Economic transformation to take centre stage

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pretoria - Newly inaugurated South African President Jacob Zuma says radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes will mark his second term of office.

After taking the Oath of Office to serve the country for a second term, in the official swearing in ceremony, President Zuma, looking dapper in a black suit, with his wife Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma, standing close behind him, told the at least 4 500 guests gathered at the sunny Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre and the more than 20 000 celebrating below on the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings that economic transformation will take centre-stage during this new term of government, as the country puts the economy on an inclusive growth path.

All the world’s eyes were focused on the Union Buildings this morning – which was graced with the presence of more than 40 Heads of State and/or Government, Vice-Presidents/Deputy Heads of State, Prime Ministers, and Former Heads of State and/or Government. Presidents who graced the occasion included those from Equitorial Guinea, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. At least 14 Eminent Persons and 118 foreign ambassadors resident in South Africa were also present with South African royalty being among the special guests.  

“Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society. This second phase will involve the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes over the next five years,” said the President, minutes after he took the National Salute, which consisted of the National Anthem, a simultaneous gun salute and presentation of arms, a salute flight, a 21-gun salute and a massed fly past by various South African Air Force aircraft.

“We have already placed before the nation, the National Development Plan, our road map which outlines the type of society we envisage by the year 2030.

“Through this programme, we will move South Africa forward to prosperity and success,” he said.

“At a social level, as outlined in the NDP, our vision is to develop communities where households will have access to housing, water, electricity, sanitation, safe and reliable public transport, health, education, security, recreational facilities, a clean environment and adequate nutrition to count a few.

“As the National Development Plan outlines, the structure of the economy will be transformed through industrialisation, broad-based black economic empowerment and through strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy.”

Thousands of people braved the chill and began arriving at the Union Buildings from early this morning to experience what was promised to be a memorable event. Those who could not attend were able to follow proceedings on television and radio, and at 47 public viewing areas in the provinces.

Today’s prestigious ceremony comes as South Africa celebrates 20 years of Democracy. A few weeks ago, the country held successful General Elections, in which the African National Congress (ANC) emerged as the victorious party.

The President said the country’s economic transformation programme also reaffirmed commitment to promoting local companies, entrepreneurs and cooperatives through local procurement by the state and its agencies. He said the National Development Plan (NDP) also prioritised the national infrastructure development programme. 

“We will continue to build schools, railways, ports, universities, clinics, colleges, power stations, broadband, roads and more infrastructures around the country.  This programme will continue to be the flagship of government.” 

The newly inaugurated President was confident that the end result of all these transformative economic programmes  would be a growing inclusive economy which creates jobs and provides opportunities for all, especially the youth.

“We have a lot of work to do. We will need the backing of a united and cohesive nation behind us as we move South Africa forward,” he said.

The excited crowd will now prepare to be wowed by performances by various leading artists, including the likes of Mafikizolo, Zahara, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Kurt Darren  and  Chomee, while the President partakes in the Presidential State Luncheon at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House with visiting Heads of State/Government, VVIPs and VIPs. –  


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