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The Presidency wishes to advise that it has not endorsed the print media advertising campaign by an organisation called the African Business Leaders Forum, who use a photograph of President Jacob Zuma to market their forthcoming conference, claiming t…
Programme Director, Mr Trevor Fowler, City Manager of Johannesburg;
Secretary-General of the UCLG, Mr Josep Roig;
Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, Cllr Parks Tau and Mrs Pilisiwe Twala-Tau;
Chairperson of SA Local Government Association, Cllr Thabo Manyoni;
The President of UCLG-A, Cllr Khalifa Ababacar Sall, Mayor of Dakar;
The Secretary-General of the UCLG-A, Mr Mbassi;
The Presidents of the UCLG-A Regions – Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern;
Ministers and Deputy Ministers here present;
Your Worships of African cities and municipalities here present Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Dr Bobby Ramasia and business leaders;
I would like to thank you for inviting me to speak at this evening Mayoral Gala Dinner of the 7th Africities Summit. It is a great honour for me to join you tonight and say a few words at this crucial summit of African local government leaders held here in our beautiful and vibrant City of Johannesburg.
I would like to commend the City of Johannesburg and South African Local Government Association for hosting this summit. Once more, the success of the summit demonstrate our country’s capability to host major African and global conferences. I hope we have given all our guests a pleasant experience.
Gauteng is your home away from home. It is just another room in our common family house called Africa. Please enjoy your stay.
Since Sunday, you have been engaged in intense deliberations about the contribution of local government in shaping the future of Africa, with specific reference to the implementation and realisation of Agenda 2063.
Shaping Africa’s future is a matter that has occupied the minds of several great African men and women for more than a century.
I would like to quote the words of one of the founders of the ANC, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who delivered a seminal public lecture at Columbia University in 1906 title “The Regeneration of Africa”:
“The brighter day is rising upon Africa. Already I seem to see her chains dissolved, her desert plains red with harvest, her Abyssinia and her Zululand the seats of science and religion, reflecting the glory of the rising sun from the spires of their churches and universities. Her Congo and her Gambia whitened with commerce, her crowded cities sending forth the hum of business, and all her sons employed in advancing the victories of peace – greater and more abiding than the spoils of war. Yes, the regeneration of Africa belongs to this new and powerful period! By this term regeneration I wish to be understood to mean the entrance into a new life, embracing the diverse phases of a higher, complex existence. The basic factor which assures their regeneration resides in the awakened race-consciousness. This gives them a clear perception of their elemental needs and of their undeveloped powers. It therefore must lead them to the attainment of that higher and advanced standard of life”.
It is fitting and proper that the 7th Africities Summit is held in the land of Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who together with many great African leaders of his generation, contemplated and agonised about the future of Africa.
As this generation of African leaders from local, provincial, regional, state and national government, we have a responsibility to re-imagine an Africa free from all the conceptual trappings and material legacies of our colonisers. We envision an Africa free from all divisions and petty jealousies of the past.
I join you this evening, coming from the “middle government” – that sphere of government that is neither local nor national – to reaffirm the important role of cities and local government in shaping a sustainable future for Africa and in driving the Agenda 2063 and the UN’s SDGs.
I join you tonight to share a little story of how we in the Gauteng City Region are working together, provincial and local government, to drive our country and continent’s development agenda. It is possible to ensure that local government can collaborate with national, provincial and regional government to achieve a common vision on matters such as infrastructure development, spatial planning, human settlements and economic transformation, growth and re-industralisation of our City Region and playing a key role in Africa’s industrialisation.
Although the Gauteng City Region is made up of provincial and local government with distinct powers and interdependent roles and functions, we strive to coordinate our work and activities as if we are single government led by the premier and five Executive Mayors.
The reason is because we have a unique geographic and economic reality that forces us to operate as if we are one government: we are a cluster of three big metros – Johannesburg (Africa’s financial and technological epicentre; Tshwane (our country’s administrative capital and Africa’s automotive hub), Ekurhuleni (Africa’s aviation and manufacturing hub) whose economies are highly integrated. We are a province of multiple cities that are very closely connected and very powerful economically.
Gauteng is the most industrialised and highly urbanised province, which contributes 35% to South’s Africa GDP; 42% to our national industrial output and 63% to our national exports and 10 % to Africa’s GDP.
The relatively strong economic position of our province brings with it major challenges. In other words, we are a province of paradoxes. Despite, the fact that we occupy only 1.4% of our country’s land mass, we have the largest population. Basically, one out of every four South Africans live in Gauteng.
More than 20 000 people move into Gauteng every month. While urbanisation is a positive force that brings in younger people with skills, ambition and entrepreneurial drive, rapid urbanisation also puts serious pressure on our provincial and municipal infrastructure – schools, hospitals and clinics, housing and other social amenities. The more we deliver, the more people come to Gauteng. The more the cities build more houses, the greater the demand for shelter due to new arrivals from all over the country and the continent. Our cities face major challenges of in coping with the demands of urbanisation. Provincial and national government have to work very closely with cities to plan and manage the consequences of the urban transition.
We sharing these data not because we want to boast but we want highlight the role we are already playing the economic, political and cultural affairs of our region and continent. We want to do more in contributing to Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Through Agenda 2063, Africans have defined the kind of Africa we want; a continent with greater integration; a continent of good governance; a peaceful and secure continent; and a continent that places industrialisation as central to its development, among others.
The Gauteng City Region and other major metropolitan centres in Africa, have an important role to play in helping achieve some of the goals of Agenda 2063. We know too well that our growth fortunes are linked to those of our continent.
Consistent with our determination to contribute to Africa’s success story, we are currently implementing a Trade and Industry Strategy as well an Africa and International Relations Strategy both of which place emphasis on us strengthening relations with the rest of our continent. In this regard we are forging new bilateral agreements between the Gauteng City Region and key economic centres on the continent.
As Gauteng we are committed to making a contribution Africa’s industrialisation programme. It is for this reason that one of the pillars of our programme for Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation is to take the lead in Africa’s new industrial revolution.
Our programme on Africa’s new industrialisation, is a direct contribution to the programme for infrastructure development in Africa (PIDA), a continent-wide programme to develop a vision, policies, strategies and a programme for the development of priority regional and continental infrastructure in transport, energy, trans-boundary water and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
We are alive to the fact that, it is through infrastructure investment that we can connect our countries and increase the easy of doing business in the continent.
This has been confirmed by President Zuma, in June 2015, wherein he said:
“Regional integration is the key and infrastructure development is a catalyst for economic development on the continent. Many of the regional economic communities (RECs) have developed regional infrastructure plans to facilitate regional trade and investments.
However, it is important to also invest in national infrastructure, in addition to regional infrastructure. These are projects that should ultimately unlock the economic potential of the continent and provide development opportunities for communities, cities and regions”.
Here in Gauteng, local and provincial government have developed a province-wide Infrastructure Master Plan; a common ICT and e-Government Plan to build smart and connected cities; a shared spatial vision for the Gauteng City Region. We have to understand that the people and economy of our province is best served by operating in a highly coordinated and seamlessly integrated government.
Given Gauteng’s strategic location and world class infrastructure, we see ourselves as contributors in advancing the programme of infrastructure renewal in our continent as a key contributor towards regional integration.
Although there is massive room for improvement, we note with appreciation that our trade relations, as Gauteng, with the rest of the continent have grown significantly over the years. We also note that the number of African tourists visiting our province has shown a steady growth, even outstripping that of visitors from overseas countries. Last year 23%, which was the highest number of visitors to Gauteng came from our continent. Visitors from the UK came second at a distant 14%.
We are determined to address this imbalance. Our goal is to strive for a more equitable trade arrangement with our sister countries on the continent. We will use our bilateral trade agreements to achieve this goal. Specifically we will identify more products to import from other parts of the continent.
In 2013 Gauteng’s imports from the rest of our continent exceeded R 40 billion. The SADC region accounted for just over half of these imports. Gauteng imports from the ECOWAS region amounted to R 18 billion in 2013. In the same period, our total exports to the continent amounted to over R80 billion with most of them destined for the SADC region. As we have said we must reverse this trend as part of our on- going commitment to promote inclusive development our continent.
As part of reversing this trend, we will continue to encourage and facilitate partnerships between Gauteng based companies and their counterparts on the continent in the strategic sectors of the Gauteng economy such as the agriculture value chain, manufacturing, ICT, tourism and the green economy.
As Gauteng we are also keen to contribute towards addressing Africa’s infrastructure deficit, estimated to be US $90 billion, every year for the next ten years. We ourselves have unveiled a R 1,7 trillion Infrastructure Master Plan that we will be implementing together with the private sector, over the nest fifteen years.
One of the critical issues we must address is the unity of Africans so that we can confront all our challenges and exploit new opportunities from the standpoint common African interests. We have to deal decisively with all forms of divisions.
In response to some of the challenges faces such as xenophobia, we have introduced programmes of social cohesion also aimed at understanding that we are all Africans and our destiny is Africa. In strengthening cultural diplomacy, we need more programmes that get us to understand one another as a people. In our considered view, we believe that we need to celebrate Africa Day and indeed Heritage day differently. These are important calendar days that can be used to teach and speak to generations about the African Renaissance.
Speaking at the United Nations University, in 1998, on the African Renaissance, South Africa and the World, former President Mbeki:
“…as we speak of an African Renaissance, we project into both the past and the future. I speak here of a glorious past of the emergence of homo sapiens on the African continent. I speak of African works of art in South Africa that are a thousand years old. I speak of the continuum in the fine arts that encompasses the varied artistic creations of the Nubians and the Egyptians, the Benin bronzes of Nigeria and the intricate sculptures of the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique. I speak of the centuries-old contributions to the evolution of religious thought made by the Christians of Ethiopia and the Muslims of Nigeria. I refer also to the architectural monuments represented by the giant sculptured stones of Aksum in Ethiopia, the Egyptian sphinxes and pyramids, the Tunisian city of Carthage, and the Zimbabwe ruins, as well as the legacy of the ancient universities of Alexandria of Egypt, Fez of Morocco and, once more, Timbuktu of Mali”.
Despite all the incontrovertible evidence that points to Africa’s role in human civilization, the negative narrative about our continent is only changing slightly with the advent of the “Africa Rising” narrative.
We as Africans must define and drive the “Africa Rising” narrative in order to ensure that Africa’s destiny is not defined by powerful forces outside the continent. We must work together to fight racism, ethnicity, sexism and xenophobia. It is also for this reason that when the attacks on our brothers and sisters we stood firm and said no, not in our name. We did this because we are alive to the contribution that our brothers and sisters can make in growing our economy because they bring skills and we believe such will also help grow and develop the continents economy.
Cities and municipalities are playing a key role in making the Gauteng City Region globally competitive and better connected for the benefits its residents and citizens. A report released yesterday by JPMorgan Chase Foundation shows that our City Region has major strengths that makes it to rank high among its global peers of top 8 city regions in the world. However, we can improve our competitiveness by taking our full location in Africa and by unleashing our advanced manufacturing and exporting services into the continent. Africa is an opportunity, not a burden. African cities and municipalities have the potential to be the key drivers of Agenda 2063.
Allow me to conclude with a quote from the African Union’s Agenda 2063:
“Agenda 2063 is about the Africa we want to build in the next fifty years. It connects the Africa of yesterday and the Africa of today and the Africa of tomorrow. The Africa of yesterday is the indispensable lessons we have learnt since the days of independence some fifty years ago. The Africa of today is our destiny that is firmly in our hands with every action we take. The Africa of tomorrow is the future we are creating through what we do today.”
I would like to call on my counterparts, the Governors of States and Provinces in our continent to support and work together with local government because when we work together we can achieve more. When we go together, we will go far.
I would like to conclude by returning to the theme of African unity. The unity of local government in Africa is a goal this generation of local government leaders must achieve. Johannesburg must be remembered for unity, unity and unity!
Oh Johannesburg, please bring unity to the African local government. God Bless Africa.
Asante sana. Thank you.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS
Chairperson, Dr Leon Swartz of the NPU;
Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela;
Mr Pali Lehohla, Statistician General of Stats SA;
Special Advisor to the Minister, Mr Zane Dangor;
Dr Esther Muia, UNFPA Country Representative;
Ms Nompumelelo Nzimande, President of the Population Association of Southern Africa;
Dr Wiseman Magasela, DDG for Social Policy and Research at DSD;
All presenters and panellists who contributed papers to the SA Day programme;
Students who will present papers in today’s Student Session;
UAPS leadership present in the session;
Ladies and gentlemen;
I trust that you are enjoying the conference so far and that you have settled into our lovely province of Gauteng. It is a great pleasure and honour for me to welcome you in my capacity as the Minister of Social Development as well as the co-host of the 7th African Population Conference to the opening of the South Africa Day and the launch of our latest Population Policy Review Report.
I would like to extent a special welcome to my counterparts from the rest of the continent. As government we see the South Africa Day, as well as the rest of the conference as an opportunity to strengthen regional and continental co-operation on matters of common interests. Thank you all for coming and a particular thanks to those who have travelled from afar.
It is so heartening for me to see so many young and emerging scholars participating at this prestigious event. I am especially pleased that the student session contains nine papers. It is reassuring that young people are so committed and dedicated to shaping their own future.
Ladies and gentlemen, the South Africa day consists of a number of different sessions and themes that are pertinent to the challenges and opportunities facing our country, our region as well as our continent. I am sure that these themes will elicit vibrant and robust discussions from participants.
Esteemed guests, it also gives me great pleasure to, as part of the South Africa Day events, present the current Population Policy Review report to you.
The Population Policy for South Africa was adopted in Parliament in 1998 and every five years the Department of Social Development through the National Population Unit (NPU) produces a Review Report, evaluating progress with the implementation of the White Paper on Population Policy for South Africa (1998) and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) (1994). The last report, which covered the period 1994 to 2009, was published in 2010.
The current report strives to update that report to 2014, particularly on the basis of Census 2014 results. This particular report also covers a broader set of themes including Poverty and Inequality; Migration; Population, Environment and Development; Gender; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; HIV and AIDS; Families, Youth, Children and Persons with Disabilities.
I want to assure you, esteemed guests, that this review report is not simply another government publication. This document is the product of a wide process of developing a more concerted strategy to address national population and development concerns. We have had numerous consultative meetings in 2012 and 2014 with key stakeholders, including government departments, civil society organisations and academic institutions.
Twelve thematic chapters were developed by the National Population Unit and presented and discussed during the 2012 consultative workshops, after which they were finalised and a synthesis report compiled, reflecting the essence of these chapters and key recommendations on each theme.
The synthesis report was also presented and discussed at a consultative workshop in 2014, after which it was finalised, culminating in this report, entitled, ‘Fifteen Year Progress Review of the Implementation of the Population Policy for South Africa (1998) and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (1994) @ 20’. It is such a pleasure for us presenting this report to you today!
This review report provides a comprehensive assessment of population trends and dynamics since the adoption of the Population Policy for South Africa in 1998 and is also supportive of the priorities identified in the National Development Plan.
It shows that considerable progress has been achieved with the objectives of the Population Policy and ICPD Programme of Action. The many poverty alleviation programmes addressing income, human capital and asset poverty has resulted in more South Africans today having access, to for example, some form of household income, even if only in the form of a social grant.
More South Africans also have access to formal housing, piped water, electricity and decent sanitation. Census 2011 data shows, that South Africans overall, are enjoying a higher standard of life, particularly in formal urban areas. Annual nominal household income also more than doubled since 2001. Asset and human capital poverty also decreased significantly with eighty-five percent of households having electricity for lighting in 2011, up from fifty-eight percent in 1996. Almost three-quarters of South African households also had piped water inside the dwelling or yard – unfortunately, the provision of flush toilets has only increased marginally from fifty percent in 1996 to fifty-seven in 2011.
Despite the progress made, some challenges identified during the previous review remained and emerging ones were identified and subsequent recommendations made. These challenges and recommendations have informed the identified population priorities for the current term of government and also informed the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Population Policy’s work programme.
Ladies and gentlemen, the first identified population priority for the current term of government is Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). It is important to note that the SRHR of all who live in South Africa is important and will be addressed, but particular attention will be paid to the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of adolescents.
The second identified population priority is Gender Equality, Equity and the Empowerment of Women. With this population priority, specific attention will be paid to combating Gender Based Violence and the unequal relationships that continue to exist between men and women.
The third identified population priority is entitled, ‘Dynamics of a Changing Population Age Structure: Causes and Consequences’. We all know that the South African population age structure has changed and continues to change. These changes have implications for what the South African population will look like in future and we need to start paying attention and prepare for the emerging population and development issues the country will face in the future.
The last, but by no means least of the identified population priorities for the current term of government is Migration and Urbanisation. Specific attention will be paid to all forms of migration and rapid urbanisation as well as issues around the lack of migration data and government’s ability to integrate that data into planning and the subsequent implications for service delivery, particularly at the local level.
Ladies and gentlemen, make sure that you have your copy of the Population Policy Review Report. We will also ensure that copies of this report will be disseminated widely and to all our stakeholders and partners. We have already started to share the findings, recommendations and population priorities with our stakeholders, and will continue to advocate these as widely as possible. I hope that this report will challenge, excite and even inspire you.
I want to assure you that we are working tirelessly to ensure that we address existing and emerging challenges and will continue to do so. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Population Policy has already developed its work programme based on the population priorities and recommendations identified in this review report. We hope and trust that you, our stakeholders, will also use this report as one of your key resource documents.
Ladies and gentlemen, before I hand over to Dr Swartz, our session chair, to tell us what the rest of the programme will entail, please allow me to again welcome you to the opening of the South Africa Day and the launch of this Population Policy Review Report. It is pleasing seeing so many of you here.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS