“Pre-dating apartheid, the colonial era Land Act allocated only 13 percent of the land to the African majority.
To this day, we are still working to reverse this legacy, hence the review of the willing buyer, willing seller principle in order to accelerate the equitable distribution of land.
Former President Thabo Mbeki described that society as follows in his 2004 inauguration speech:
”It was a place in which to be born black was to inherit a lifelong curse. It was a place in which to be born white was to carry a permanent burden of fear and hidden rage.
“It was a place that decreed that some were born into poverty and would die poor… It was a place where others always knew that the accident of their birth entitled them to wealth.”
We are pleased with the achievements scored thus far in the provision of these basic services, although much more still needs to be done.
In 1994, only 62% of households had access to clean drinking water, today 93% do.
In 1994, only 50% of households had access to decent sanitation, today 77% do.
In 1994, only 36% of South Africans had access to electricity – today 84% do. Today the majority of our people are provided free basic services in water and electricity.
Our extensive social protection system continues to be the most effective poverty alleviation programme.
By 2010, close to 15 million people were receiving social grants, mostly orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, veterans as well as persons with disability.
We are concerned about the report of Statistics SA that there are about 200 000 children in our country who are not attending school, especially in the Western Cape Province’s farming areas. We are determined to reach these children and enrol them.
There should be no corner of our country in which children are still denied an education, while we celebrate freedom.
We are also committing government to construct 80 000 mixed income rental housing units in order to enable low income earners to live closer to where they work.
In this way, we shall dismantle the apartheid landscape, which dictated where people should live and work on the basis of the colour of their skin.
Our principal intervention this year is on economic transformation and job creation.
The participation of black people in the economy during the colonial and apartheid periods was never designed to go beyond the provision of cheap labour.
We are working hard to change that fundamentally. Political freedom must be accompanied by meaningful economic transformation and emancipation.
We must also find ways of better managing the relations between councillors and municipal officials.
The blurring of the lines between the political and administrative aspects of governance has tended to affect service delivery in the outgoing municipal administrations.”