2011 - Jacob Zuma's wrap
Johannesburg - South Africa had met the challenges of 2011 with "fortitude and innovation", President Jacob Zuma said in his end of the year speech on Sunday.
Dubbed by government as "The Year of Job Creation" Zuma said that the expanded public works programme saw provision of opportunities and income for a total of 280 000 people and more that 80 000 job opportunities for the populace under the community work programme.
Zuma said that in improving the performance of the state, he would in conjunction with the department of performance monitoring and evaluation, "continue with the hands-on visits" to monitor provinces.
"The President cannot rely on written reports only from departments," he said.
Zuma said the office of the presidency and premiers would jointly implement a front-line service delivery monitor.
"In other words the experience of citizens when obtaining services from government."
Another milestone was the finalisation of the draft national development plan, said Zuma.
Zuma said co-operation with provincial administrations had been considerably improved due to his regular meetings with premiers and local government representatives in the president’s co-ordinating council.
He said that these bodies had worked together to "revitalise" education in the Eastern Cape; "improve the administration of health" in Gauteng; and had worked to "drastically improve the running of a number of departments including the provincial treasury" in Limpopo.
Zuma said that while statistics on violent crimes had declined, "the figures tell us not to let our guard down".
The year saw a 5.75% drop in violent crime.
Police arrested 149 659 people for contact crimes, down from 151 187 the previous financial year.
The year saw the issuing of 22 proclamations authorising the special investigating unit to conduct investigations - most of these related to procurement irregularities.
"[It was] a major priority for government to deal with corruption in procurement," said Zuma, citing the establishment of an inquiry into the strategic defence procurement packages - commonly known as the arms deal.
Zuma said the HIV counselling and testing campaign had broken ground in reaching 13 million and eight million people respectively for HIV and TB screening.
He said that social grants - now reaching 15 million individuals - was the "cornerstone of the fight against poverty affecting children and older persons".
Zuma lauded Durban's recent hosting of the COP17 United Nations Climate Change Conference as "a coup for our country and our continent".
On the continental front, Zuma said South Africa would continue to play a role in supporting peace in the two Sudan states, assisting the two countries with "development, institution and capacity building".
A memorandum of understanding had been signed with Mozambique to improve maritime security in Southern African Development Community’s Indian Ocean waters.
Zuma said Libya was a "key challenge" for 2011.
He said South Africa had "principled and consistent" efforts to resolve the situation, despite the "misuse" of the United Nations’ Resolution 1973 which was meant to protect civilians.
Zuma said anything that "challenged us in one way or another, simply redirected us to the drawing board where we often found new ways of doing things that would take our country forward".