President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his SONA. Picture: GCIS

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that he would soon be announcing a number of urgent steps to enable the reconstitution of a professional national intelligence capability for South Africa.

Ramaphosa said government was implementing the recommendations of the report of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and was in the process of appointing a new Commissioner to head this essential institution.

"On the basis of the report and recommendations of the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency, which was chaired by former Minister Sydney Mufamadi, I will soon be announcing a number of urgent steps to enable the reconstitution of a professional national intelligence capability for South Africa," Ramaphosa said. 

"Among the steps we will take to reconstitute a professional national intelligence capability will be the re-establishment of the National Security Council chaired by the president in order to ensure better coordination of the intelligence and security-related functions of the State, as well as the re-establishment of two arms of our intelligence service, one focusing on domestic and the other on foreign intelligence."

Ramaphosa was delivering his second State of the Nation Address in Parliament. 

He said government has taken decisive measures to strengthen stability at many State-owned institutions and that he was soon going to announce more measures to boost the credibility of these institutions.

Ramaphosa said government had to act to stabilise and restore the credibility of institutions like the National Prosecuting Authority NPA), Sars, the State Security Agency and the South African Police Service (SAPS) after a number of stakeholders last year raised their concerns
 
"In response to the dire situation at several of our state-owned enterprise – where mismanagement and corruption had severely undermined their effectiveness – we have taken decisive measures to improve governance, strengthen leadership and restore stability in strategic entities," Ramaphosa said.

"We have also had to deal with the effects of state capture on vital public institutions, including our law enforcement agencies, whose integrity and ability to fulfill their mandate had been eroded in recent years."

African News Agency/ANA