This is the full text of the statement delivered by Jeff Radebe, the ANC head of policy at the party's National Policy Council being held at Nasrec in Johannesburg.
The ANC meets here on this occasion of its 5th Policy Conference under the Theme in the Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Let Us Deepen Unity! In previous ANC Conferences we adopted the National Development Plan as a platform for united action by all South Africans to eradicate poverty, create full employment and reduce inequality as critical building blocks towards a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
Yesterday, we presented a comprehensive overview of the progress we have made in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). It constitutes the programme through which we advance radical socio-economic transformation. We made proposals for the consideration of the Commissions as they discuss the various policy areas.
The health of South African children has improved with mortality amongst children under the age of 5 years has dropped from 40 deaths per 1,000 live-births in 2014 to 37 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2015 (MRC). We noted the decline in birth rates and the resultant low populatio trajectory. This shows positive impacts of our successful government programme.
The matriculation pass rate rose from 58% in 1994 to 72.5% in 2016. We are on a positive trajectory, as can be seen in international comparisons through the South and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring of Educational Quality (SACMEQ) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS).
Over 226 000 TVET college students received NSFAS funding during the 2016 academic year, with over 255 000 university students. The NSFAS budget has increased rapidly in the past years, funding more students. However, student protests show that the funding is inadequate and has led to instability of the sector. Government has also committed to reopening colleges of education.
13,2 million of 16,7 million households (79%) in our society are now living in formal housing. However, rapid urbanisation and migration still result in informal housing continuing.
Despite significant pro-poor investments in social infrastructure, poverty is now driven by poor educational attainment and unemployment. This progress with social and economic infrastructure may be placed at risk by lack of maintenance.
The number of those employed are increasing, but not fast enough to cater for the multitudes of youth that have entered the age of the workforce. Women are taking their rightful place in the workforce, increasingly freeing them from the historical constraints of the triple yoke of oppression. We recommended our commissions consider the following:
• Universal access to quality ECD services for at least 4 years and reduction of the proportion of young people who are not in employment or in education, or drop out without any education qualification
• Universal access to ICT in schools to support learning.
• Full implementation of the Government’s “National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper”.
• Expand Community Health Worker Programme, with a target of 700 000 CHWs by 2030.
• Overcome Apartheid geography and densify suburban areas to create integrated human settlements Implement large scale human settlement projects for accessible and affordable Social and Rental Housing and student accommodation.
We continue to grow our tourism sector where the Direct and indirect contribution to GDP increased from R372 billion in 2014 to R375bn in 2015. In the manufacturing sector, we continue to use the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to drive industrialisation, as well as the Black Industrialists Programme.
The renewable energy programme has successfully unlocked R201bn in investment through the renewable Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme. We have procured 6 244 MW renewable energy with 3 175 MW already being supplied to the grid. We are working towards procuring IPPs in gas and coal sectors.
Investment in the multi-purpose pipelines that transport liquids between inland and coastal areas has been completed. Government has also completed the heavy-haul rail corridor that will fast-track the movement of coal from inland coalfields to the export port in Richards Bay.
Government has implemented the procurement of 1 064 new locomotives with significant localisation identified.
All metro municipalities have implemented the initial phase of the Bus Rapid Transport programmes.
(a) The Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation Project (MCWAP) Phase One project has been completed and is delivering 30 million cubic metres per annum of water to the Waterberg area. In an effort towards management of water resources, the sector has progressed in the following sections:
• Water demand has been reduced from large water supply systems by 19% from a baseline of 10% in 2014.
• Rehabilitation of wetlands to sustain ecosystem services across the country has improved significantly. To date 394 wetlands have been rehabilitated out of 695 targeted by 2019.
• Compliance with water use license conditions by mines has significantly improved, sitting at 56% compared to 20% in 2014. The target is 60% improvement by 2019.
• Turnaround times in relation to licensing of development activities has improved significantly.
Digital Migration Transmission Infrastructure projects is 95% complete which will ensure 85% digital coverage in the country.
The e-learning school ICT connectivity program has reached 1 525 district schools and 125 Dinaledi schools were connected and using e-learning services through partnership through a public private partnership.
Without access to the world of work, inequality will continue to bedevil our country. Average incomes differ vastly, as do the ability of our citizens to save and build a nest for the future. The ANC will ensure Government embarks on the following interventions:
• Drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution while mitigating possible negative effects. Promote increased competition, reduce costs of ICT, and increase access to township and rural communities.
• Urgently improve the governance, delivery and alignment of SOCs and DFIs to support the implementation of the NDP.
• Eliminate anti-competitive behavior and reduce barriers to entry for new market entrants.
• Expand employment through EPWP Social Sector which at the same time ensure of 22 key services to vulnerable South Africans.
• Prioritising Regional African infrastructure projects to achieve regional integration and economic development.
• Strengthen our skills base, sustainable funding systems for poor students, along with clear criteria of who qualifies.
• Increase access to Post-School Education and Training, through Open, Online and Flexible learning.
• Radical land reform prioritizing and redistribution of state land and communal tenure reform to give title deeds.
We noted the successes of Operation Phakisa being implemented by Government through a unique approach combining the following programmes :
1. Unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans (Oceans Economy Lab).
2. Scaling up the Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance Programme (Health Lab).
3. Leveraging Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Education (Education Lab).
4. Galvanising growth, investment and employment creation along the mining value chain and mining related communities (Mining Lab).
5. Biodiversity, which incorporates Marine and Coastal Tourism.
6. Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform lab
Over 650 stakeholders from different walks of life participated in the Ocean Economy lab in July-August 201 and the following successes are emerging:
• A total of R7,3 billion worth of investments by government and the private sector has been unlocked in the Ocean Economy space – mainly in port infrastructure; boat building and aquaculture.
• A total of 6 900 jobs have been created in infrastructure; boat building and aquaculture.
As the ANC will ensure the Operation Phakisa approach is applied in more areas of service delivery throughout the State institutions.
Legislature and governance
The 2007 Polokwane conference made the following resolutions pertaining to planning:
Creation of an institutional centre for government-wide planning with resources and authority. The integration, harmonisation and alignment of planning and implementation across all three spheres of government, and with the development finance institutions and state-owned enterprises.
Substantial progress has been made in establishing South Africa’s planning system. Comprehensive institutional framework for planning to drive the developmental agenda toward the goal of a National Democratic Society.
The state should be more on the ground and responsive to citizens to bring back the dignity of our people. Prioritise resourcing of frontline services bridging the gap between government and broader society by listening and responding to citizen feedback and views. The ANC branches will continue to monitor service delivery and ensure our ward councillors are responsive to our people.
With respect Services to our people through the public service and macro-organisation of the state, we will ensure Government prioritises the following:
• Full implementation of the Single Public Service, the professionalise the public service and promotion of ethics of a development state.
• Deal with corruption swiftly by strengthen the integrity framework, exposing corrupt behaviour and protecting whistle-blowers.
• Finalise and implement policy frameworks and legislation asserting the centrality of planning, monitoring and evaluation within the Presidency.
• Resolve the constraints to improving access to basic needs.
• Strengthen oversight over Water Service Authorities and Electricity Distributors to ensure that they operate efficiently and provide sustainable and affordable services.
• A regulatory framework for accountability of provinces, their oversight over local government, and the reform of the district municipal system must be accelerated.
• Curb waste and corruption in government and Toward Clean audits for most Local Governments
Peace and stability cluster
We reflected on the progress we have made in making South African feel safe through crime prevention and noted that most crimes including attempted murders, sexual offences have decreased, aggravated robberies have increased slightly and murders had increased.
Among the challenges calling for urgent action are the recent incidences of horrendous abuse against women; rapes; murders; human trafficking; and abductions.
Since 2014 to March 2017, we noted that the number of persons convicted for priority corruption cases increased from 52 to 110 and the value of assets frozen by freezing orders is almost R5 billion.
The ANC will building the moral fibre of society by promoting the Charter of Positive Values propounded by the Moral Regeneration Movement.
We collectively as a society must respond to serious crimes affecting women and children, such as human trafficking, femicide, rape and other sexual offences.
To address corruption, government needs to strengthen the anti-corruption legislation and finalise the National Anti-Corruption Strategy for the country.
As the leader of society the ANC will to ensure the Government can address threats to the security of the including climate change and capacity of law enforcement agencies. The Government must pursue:
• Crime prevention and combatting strategies including Integrated Social Crime Prevention.
• The fight against corruption through the National Anti-Corruption Strategy across all levels and sectors
• Encourage the Legislature to strengthen penal laws and harsher sentences for new wave of unacceptable crimes
Members of the Media, the National Development Plan is our roadmap towards socio-economic transformation. We have outlined some achievements as well as the areas that we need to transform the lives of our people.
We must redouble our efforts to address these challenges, as it is only by addressing our challenges that we can improve. We have the courage to face our failures, and move quickly to ensure Government transforms critical service delivery.
We demonstrate that the ANC is the only party that will make the difference that our citizens demand, continue to be the leader of society through radical socio- economic transformation to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment.