President Cyril Ramaphosa says government supports the call for a pledge that men in South Africa are invited to take to demonstrate their personal commitment to ending gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
“Our ultimate goal is to end gender-based violence altogether by mobilising all of society,” President Ramaphosa said during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night.
Highlighting government’s efforts and achievements to end the scourge, which he described as the second pandemic in the country, the Head of State said together with civil society, government developed the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on gender-based violence as a society-wide response to this pandemic.
“Around R21 billion was dedicated over the medium term to the implementation of the six pillars of the plan, including the economic empowerment of women.
“New laws were introduced to strengthen the response of the criminal justice system gender based violence and provide better support to survivors of such violence,” the President said.
The NSP on GBVF is driven by six pillars, including:
• Extensive legal reform;
• Support for survivors through the provision of evidence toolkits at police stations;
• Psychology and social services;
• The establishment of the GBVF Response Fund which commits both government and the private sector to fund the fight against GBVF;
• Support for Thuthuzela and Khuseleka Care centres, which provide vital services for GBV survivors; and
• The economic empowerment of women.
The President said women are also in the process of developing their own pledge.
As the country celebrates 30 years of freedom, the President noted that government has safeguarded and promoted the basic rights in the Constitution and these include freedom of speech, association, and belief.
“We have defended media freedom and the independence of the judiciary. We have protected and advanced the rights of members of the LGBTQI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex] community, and continue to combat all forms of prejudice and intolerance,” the President said.
President Ramaphosa further reaffirmed government’s commitment to continue to build an inclusive economy, focusing on the empowerment of black and women South Africans, advancing workers’ rights, intensifying land reform, and pursuing a just energy transition that leaves no one behind.
“We will continue to strengthen our law enforcement institutions, tackle gender-based violence and fight corruption to make South Africa a safe place for all. We will continue to strengthen local government, professionalise the public service and ensure that public officials are held accountable for their actions.
“We will continue to position our economy to grow and compete in a fast-changing world, to support small businesses, to give young people economic opportunities and to provide social protection to the vulnerable,” President Ramaphosa said.
This year’s SONA, which was the last one for the sixth administration, was held under the theme: “Following up on our commitments: Making your future work better”.
Government’s “single-minded focus” on implementing plans to urgently address the energy crisis are making gains – with the end of load shedding “finally within reach”.
This according to President Cyril Ramaphosa who delivered the State of the Nation Address at the Cape Town City Hall, on Thursday evening.
The President said government has a clear plan – the Energy Action Plan – which is being implemented with “single-minded focus through the National Energy Crisis Committee”.
“We have delivered on our commitments to bring substantial new power through private investment on to the grid, which is already helping to reduce load shedding. Last year, we implemented a major debt relief package which will enable Eskom to make investments in maintenance and transmission infrastructure and ensure its sustainability going forward.
“Since we revived our renewable energy programme five years ago, we have connected more than 2500 MW of solar and wind power to the grid with three times this amount already in procurement or construction,” he said.
The amount of rooftop solar has also increased since government implemented tax incentives and financial support with regard to this.
Regulatory reforms implemented by government have also enabled private investment in electricity generation enabling the development of more than 120 new private energy projects.
“These are phenomenal developments that are driving the restructuring of our electricity sector in line with what many other economies have done to increase competitiveness and bring down prices.
“Through all of these actions, we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach. But we are not stopping there,” President Ramaphosa said.
To further strengthen South Africa’s hand in energy security, some 14 000km of new transmission lines are to be built in South Africa to connect renewable energy projects.
“To ensure that we never face a similar crisis ever again, we are reforming our energy system to make it more competitive, sustainable and reliable into the future. We are going to build more than 14 000km of new transmission lines to accommodate renewable energy over the coming years,” he said.
President Ramaphosa explained that to fast track the building of the transmission lines private investment in transmission infrastructure will be roped in “through a variety of innovative investment models”.
Friday, February 9, 2024
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday.
Below is the SONA in numbers:
- More than 26 million – South Africans who continue to receive social assistance every month provided by the democratic state.
- Some 9 million – unemployed people receiving the Special Social Relief of Distress Grant every month.
Unemployment and Job Creation
- Two million – people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
- 15 to 24 – the ages of millions of young people who were not in employment, education or training, by 8 February 2024.
- More than 1.7 million – work and livelihood opportunities created through the Expanded Public Works Programme.
- More than 1 million – school assistants placed in 23 000 schools through the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
- 23 000 – schools where more than one million school assistants have been placed through the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
- From 8 million to over 16.7 million – the increase in the number of South Africans in employment since 1994 until 2024.
- Over 4.3 million – young people engaged on SAYouth.mobi, a zero-rated platform for unemployed young people to access opportunities for learning and earning.
- 1.6 million – young people who have secured opportunities through the SAYouth.mobi, a zero-rated platform for unemployed young people to access opportunities for learning and earning.
Crime and Corruption
- More than 200 – accused persons being prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority.
- R14 billion – value of freezing orders granted to the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit for state capture-related cases.
- Around R8.6 billion – value of corrupt proceeds that have been returned to the State.
- R4.8 billion – unpaid taxes collected by the South African Revenue Service.
- R64 billion – value of civil litigation instituted by the Special Investigating Unit.
- 5 000 – extra police officers deployed to Public Order Policing.
- Over 285 000 – arrests made by the South African Police Service since May 2023 through Operation Shanela.
- 20 000 – police officers recruited over the last two years.
- 10 000 – police officers to be recruited in the year to come.
- Over 100 000 – people stopped by the new Border Management Authority from entering South Africa illegally.
- More than 2 500 – megawatts of solar and wind power connected to the grid.
- More than 120 – new private energy projects in development.
- More than 14 000 – kilometres of new transmission lines to be built over the coming years to accommodate renewable energy.
- Around R170 billion to almost R240 billion – increases in the value of financing pledges for the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan in the past year.
Economy and Investment
- More than 60 – ships waiting to berth at the Port of Durban in mid-November 2023.
- 12 – ships waiting to berth at the Port of Durban at the end of January 2024.
- R1.5 trillion – value of new investment commitments raised through five South Africa Investment Conferences.
- R500 billion – value of new investment commitments raised through five South Africa Investment Conferences that have already flowed into the economy.
- Approximately 39% – black ownership of mining by 2024, compared with 2% in 2004.
- Nearly 25 000 – kilometres of roads being managed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited.
- More than 1 200 – projects to the value of R120 billion awarded by the South African National Roads Agency Limited in the past five years.
- R120 billion – the value of more than 1 200 projects awarded by the South African National Roads Agency Limited in the past five years.
- 25% – farmland owned by black South Africans through redistribution.
- 30% – target of farmland to be owned by black South Africans through redistribution by 2030.
- Around 1 000 – black industrialists supported with funding and other forms of support in the last five years.
- More than 90 000 – workers employed by black-owned firms which contribute many billions of rands to the South African economy.
- About 200 000 – workers who obtained ownership of shares in the companies in which they work.
- Over half a million – status of worker ownership in companies in the South African economy.
- Over 6 million – workers whose wages were raised by the introduction of the National Minimum Wage.
- 82.9% – latest matric pass rate; the highest ever.
- 71.1% – South African population living in poverty in 1993.
- 60.9% – the drop in the poverty rate by 2010.
- 55.5% – the drop in the poverty rate by 2020.
- More than 100 000 – South Africans who lost their lives to COVID-19.
- 54 years – life expectancy in 2003.
- 65 years – life expectancy in 2023.
- 95% – persons diagnosed with HIV who know their status.
- 79% – persons who receive antiretroviral treatment out of the 95% diagnosed with HIV who know their status.
- 93% – persons virally suppressed out of the 95% diagnosed with HIV who know their status.
Housing, Water and Telecommunications
- Nearly nine out of every 10 – households living in a formal dwelling.
- Only 6 out of 10 – people who had access to clean drinking water at the end of apartheid.
- 9 out of 10 – South Africans with access to clean drinking water by 2024.
- 79% – households with access to the internet in 2022.
Gender-Based Violence and Femicide
- Around R21 billion – money dedicated over the medium term to implement the six pillars of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide, including the economic empowerment of women.
Following the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, Social Development Deputy Minister, Dr Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, in partnership with USAID, will on Saturday launch ChommY at the Silverstream Primary School in Manenberg, in the Western Cape.
ChommY is a social and behavioural change programme for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
Manenberg is largely a coloured community on the Cape Flats that has been characterised as an area plagued by gang-related violent crimes and drug abuse.
ChommY, a colloquial term for “friend”, seeks to build a positive friendship among children and encourages young boys and girls to motivate one another to minimise risky behaviour and social ills, including, bullying.
“The programme gives children the opportunity to develop a personal plan for their lives and emphasises the importance of support from parents and communities to enable young people to make informed decisions. The programme forms part of a basket of social and behavioural change programmes offered by the Department of Social Development,” the department said in a statement.
Observed under the theme: “Invest in my Future…Protect me Today”, ChommY aims to generate knowledge, develop skills, and empower young people to make informed choices and contribute on reducing high prevalence of HIV infections, substance abuse and prevention of teenage pregnancy.
Bogopane-Zulu will facilitate dialogues with the children as they share their social experiences and solutions.
Bokamoso – the programme’s mascot – will interact with the children as they participate in indigenous games.