Ten key points from Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation Address

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Charles Molele

The new directorate in the Office of the NDPP

Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the new directorate in the office the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamilah Batohi. Dubbed by social media influencers as the new Scorpions, this directorate will focus on serious corruption and associated offences in in accordance with section 7 of the NPA Act. “I will soon be promulgating a Proclamation that will set out the specific terms of reference of the Directorate. In broad terms, the Directorate will focus on the evidence that has emerged from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, other commissions and disciplinary inquiries,” said Ramaphosa.

Housing

Ramaphosa also announced that the Housing Development Agency will construct an additional 500,000 housing units in the next five years, and an amount of R30 billion will be provided to municipalities and provinces to enable them to fulfil their respective mandates.

Revitalization of Industrial Parks in townships

The government, according to Ramaphosa, will revamp industrial parks in townships and rural areas. “We have so far completed the revitalisation of 10 out of 16 identified industrial parks, in places such as Botshabelo, Phuthaditjhaba, Garankuwa, Isithebe, Komani and Seshego,” said Ramaphosa.

Expropriation of Land without compensation

President Ramaphosa also said his administration will support the work of the Constitutional Review Committee tasked with the review of Section 25 of the Constitution to unambiguously set out provisions for expropriation of land without compensation. “Alongside this constitutional review process we tasked the Deputy President to lead the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform to fast-track land reform,” he said. “An advisory panel of experts headed by Dr Vuyo Mahlathi, established to advise government on its land reform programme, is expected to table its report by the end of March 2019.”

Infrastructure Fund

Ramaphosa said government has committed to contribute R100 billion into the Infrastructure Fund over a 10 year period and use this to leverage financing from the private sector and development finance institutions.

The digitization of all textbooks

Ramaphosa said in his speech that over the next six years, government will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device. “We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multi-grade farm and rural schools. Already, 90% of textbooks in high enrolment subjects across all grades and all workbooks have been digitised,” he said during #SONA2019

Health and the National Health Insurance (NHI)

Ramaphosa also announced that the establishment of an NHI and quality improvement War Room in the Presidency consisting of various key departments to address the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation of the NHI.

Gender-based violence

Ramaphosa said government has listened to the call to make funds available to combat gender-based violence and has allocated funding in the current budget to support the decisions taken at the Summit.  “Government will lead the campaign to include men and boys as active champions in the struggle against gender-based violence,” said Ramaphosa.

Commissions of Inquiry

Ramaphosa also commended the works of the current Commissions of Inquiry taking place simultaneously – and said where there was basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently.

Social ills

Ramaphosa said government is resolute that all taverns, shebeens and liquour outlets near school premises must be shut down.

READ: Malema explains why EFF did not disrupt #SONA2019

IN PICTURES: Ceremonious arrivals at #SONA2019

READ: Ramaphosa announces 8 May for General Elections

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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