AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Boloro and BanQu are pleased to announce winning the ‘Innovate for Refugees’ global competition held by MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and sponsored by Zain Group, MBC Hope, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. The Boloro and BanQu solution for refugees is a strategic […]
South Africa’s police chief has disclosed that criminal gangs have joined the #FeesMustFall protests that has hit several universities across the country.Lt. Gen. Khomotso Phahlane was delivering an update on security and policing matters relating to t…
President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his good wishes to the country’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as he turns 85 today.”Archbishop Emeritus Tutu has contributed immensely to the freedom and democratic dispensation we achieved as a country. He continu…
The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, MP, will be visiting the Rock of Ages International Church in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga Province on Sunday, 9 October 2016, as part of his Education Sunday Career Guidance Campaign.T…
Opening remarks by President Jacob Zuma on the Occasion of the Second Session of the Bi-National Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Namibia, PretoriaOctober 7, 2016
Let me first thank you, Mr President, for accepting my invitation to the 2nd Session of our Bi-National Commission, which we are happy to host.We extend our warm welcome and fraternal greetings to you and your esteemed delegation. We hope that you will…
It is a great honour and privilege to be at this prestigious school of public policy, established in the name of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
We remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew as an outstanding patriot who dedicated his life and wisdom to the wellbeing of his nation.
He was an astute statesman whose passion lay in building a united and respected nation free from want and ignorance.
Thanks to his visionary leadership, Singapore is today a global model for good governance, efficiency and economic prosperity.
We are here in Singapore to learn from your remarkable progress and share our own experiences of development.
It is nearly two decades since our former President Nelson Mandela was warmly welcomed to your shores.
Your late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew described Nelson Mandela as ‘an inspiration to an entire generation’ because of his moral stamina, judgment, democratic values and belief in non-racialism.
It is because of visionary nation builders like Lee Kuan Yew and Nelson Mandela that our countries began crafting a new narrative of hope, prosperity and lasting peace.
For the benefit of the people of our two countries, we must now work to strengthen our bilateral relations and improve trade.
We invite this industrious nation to expand its role in South Africa to help grow our economy and skill our people.
Singapore is well positioned to take advantage of rewarding investment opportunities offered by our country as we re-ignite economic growth to defeat poverty, unemployment, inequality and underdevelopment.
South Africa is a nation hard at work building an inclusive society from a divided and unequal past.
To achieve sustainable, shared prosperity, we are implementing a National Development Plan that has presented a compelling and ambitious vision of the country in 2030.
It is a social compact that unites all South Africans in reducing poverty and inequality through investment, employment creation and skills development.
By 2030, we envision a reconstructed society where everybody is empowered to embrace their full potential, where we trade more and where citizens work to create plenty.
Our Constitution enjoins us to free the potential of each person and to improve the quality of life of all our citizens.
Given our long history of racial division and social exclusion, we see a developmental state as a critical instrument to achieve socio-economic transformation.
We recognise that more effective state provision of education, health, municipal services, public transport and social security is needed to improve the living standards of the poor.
We are constantly improving the ability of the state to deliver quality services better.
We have made significant advances in institutionalising the planning, monitoring and evaluation functions across all spheres of government.
And we are drawing on best practice to improve the interface between government and communities in advancing social development.
In this, we have identified a leading role for our state owned companies.
We are working to transform and strengthen them.
There is much we can learn from the architecture and efficient management of Singapore’s state owned companies.
We hope to understand how you have developed these companies to be at the forefront of economic development and inclusive growth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
South Africa is an integral part of the African continent, which is seeing significant economic growth and social development.
The continent has several strategic advantages, including abundant mineral resources, significant agricultural potential, expanding cities, a young population and growing middle class.
Africa is an enormous market of one billion people.
A number of its countries are in the 10 fastest growing economies globally.
The African continent is widely acknowledged as the next growth frontier.
However, to achieve its full potential, African countries need to address the legacy of colonialism and underdevelopment.
The continent needs to diversify its economies, improve its transport networks and energy supply, educate its youth and increase intra-African trade.
Through the African Union, the continent has chosen an industrialisation path driven by regional integration, infrastructure development, mineral beneficiation and developing the agricultural value chain.
South Africa occupies a strategic position on the African continent, which is an advantage for international companies that establish a presence in our country.
We are a leading investor in the continent.
Our trade policy prioritises regional development through the Southern African Development Community, the Tripartite Free Trade Area and the Continental Free Trade Area.
Together with Singapore we can explore commercial opportunities which will benefit our countries and the people of Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In addition to its proximity to Africa’s fast growing markets, South Africa is an attractive place to do business.
The country has extensive mineral resources and a modern, productive agricultural sector.
We have a sophisticated financial and business services sector.
We have high-quality universities and near universal schooling.
Several of our companies have a global presence.
We are a stable country with a vibrant democracy.
Since 1994, we have held regular free and fair elections.
Transparency and accountability is supported by independent institutions.
The Constitution is paramount. The rule of law respected.
We have put in place mechanisms that bring government, labour, business and the community constituencies together to seek consensus on major economic and social policy.
We continue to improve our global competitiveness in critical areas.
The 2016 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index ranks South Africa 47 out of 138 countries, up two places from the year before.
We have demonstrated sustained improvements in areas like goods and market efficiency.
We are 10 positions up from last year in labour market efficiency. Our macro-economic environment went up six positions.
We have improved in areas like innovation, technological readiness, infrastructure development, and delivery of health and education.
As South Africa works to grow its economy and create employment for millions of young people, a critical area of focus is education and skills development.
One of the most devastating of apartheid’s legacies is a substantial skills deficit that constrains rapid economic development.
Like Singapore, we see the development of the capabilities of our people as the single most important investment we can make in our future.
We have massively expanded access to both basic and higher education for the poor.
The challenge we now face is to match our achievements in improving access with the outcomes our education system produces.
We are paying specific attention to the extent to which our education and skills development programmes prepare our young people for the requirements of a modern industrial economy.
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, South Africa has not achieved the sustained levels of growth it recorded following the advent of democracy.
Like many countries across the world, we are facing a massive challenge of youth unemployment.
We have therefore embarked on a process of accelerated industrialisation to increase investment in the economy and create jobs.
We are therefore pursuing strategies that develop industries through which we can add value to our substantial mineral wealth.
We want to export finished products, not raw materials.
We have an Industrial Policy Action Plan that provides incentives and other support to industries that have the greatest potential for growth.
The establishment of several industrial development zones in key ports has increased investment and manufacturing capacity.
We are in the process of establishing special economic zones in other parts of the country.
These will facilitate the concentration of related industries and value chains in one location, and provide an advantageous regulatory environment.
South Africa has made important progress in resolving energy supply challenges, which are the result of years of under-investment in generation capacity.
With new power stations coming online and a growing renewable energy programme, South Africa will be able to ensure security of supply well into the future.
We are also working to revitalise the agriculture and agro-processing value chain and develop the ocean economy in areas like ship building, maritime transport and aquaculture.
By developing South Africa’s manufacturing sector and making it more competitive, we intend to give our firms a better chance of competing with their international peers.
We have begun to an ambitious infrastructure investment programme.
The government is undertaking massive investments in energy, transport, water and communication infrastructure.
It is also building social infrastructure like universities, colleges, schools, hospitals and clinics.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over a century ago, a great visionary and one of the founders of the African National Congress, Pixley ka Seme, foresaw the regeneration of Africa that is now taking place across the continent.
He declared that ‘a new and unique civilisation is soon to be added to the world’.
In a speech that has resonated across the years, he said:
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.
We hope that Singapore will want to be part of this African renaissance.
We hope that the people of the great Lee Kuan Yew will hear the call of the children of the continent of Africa.
We trust that you will find lasting value and fulfilment in being ready partners in this historic enterprise.
A brighter day is indeed rising upon Africa, and we sincerely hope that the people of Singapore will be with us to bask in its warmth.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa