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Source: The Presidency
Title: J Zuma: The Presidency Dept Budget Vote 2004/2005
ADDRESS BY DEPUTY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA ON THE OCCASION OF BUDGET
VOTE 1, THE PRESIDENCY, National Assembly, Cape Town, 23 June
The Honourable President of the Republic,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are pleased to have this opportunity of sharing with you our
activities in line with the programme of action outlined by the
President in the State of the Nation address.
Ministers have over the last few weeks, in their respective budget
votes, outlined the activities of the various departments, aimed at
advancing the fight against poverty and expanding access to a
better life. These have clearly indicated the commitment of this
government to meeting the needs of the people.
Madam Speaker, let me take advantage of this being youth month, and
begin by saluting our youth and acknowledging their contribution to
the struggle for freedom in our country. The youth are our future
and youth development continues to be one of our key priorities.
The Minister in the Presidency, who bears responsibility for youth
development, will expand on our activities in this regard.
Madam Speaker, we see nation building as continuing to be a key
responsibility in this second decade of freedom. Our people, united
in diversity, need to work together in a people's contract to
create work and fight poverty.
While working for national unity, we by no means seek to suppress
the unique diversity that makes South Africa a world in one
Members are aware of the establishment of the Commission for the
Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and
Linguistic Communities, which is set to begin its work in earnest
this year. Let us use this Commission, as religious, cultural or
linguistic groups, to contribute our uniqueness as we build a
better life for all.
Another key aspect of nation building and the encouragement of
diversity is the promotion of multilingualism, especially ensuring
the greater use of indigenous languages to promote their growth and
Madam Speaker, we are pleased that the moral regeneration programme
has continued to take root in communities.
Honourable Members would be aware of the success of the many
campaigns undertaken by government and communities, encouraging
awareness and action against scourges such as domestic violence,
child abuse as well as alcohol and drug abuse.
The success of campaigns such as the 16 Days of Activism against
Violence directed towards women, and others such as Child
Protection Week, result from the strong partnership between
government and communities in preventing and fighting
We thank all members of this House who are active in their
constituencies in such campaigns. Let us do more, especially during
this year, which is the International Year of the Family. But let
me emphasise Madam Speaker that the Moral Regeneration programme is
not only about campaigns against negative behaviour.
It is also about promoting positive values such as ubuntu,
compassion, respect for human dignity, human life and all other
values enshrined in our Constitution.
Therefore, all of us have a role to play in our communities, to
mobilise and promote these values in various activities.
In this regard, Madam Speaker, allow me to use this opportunity to
pay tribute to one of our foremost nation builders, the former
editor-in-chief of the Sowetan, Aggrey Klaaste, who died at the
His contribution to social development and to building a
compassionate society will never be forgotten. He was not just a
spectator and reporter of events; he was a catalyst for
Honourable Members, as we all know, the then Deputy President Mbeki
launched the Partnership against AIDS in 1998, emphasising
partnerships in care and support for the infected and
In addition to many government programmes, many resources have been
pooled from diverse communities and social groupings to ensure a
strong, united and comprehensive response to this epidemic. This
partnership is expressed and coordinated through the South African
National Aids Council.
We will continue to encourage all sectors and spheres of society to
be involved as equal partners in developing programmes, and in
sharing information and research that will curb the spread of this
disease. We must also develop more support networks for those
already infected and affected by the disease.
Honourable members, the building of a better Africa and a better
world has always been a strong mission of our government. We will
continue our interactions on a bilateral and multilateral level
with various countries and international institutions to promote
our national objectives.
We will next week host the second meeting of the South
Africa-People's Republic of China Binational Commission. We will
seek to further expand bilateral relations with China in the
political, economic, technological, cultural, educational and
scientific fields. South Africa is China's largest trading partner
As China is one of the world's fastest growing economies, we
anticipate that the Binational Commission will assist in further
improving trade between our two countries.
The bilateral trade volume has already increased from R9, 3 billion
in 1990 to R23, 3 billion, in 2003.
We also have Binational Commissions with Nigeria, Sweden and
Germany, and all these provide a focused mechanism of deepening
ties and meeting objectives such as expanding trade relations in
order to meet the national priority of job creation.
Madam Speaker, we are also continuing with conflict resolution in
the Great Lakes region, including Burundi, where elections need to
take place before 1 November 2004, in terms of the Arusha
A timetable has been approved by the Great Lakes region and we are
working closely with the Barundi to ensure adherence to the
The priorities in the next few weeks include the establishment of
an independent electoral commission and the passing of the
necessary electoral legislation.
Also in terms of the Arusha Agreement, we are assisting the Burundi
parties to finalise a post-election power sharing arrangement,
which we call a "soft landing," which would take into account both
the aspirations of the majority as well as the fears of the
We spent two days in Burundi last week, and met with 30 political
parties and representatives of civil society, to discuss
post-election power sharing and the peace process in general.
On Monday this week, in Pretoria, we also received a delegation
from the All Africa Council of Churches, the World Council of
Churches and the Fellowship of Christian Councils in East Africa
and the Horn of Africa, to discuss the Burundi peace process.
With regards to preparing the security conditions, Honourable
Members would also be aware of the deployment of a United Nations
peacekeeping mission from 1 June, to replace the African Mission in
As members will recall, when the UN Security Council indicated in
2002, that conditions were not conducive for the deployment of a UN
force, as the ceasefire agreements did not meet all the UN
requirements, the AU decided to deploy the African Mission, to
which South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia contributed
As we welcome the UN deployment, we also commend the African
Mission in Burundi, the first ever peacekeeping mission deployed by
the AU. It was a key innovation in the continent and is now a good
model for future AU peacekeeping missions.
Madam Speaker, allow me to thank all Honourable members who
continue to support the key role that our country is playing in
peacemaking and peace-keeping in the continent. South Africa is
presently listed as the tenth largest Troop Contributing Country to
the United Nations.
This is a remarkable achievement bearing in mind that the country
only became directly involved in UN Peacekeeping operations since
2001. This indicates the total commitment of South Africa to peace
and stability in the continent and the world.
Our country continues to provide hope in the continent, especially
in the search for peace. We recall that during the two
presentations to the United Nations Security Council for the
deployment of a peacekeeping mission in Burundi, in 2002 and 2003,
Council members unanimously emphasised the importance of the role
that South Africa is playing in the continent. This view has been
expressed in many other forums.
Honourable Members, taking government to the people through
Izimbizo and other public participation programmes is set to
continue. Accessibility and the capacity to listen and respond to
the people continue to be a key priority of this government.
Last year, a number of izimbizo were undertaken. The follow-ups
conducted after the visits indicate the success of this programme.
For example, in 2001 we visited the Free State, and in November
last year, we returned to assess progress.
As regards agriculture, a request for the speeding up of land
claims had been made in 2001. By the time of the follow-up visit,
18 farms had been allocated to the previously disadvantaged
families through grants obtained from government.
On the question of access to services, the people of Trompsburg and
Zastron had in 2001 complained about having to travel to
Bloemfontein to obtain identity and other civic documents. As we
speak, Multipurpose Community Centres are under construction in the
two areas to resolve the problem.
The people of Trompsburg had also requested sport and recreational
facilities, and these were built by government at the cost of R 4
In Limpopo, following complaints from the people during an Imbizo
last year, the provincial government set aside over R30 million to
demolish and rebuild all schools built with asbestos in Mafefe
These are just a few illustrations of how government responds to
the issues raised during izimbizo. They indicate the value of
imbizo as a communication, monitoring and evaluation tool.
Madam Speaker, in this new term of government and new parliament,
as Leader of Government Business let me acknowledge and welcome the
existing co-operation between the Executive and Parliament.
We will play our part to contribute to the efficient functioning of
Parliament, through, among other things, ensuring the smooth flow
In the previous parliament we succeeded in ensuring that a large
number of bills did not have to be fast-tracked, and that
Parliament had sufficient time to properly consider the Bills
Madam Speaker, Honourable Members, once again thank you for this
opportunity of sharing information on our activities. We hope for a
continued positive working relationship between the executive and
parliament, for the common good of our country.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank
President Mbeki and Minister Essop Pahad for their support in our
work. I also extend my gratitude to our Director-General, the
Reverend Frank Chikane, and all Presidency staff for their hard
work and much-valued support to all of us.
Allow us to also extend our heartfelt condolences to Rev Chikane
and his family on the passing on of his mother.