Ministers welcome President’s speech

Friday, February 16, 2018

Ministers have described Friday's State of the Nation Address as “the dawn of a new era”.

Speaking outside the National Assembly shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his maiden speech, Ministers commended the practicality of the measures announced to deal with corruption, poor governance, slow growth and unemployment.

Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told SAnews the speech drew the inspiration of a country turning over a new leaf.

“The speech was well-received, well balanced, touched on critical areas – investment, the economy, job creation and focused on youth [jobs] and making sure that young people get out and talks about skills,” said the Minister.

She said the speech gave clarity on the issue of the recently announced free higher education and training as well as his pronouncement on the Mining Charter.

In his speech, the President said this year, government will intensify engagements with all stakeholders on the Mining Charter to ensure that it is truly an effective instrument to sustainably transform the face of mining in South Africa.

Reacting to the speech, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies welcomed the President’s stance on ensuring that the industrialisation of the economy is prioritised.

He told SAnews government had been emphasising that the global economies are shifting towards industrialising their economies and that it was good that the President aimed to put in motion practical measures.

In his speech, the President said to promote industrialisation, government would use measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists programme to develop a new generation of black and women producers that are able to build enterprises of significant scale and capability.

Higher Education Minister, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, said the President’s speech provided clarity on how several programmes would be funded.

“There is absolute clarity as to where are we going and how we should make a paradigm shift.

“But what I liked the most was emphasis on areas that bring about the growth of the Growth Domestic Product because once you succeed with that one, support for phasing in higher education, the healthcare programmes that he spoke about will be easier to sustain,” she told SAnews.

Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the speech inspired hope.

“The State of the Nation Address ought to inspire people, not just the party that is leading government, but the people of South Africa. Look at all the parties there, they stood up and they clapped at the end of the speech. That is what South Africa needs. That is why we are happy.”

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana said all South Africans should aspire to preserve the legacy of struggle icons who fought to liberate the country for the betterment of the lives of all South Africans.

“The speech was good – outlining our challenges, not shying from what we are faced with but coming up with possibilities about nation building, about obligations, about being responsible and I think out of this we need to say South Africa has changed and we need to make sure all of us make ourselves available to realise the dream of all those who served in Robben Island, including Nelson Mandela.” –

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