Investigations were initiated…against 203 accused persons in 67 priority cases under invest…igation by the end September 2012. In total, pre-trial…proceedings have been initiated against 191 persons. A total…of 66 persons under investigation are alleged to have received R5 million…or more benefits through corruption. Freezing Orders were obtained… against 46 persons.’

‘We urge the …private sector to take…corruption seriously. We have…and look where it has got us.’ Raucous applause from the ANC members. He holds up his hand and thanks them, smilingly, eyes looking left and right. Simultaneously.

‘Our Constitution is truly…one of our greatest national achieve…ments. Everything that we do as…a government is guided…by our Constitution and its vision…of the society we are building. That is why…we want to improve it…to make South…Africa a stronger democracy. A strong ANC is a strong…South Africa.’

‘We therefore call on our people to exercise their rights to protest in a peaceful and orderly manner. It is unacceptable when people's rights…are violated by perpetrators of violent… actions, such as actions that lead to…injury and death of persons, damage…to property and the destruction of valu…able public infrastructure. The DA has a lot…to learn about democracy. Many people…were injured in the farm work…ers’ strike and the DA must be…held responsible for this harm that…happened. This is unacceptable, and we will take…more unemployed youth…from the Eastern Cape to…join the farm strikes… and earn some money. It is called job creation.’

‘This year we celebrate the…50th anniversary of the birth of the Organ…ization of African Unity which has been succeeded…by the African Union. We pay tribute to the…OAU for its relentless struggle for the…decolonization of our continent, including…contributing to our own freedom. We will…continue to work for a stronger and more…effective organization of our Union. Africa is a world leader in everything…and the African Union is …proof of that. All the inventions…that Europe stole…from us when we were colonies…must be given back and…the royalties paid…to us.’

‘In this regard, we look…forward to the conclusion of political…dialogues in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.  Our…vision of a better Africa in a better world will…receive great impetus when…we host the 5th BRICS…Summit next month in Durban. I have personally told Robert…Mugabe he’s naughty…’ laughs, shakes his head…’but how do you deal with…somebody like him? He doesn’t want…to do what I…tell him. He’s very naughty!’ Laughs again and wipes his eyes. ‘Ai ai ai, that Robert!’

‘We have just con…cluded a highly successful Africa Cup…of Nations tournament. We extend hearty congratu…lations to the African champions, the…Federal Republic of Nigeria and…also to all participating teams…for their contribution to showcasing the standard of African football. We thank all our people for being…excellent hosts and fans. We extend our thanks to Bafana Bafana for being…such excellent hosts and not winning. And we thanks the ground…staff for painting the pitch…green. It was very beautiful.’

‘And finally, as South Africans, we should continue to have one primary goal - to make our country a truly great and prosperous nation. We, the ANC will help you achieve that, if you join our party

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

I thank you.’

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