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President Zuma: Cabinet Lekgotla statement
Sun, 25 Jul 2010 00:28
As is customary, the July Lekgotla focused on planning issues to inform the annual budgeting process which starts in earnest in August.
This is the first July Lekgotla in which such planning issues were presented within the framework of the outcomes approach, which we adopted to help us change the way government works to improve service delivery.
There are two main objectives of the outcomes approach.
Firstly, we are increasing the strategic focus of government. In the past, we tended to focus our attention on too many things, and consequently failed to make sufficient progress on some of the most important projects. For this reason, at the January Cabinet Lekgotla a decision was taken to focus our attention on the achievement of 12 outcomes.
Secondly, we are introducing a more rigorous approach to the way in which government implements its programmes. This involves identifying the key outputs and activities required to achieve the outcomes, and identifying appropriate indicators and targets to enable the monitoring of progress.
After the January Lekgotla, Cabinet agreed on sets of high level outputs, indicators and targets for each of the 12 outcomes, and these then became the basis for the performance agreements which the President entered into with Ministers at the end of April.
Ministers were then asked to work with key partners to negotiate a Delivery agreement which clarifies who will do what, when and using what resources to achieve the outcome.
While promoting that, departments should work together, at the same time, care is being taken that the collective agreements do not cloud the accountability of individual Ministers and Directors-General.
Once the Delivery Agreements are finalised, there will be a strong monitoring of their implementation. The contents of the Delivery Agreements will be the basis of governments new Programme of Action.
Progress with implementation of the Delivery Agreements will be the key agenda item on an ongoing basis for engagement between Ministers and Provincial MECs, Clusters, Cabinet Committees and Cabinet.
These coordinating structures will receive regular progress reports so that blockages can be attended to timeously, as it was done during the FIFA World Cup tournament.
Some highlights of some of the Delivery Agreements include:
In order to achieve the outcome of improved quality of basic education, there will be a focus on improving the quality of teaching so that results improve, as measured by internationally benchmarked tests.
Targets have been set for the improvements in results at various grades over time. In order to achieve this, we will be providing all schools with appropriate learner and teacher support materials such as lesson plans, workbooks and textbooks, to ensure proper coverage of the curriculum.
To promote universal access, we must get 200 000 children between the ages of 7 and 15 into school, before 2014.
Some children live far away from school. Others need special education and local schools may not offer this, and many are from poor homes.
To achieve this we will continue to make the number of no-fee schools available and to increase feeding schemes to assist children from poor families.
There will also be a drive to ensure that teachers are in class, teaching, for the allocated school time. The Delivery Agreement has been negotiated with all the key stakeholders, including provincial education departments and the trade unions.
The Health Delivery Agreement aims to address the burden of diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and others and performance problems in the public health system.
Highlights include early treatment of patients who are HIV positive.
Government has recently conducted very successful campaigns against both polio and measles.
This was in response to recent outbreaks but also as part of the global elimination campaign advocated by the World Health Organisation.
We are proud to announce that we have now reached about 90% coverage for polio immunization for children under five years of age and 95% coverage for measles immunisation for children aged between 6 months and 14 years.
Fight against crime
We will be drawing on the highly successful policing and justice arrangements which were put in place for the World Cup to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our justice and crime prevention system.
The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster has been mandated to create an Anti-Corruption Task Team which will fast-track the investigation and prosecution of cases of corruption.
In the area of human settlements, one of the targets we have set ourselves is to positively impact on the quality of life of 400 000 households by 2014 by upgrading informal settlements.
This will provide households with security of tenure as well as access to essential services in sites which are close to economic and other social amenities. Each province has indicated what its contribution to the national target would be.
Rural development and land reform.
In our discussion on strategies to improve the lives of citizens that live in the rural areas of our country, we recognise that we need a two-pronged approach. We will focus on the expansion of commercial farming and agri-processing opportunities to stimulate local economic growth and employment, while also increasing the number of small holder farmers and their market share.
In addition, a parallel strategy of providing predictable income for the poor through work in the Community Work Programme will be intensified.
The programme pays a wage to unemployed individuals who work on activities prioritised by the community such as fencing and maintenance of schools and clinics as well as caring for the aged amongst others.
Building on the successful delivery of World Cup infrastructure, we will take forward the delivery of major projects such as: Medupi power station
- Re-commissioning the Komati power station
- Ingula pump storage scheme
- Sere wind power project
- Solar power plant
- Mooi-Umgeni water transfer scheme (including the Spring Grove dam)
- Mokolo-Crocodile water project
- Completion of the new petroleum pipeline
- Completion of the Gautrain in the next year
- Expansion of the bus rapid transit systems.
There was a particular focus on the challenge of youth unemployment and skills, and a number of proposed initiatives were discussed in this regard. For example, we will increase access to post-school education and training to give young people who have not completed their senior secondary education an opportunity to attain an equivalent qualification.
Those who have completed matric but could not access universities will be provided with access to programmes that are occupationally directed such as the artisans training.
Economic growth and development
The Lekgotla also received a presentation on the draft developmental economic growth path document that has been compiled since the January Lekgotla. It was agreed that a special Cabinet meeting will be held shortly to focus on developing the document further. One of the central considerations is how to create employment on a large scale.
This will include working closely with the unions and business community to identify the job drivers.
Government will soon be announcing the dates of a lekgotla with the business community to discuss the legacy of the 2010 World Cup, to identify and discuss opportunities created and explore further initiatives that advance the development of our country.
We also have a pending meeting with labour to discuss working together to improve the quality of life of all.
Cabinet wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the organisers of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, our civil service, and all our people, supporters and visitors, for a historic event, successful beyond expectation. National pride, and the inspiration to do more and achieve more, is the primary legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Lekgotla resolved not only to continue to build on the spirit that has welded us together as a cohesive nation, but to harness this energy to solve the many problems we face as a developing country.
We have created much international goodwill towards South Africa. Many factors give us the confidence that the World Cup was indeed economically in our interest as a nation.
Amongst others, these are the thousands of tourists who spent foreign currency here, our own investments in infrastructure which remains with us, the many jobs that were created in the preparation and during the event, as well as the exposure of South Africa as a well organised destination for business and investment from all over the world.
Over and above the positive impact on this years GDP, we will be working towards ensuring that the World Cup legacy also contributes to economic growth in years to come.
We want to ensure the continued sustainability of our stadiums, through attracting more African and international events to our country.
The broad participation of all our people in the planning and implementation process has made the World Cup a success and has resulted in improved social cohesion. We will also build on this by incorporating community participation and stakeholder engagement in the service delivery programmes of government.
A more detailed assessment of the tournament and its legacy is being carried out by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Inter-ministerial Committee which will complete a comprehensive report for Cabinet by the end of September.
In the meantime, some of the approaches which resulted in the success of the event are already being applied to governments work.
It is clear that one of the key reasons for our success was that our approach to the planning and management of the World Cup was similar to our new outcomes approach.
As with the management of the World Cup preparations, the Delivery Agreements for each outcome provide clear and detailed plans for what needs to be achieved, and their implementation will be systematically monitored.
The outcomes will not be achieved overnight, as much as the 2010 FIFA World Cup was an intense event that took more than five years of planning and dedicated hard work to organise.
Over the next two months, GCIS will be arranging a series of media briefings with the relevant Ministers per outcome, where the details of each Delivery Agreement will be presented. Detailed questions on the individual outcomes should be asked at these briefings.
Overall, we are happy with the progress made thus far. We are on the right track, we just have to finalise the delivery agreements, and fast-track implementation. The Deputy President and I will work closely with the Ministers and departments to ensure that these programmes are implemented to our satisfaction.
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