I have the honour to present the fourth budget of President Zuma’s
Mr President you said in the State of the Nation address that “we should put
South Africa first. All of us have a patriotic duty and responsibility to build and
promote our country.” You further said “The National Development Plan
provides a perfect vehicle for united action precisely because it has the support
of South Africans across the political and cultural spectrum. Leaders in every
avenue should be ready to rise above sectional interests and with great
maturity, pull together to take this country forward.”
This challenge applies to all sections of our society: business, labour, public
representatives, activists and citizens in every part of the country.
As we pointed out in the 2012 Budget, global economic uncertainty will remain
with us for some time.
South Africa’s economic outlook is improving, but requires that we actively
pursue a different trajectory if we are to address the challenges ahead.
Under your leadership Mr President, we have opened new channels of
communication and built more cohesion among key stakeholders in South
Africa. We have taken many steps to create the conditions for higher levels of
confidence in our economy and society. Now we are ready to implement the
National Development Plan.
South Africans have a rich history of acting together for a better future.
• Thirty years ago, the United Democratic Front brought together people of
goodwill and foresight from all corners of the country. Many points of
view, many differences in approach, were marshalled around a single
cause – building a united and non-racial society. We did the same for the
first democratic elections in 1994 which laid the basis for an enduring
• The Reconstruction and Development Programme is the foundation on
which we build. It said:
“It is this collective heritage of struggle, these common yearnings, which
are our greatest strength… At the same time the challenges facing
South Africa are enormous. Only a comprehensive approach to
harnessing the resources of our country can reverse the crisis created
by apartheid. Only an all-round effort to harness the life experience,
skills, energies and aspirations of the people can lay the basis for a new
The schools, clinics, taps and houses we have built since then are
testimony to the truth of these assertions. The freedom and democracy
we cherish - and the knowledge that these are permanent, inalienable
rights grounded in our basic law – are the foundation on which all South
Africans can make a contribution.
• Looking back on the path we have travelled since 1994, we see the
importance of a long-term perspective on development and change. It is
people acting together for a common vision that connects the past to the
present, and makes a better future possible.
(Please download full speech above)
Click here to read an overview article on the 2013 Budget