Mining Operation Phakisa gains momentum

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pretoria – Talks around introducing Operation Phakisa in the mining sector are gaining momentum, with President Jacob Zuma having alluded to plans to bring the “big fast results” approach to one of the most lucrative arms of the South African economy.

Delivering the 2015 State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, the President said government will forge ahead with plans to explore the implementation of Operation Phakisa in mining.

The President had made reference to bringing Operation Phakisa to the industry in October last year.

“I have instructed government to partner with the mining sector to develop win-win solutions to beneficiate our mineral resources,” President Zuma said on Thursday.

Operation Phakisa is an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that was first applied by the Malaysian government successfully in the delivery of its economic transformation programme.

The operation, which chiefly focuses on unlocking opportunities in the ocean economy, was launched last year.

It involves exploring growth avenues in the shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, oil and gas, bio-technology and tourism sectors.

“We have committed a R9.2-billion investment in gas and oil exploration in the port of Saldanha as part of the Operation Phakisa initiative,” said President Zuma.

Improving health

The second phase of the plan focuses on building the ideal clinic, which is aimed at promoting efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism in primary health care.

The President said over the past five years, government has scored significant gains in health care.

This year, South Africa is going to launch a massive programme to turn the tide against tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on three communities -- offenders at Correctional Services facilities, mineworkers and communities in mining towns.

State-owned pharmaceutical company

President Zuma announced that in fighting the scourge of HIV and Aids, the state-owned pharmaceutical company, Ketlaphela, has been established and will participate in the supply of anti-retrovirals to the Department of Health.

Government will continue to promote healthy lifestyles and to urge citizens to refrain from smoking and the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

“On 10 May 2015, we will mark the Move for Health Day, an international event promoted by the World Health Organisation. The day also coincides with the anniversary of the inauguration of President Mandela,” said President Zuma.

Ending women, child abuse

President Zuma noted efforts being made to curb violence against women and children.

“The SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit has secured 659 life sentences against perpetrators of crimes against women and children,” the President said.

He stressed that government has to continue working harder to fight crime and to create safer communities.

As per the commitment made during SONA 2014 to continue to advance and improve the lives of people with disabilities, in December last year, Cabinet released the draft National Disability Rights Policy for public comment.  – SAnews.gov.za

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