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AS IT HAPPENED | SONA 2020: Ramaphosa concludes 'economic' address, saying SA 'will fear nothing'

Bertram Malgas, News24
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13 February 22:43

<p>Here's a recap of this year's biggest SONA moments:</p><p><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Budget/finance-minister-to-give-details-of-state-bank-sovereign-wealth-fund-in-budget-ramaphosa-20200213">Finance minister to give details of state bank, sovereign wealth fund in Budget - Ramaphosa</a></p><p><a href="https://www.w24.co.za/Style/Fashion/Style/beading-feathers-and-pops-of-colour-here-are-the-standout-looks-from-the-sona-red-carpet-20200213">Beading, feathers and pops of colour - here are the standout looks from the SONA red carpet</a></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sob5BaZvW3k&feature=youtu.be">WATCH | What to expect from SONA 2020</a><a href="https://www.w24.co.za/Style/Fashion/Style/beading-feathers-and-pops-of-colour-here-are-the-standout-looks-from-the-sona-red-carpet-20200213"></a></p><p><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/ramaphosa-says-govt-will-let-municipalities-buy-power-from-independent-producers-20200213">Ramaphosa says govt will let municipalities buy power from independent producers</a></p><p><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sona-2020-ekurhuleni-mayor-gets-his-wish-as-ramaphosa-announces-new-science-and-technology-varsity-20200213">SONA 2020: Ekurhuleni mayor gets his wish as Ramaphosa announces new science and technology varsity</a></p><p><a href="https://www.channel24.co.za/The-Juice/News/Pageant/zozibini-tunzi-welcomed-in-parliament-at-sona2020-she-is-a-reminder-of-our-potential-20200213">Zozibini Tunzi welcomed in parliament at SONA2020: 'She is a reminder of our potential'</a><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sona-2020-ekurhuleni-mayor-gets-his-wish-as-ramaphosa-announces-new-science-and-technology-varsity-20200213"></a></p><p><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sona-2020-ekurhuleni-mayor-gets-his-wish-as-ramaphosa-announces-new-science-and-technology-varsity-20200213">SONA 2020: Ekurhuleni mayor gets his wish as Ramaphosa announces new science and technology varsity</a><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/ramaphosa-says-govt-will-let-municipalities-buy-power-from-independent-producers-20200213"></a></p><p><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Economy/South-Africa/restructured-flag-carrier-saa-must-be-independently-sustainable-says-ramaphosa-20200213">Restructured flag carrier SAA must be independently sustainable, says Ramaphosa</a></p><p><a href="https://www.news24.com/Analysis/first-take-effs-political-arson-thuggery-reveals-their-disdain-for-democracy-procedure-20200213">FIRST TAKE | EFF's political arson, thuggery reveals their disdain for democracy, procedure</a></p><p><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/watch-the-eff-touches-the-untouchable-malema-defends-walk-out-20200213">WATCH | 'The EFF touches the untouchable': Malema defends walk-out</a><a href="https://www.news24.com/Analysis/first-take-effs-political-arson-thuggery-reveals-their-disdain-for-democracy-procedure-20200213"></a></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeMauuIoLL0&feature=youtu.be">WATCH | 'Pravin is here to stay' says Kodwa while addressing media outside SONA</a></p><p>And here's the full speech made by President Cyril Ramaphosa:<br /></p><p><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/full-text-we-will-not-surrender-our-future-to-doubt-despair-and-division-president-cyril-ramaphosa-in-2020-sona-speech-20200213">FULL TEXT: 'We will not surrender our future to doubt, despair and division' - President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2020 SONA speech</a></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeMauuIoLL0&feature=youtu.be"></a><a href="https://www.news24.com/Analysis/first-take-effs-political-arson-thuggery-reveals-their-disdain-for-democracy-procedure-20200213"></a><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Economy/South-Africa/restructured-flag-carrier-saa-must-be-independently-sustainable-says-ramaphosa-20200213"></a><a href="https://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/ramaphosa-says-govt-will-let-municipalities-buy-power-from-independent-producers-20200213"></a><a href="https://www.w24.co.za/Style/Fashion/Style/beading-feathers-and-pops-of-colour-here-are-the-standout-looks-from-the-sona-red-carpet-20200213"></a></p>

13 February 22:00

Ending his address, Ramaphosa says:

Fellow South Africans,  

We find ourselves at a decisive moment in our history.  

It is a time of great difficulty and doubt, but also a time laden with great opportunities.  

Over the last two years, we have worked together to build a foundation for progress.  

Now is the time for us to build on that foundation, to unite, to work, to perservere.  

We will not surrender our future to doubt, or despair, or division.  

We will continue our onward march to freedom.  

We will embrace change.

We will cherish life.  

We will fear nothing.  

As we do so, we will recall the inspired lyrics of one of South Africa’s most treasured musicians, uBab Joseph Shabalala, the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whose passing we mourn this week.  

Written in a different era, his words still ring true:   “We may face high mountains, Must cross rough seas, We must take our place in history, And live with dignity, As we climb to reach our destiny A new age has begun.”  

I thank you.

13 February 21:58

"Since I took office, we have built capacity in the Presidency and elsewhere in the state to fast-track progress on a clear list of urgent reforms.   We have established the Project Management Office, the Infrastructure and Investment Unit and the Policy and Research Services to address obstacles to reform and improve government delivery," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:57

Ramaphosa: This year, we plan to expand the district development model to 23 new districts, drawing on lessons from the three pilot districts – OR Tambo District Municipality, Ethekwini and Waterberg District Municipality.  

To strengthen the capacity of the state and increase accountability, I will be signing performance agreements with all Ministers before the end of this month.  

These agreements – which are based on the targets contained in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework – will be made public so that the people of South Africa can hold those who they elected into office to account.

13 February 21:52

We have noted the enthusiastic support from South Africans during public hearings on the National Health Insurance, and are putting in place mechanisms for its implementation following conclusion of the Parliamentary process.  

In preparation for NHI, we have already registered more than 44 million people at over 3,000 clinics in the electronic Health Patient Registration System, and are now implementing this system in hospitals.

13 February 21:50

Lots of cheers when Ramaphosa announces: "This year we will open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products, providing opportunities for small-scale farmers; and formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes, to build this industry in line with global trends."

The regulatory steps will soon be announced by the relevant ministers.

13 February 21:47

"Because of the drought in many parts of the country, farmers lost crops and livestock and many workers have lost their livelihoods.  

Working with the Agricultural Research Council and other scientific and agricultural bodies, we have developed drought mitigation strategies that focus on developing drought resistant seeds, planting and storing fodder, removing of invasive plants and management strategies to prevent soil degradation," Ramaphosa says.

13 February 21:45

Ramaphosa: Government stands ready – following the completion of the Parliamentary process to amend section 25 of the Constitution – to table an Expropriation Bill that outlines the circumstances under which expropriation of land without compensation would be permissible.

To date, we have released 44 000ha of state land for the settlement of land restitution claims, and will this year release round 700 000ha of state land for agricultural production.

13 February 21:44

Ramaphosa: An important condition for the success of our digital economy is the availability of high demand spectrum to expand broadband access and reliability.

13 February 21:42

"Effective today, new regulations published in the Government Gazette will enable investigation and action against abuse of buyer power and price discrimination. This will help even the playing field for small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs," says  Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:41

Ramaphosa: For its part, Government has already begun to act vigorously against illegal imports, seizing almost 400 containers with under-invoiced products in the last quarter of 2019.  

This suit that I am wearing today, which is brand new, like last year, was proudly made by South African workers.

13 February 21:40

"The Clothing and Textiles Master Plan, which was signed last year, aims to create 121 000 new jobs in the retail-clothing textile and footwear sector over the decade.  

"It involves commitments by retailers to buy goods locally, by manufacturers to invest and support transformation, and by labour to develop bargaining structures that promote agile manufacturing," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:38

Ramaphosa: Already, projects with an investment value of R9bn have been completed and 27 projects worth just over R250bn are in implementation phase, with more coming on-stream this year.

13 February 21:37

Ramaphosa: We will hold our third South Africa Investment Conference in November to review the implementation of previous commitments and to generate new investment into our economy.  

At the second South Africa Investment Conference last year, over 70 companies made investment commitments of R364bn in industries as diverse as advanced manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure, mining, services, tourism and hospitality.  

In the first two years of our ambitious investment drive, we have raised a total of R664bn in investment commitments, which is more than half of our five-year target of R1.2 trillion.

13 February 21:36

"Over the next five years, the Industrial Development Corporation is targeting R10bn of own and partner funding for women empowered businesses.

"To create a larger market for small businesses, we plan to designate 1,000 locally produced products that must be procured from SMMEs," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:35

Ramaphosa: As part of this intervention, the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Small Business Development will provide grant funding and business support to 1000 young entrepreneurs in the next 100 days – starting today.

13 February 21:33

Finally, we will lead a youth employment initiative which will be funded by setting aside 1% of the budget to deal with the high levels of youth unemployment. This will be through top slicing from the budget, which will require that we all tighten our belts and redirect resources to address the national crisis of youth unemployment.

13 February 21:32

Ramaphosa: Second, we are fundamentally changing how we prepare young people for the future of work, providing shorter, more flexible courses in specific skills that employers in fast-growing sectors need. Third, we are developing new and innovative ways to support youth entrepreneurship and self-employment.   Fourth, we are scaling up the Youth Employment Service and working with TVET colleges and the private sector to ensure that more learners receive practical experience in the workplace to complete their training.   Fifthly, we are establishing the first cohort of a Presidential Youth Service programme that will unlock the agency of young people and provide opportunities for them to earn an income while contributing to nation building.

13 February 21:31

"On youth employment, as from today, we begin the implementation of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention – six priority actions over the next five years to reduce youth unemployment. First, we are creating pathways for young people into the economy," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:30

Ramaphosa: On youth employment, as from today, we begin the implementation of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention – six priority actions over the next five years to reduce youth unemployment.   First, we are creating pathways for young people into the economy.

13 February 21:28

"More than half of all young people are unemployed. We need to make this country work for young people, so that they can work for our country,"says Ramaphosa, calling youth unemployment a crisis.

13 February 21:27

Ramaphosa: The young people who are at university and TVET Colleges face serious accommodation challenges. Some don’t even have places to sleep after lectures and resort to sleeping in libraries. We are going to spend R64bn over the next years in student accommodation and will will leverage at least another R64bn in private investment.

13 February 21:26

"The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture continues with its critical work with the full support of government and other institutions. I have received a detailed and voluminous report on the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation. I will make it available to the public together with a plan on taking the findings and recommendations forward in a few days," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:24

Ramaphosa says the fight against corruption and state capture will not end.

"We should upgrade our culture of reporting crime when we see it being committed.   This battle can only succeed if it is taken on by the whole of society, if we build a formidable social compact of all formations.   We therefore welcome the work of the joint government and civil society working group charged with developing a national anti-corruption strategy and implementation plan, which is close to completion of this phase of its work.   We plan to launch the strategy by mid-year."

13 February 21:21

"We implemented an emergency action plan and reprioritised R1.6 billion to support this plan until the end of the current financial year," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:21

Ramaphosa: Over the last six months, the nation has been galvanised – across communities, government, civil society, religious groupings, the judiciary and parliament – to end the crisis of violence perpetrated by men against women.

An emergency action plan has been implemented.

"We implemented an emergency action plan and reprioritised R1.6bn to support this plan until the end of the current financial year," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:19

The only metro in the country, Ekhuruleni, that doesn't have a university will now have a University of Science and Innovation.

13 February 21:17

"Our early reading programmes are gathering momentum. This year, we will be introducing coding and robotics in grades R to 3 in 200 schools, with a plan to implement it fully by 2022," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:17

On education, Ramaphosa says that various technical vocational specialisations have already been introduced in 550 schools and 67 schools are now piloting the occupational stream.

13 February 21:16

Getting a company registered will now take one day as opposed to the previous span of months.

13 February 21:15

"Water use licences, which are so essential to operations on farms, factories and mines, have previously taken an inordinately long time to process, sometimes up to 5 years.   We are able to announce that water use licences are now issued within 90 days," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:14

RAmamphosa: The Central Line in the Western Cape and the Mabopane Line in Pretoria have been closed for essential refurbishment and upgrades. We are investing R1.4b in each of these lines to provide, a safe, reliable and affordable service. Work underway on other lines includes station upgrades, parkway replacements, new signalling systems and overhead electrical traction upgrades.

13 February 21:13

"A key priority this year is to fix commuter rail, which is vital to the economy and to the quality of life of our people," says Ramaphosa of the rail service which transports over a million commuters to and from work.

13 February 21:11

"The business rescue practioners are expected to unveil their plans for restructuring the airline in the next few weeks," says Ramaphosa.

13 February 21:10

Ramaphosa: After years of state capture, corruption and mismanagement, we are working to ensure that all SOEs are able to fulfil their developmental mandate and be financially sustainable. In consultation with the Presidential SOE Council, we will undertake a process of rationalisation of our state owned enterprises and ensure that they serve strategic economic or developmental purposes.   The extent of capture, corruption and mismanagement in SOEs is best demonstrated at South Africans Airways, which was placed in business rescue late last year.
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