2016 'productive and successful' - Zuma

2016-12-15 22:00

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Durban – The past year has been productive and successful, President Jacob Zuma said in his end-of-year statement on Thursday.

One of the key achievements was collaboration between government, business, and labour to promote economic growth and stave off downgrades by credit ratings agencies.

The outlook for agriculture had improved and growth in the sector was expected to return. Good progress had been made in implementing rural development and land reform programmes.

A total of 183 land claims involving over 35 000 hectares and affecting 32 172 beneficiaries were settled. Financial compensation of over R636 million was paid to land claim beneficiaries.

Government was implementing the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the August 2012 killings in Marikana. Claims for loss of support and for unlawful arrests would soon be paid out, he said.

Power utility Eskom had been able to meet demand and there had been no rolling blackouts since August 2015. Commissioning of new capacity from Eskom’s build programme and independent power producers had helped stabilize the grid.

On higher education, Zuma said government would ensure that all financially needy, academically deserving students could attend university and technical and vocational education and training colleges.

The fees commission, which was investigating the feasibility of free higher education, was expected to provide a final report in mid-2017.

3 570 officials guilty

Government intended fighting corruption and promoting professional ethics in the public service. 

The 2016 public service regulations prohibited government employees from receiving, soliciting, or accepting gifts in return for performing, or not performing, their duties and from conducting business with government.

Authorities, including Treasury, would monitor implementation of this and prevent civil servants and their companies from being listed on the central supplier database, which government uses to procure goods and services.

Since the national anti-corruption hotline was set up in September 2004, a total of 3 570 officials had been found guilty of misconduct related to corruption. 

Between September 2004 and September this year, 1 694 officials were dismissed, 438 were fined, 133 were demoted, 913 were given final written warnings, and 392 were prosecuted.

A total of R340m had been recovered from perpetrators. 

End of year Statement by President Jacob Zuma


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