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Minister of Electricity visits 3000 MW gas to power site in Richards Bay

Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister in The Presidency responsible for Electricity, is today, 03 May 2024, visiting the first of its kind in South Africa, Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP), which is a planned gas-fired power plant that will include open cycle gas turbines and combined cycle gas turbines. 

The plant, located in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), will have a maximum capacity of 3,000 megawatts. 

This gas-to-power project will be a game changer in addressing South Africa's electricity challenges by offering a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable energy solution.

The introduction of gas-to-power projects will help diversify the country's energy mix, reducing reliance on coal and promoting cleaner energy sources.

The Minister, joined by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube, and the MEC of Economic Development in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Siboniso Duma, will be briefed by Eskom Executives on the status of the project. 
Members of the media are invited for a door-stop opportunity at the end of programme as follows:

Date: Friday, 03 May 2024
Time: 14h00
Venue: Richards Bay IDZ, 125 Alumina Allee, Alton, Richards Bay

Please contact the following persons when you arrive on site:

- Kutlwano Huma on 0781331482 or 
- Bongi Gwala on 0727934757 or 
- Ndabezintle Sibiya on 0823754742

Media enquires: Tsakane Khambane, spokesperson for the Ministry in The Presidency responsible for Electricity, on 082 084 5566

Issued by: The Ministry in The Presidency responsible for Electricity

President Ramaphosa to open new Home Affairs office in Mokopane and unveil 100 mobile service units

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday, 07 May 2024 officially open a new, purpose-built Department of Home Affairs office in Mokopane, Limpopo, and unveil 100 new mobile offices that will extend the reach of the Department’s services, especially in remote areas.

The unveiling of these mobile offices is part of Home Affairs’ Hybrid Access Model, which expands services in areas where the Department’s footprint is limited.

This purpose-built office offers all Home Affairs services in a convenient way, which includes shaded waiting areas and ample parking.

Members of the media are invited as follows:

Part A - Mokopane Office Launch

Date: Tuesday, 07 May 2024
Time: 08h00
Venue: 75 Pretorius Street, Mokopane 

Part B - Mobile Office Launch

Date: Tuesday, 07 May 2024    
Time: 10h00
Venue: Mahwelereng Stadium, 2292 Matebele St, Mahwelereng-A, Mokopane

RSVP: Members of the media wishing to cover the event are requested to confirm their attendance with Makungu Mbetse on / 079 788 3077 and David Hlabane on / 071 342 4284

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President, on

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa leads collaborative focus on early childhood development

A multi-disciplinary grouping of national departments has committed to collaborate strategically to ensure universal access for citizens to comprehensive early childhood development services, with a focus on prioritising the nation’s most vulnerable children.

This will be complemented by the South African Police Service (SAPS) deploying resources and services to ensure the safety and protection of children.

The wellbeing and development of children was the focus of the recent inaugural meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Early Childhood Development (ECD) convened by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The meeting on 23 April 2024 marked a pivotal moment in Government’s commitment to providing comprehensive and inclusive early childhood development services to all children.

President Ramaphosa characterised ECD as the real revolution for the country’s long-term development.

The early years of a child’s life provide the foundations for their future flourishing and success.

Moreover, equitable access to comprehensive early childhood development opportunities is the cornerstone of improved educational outcomes and inclusive economic growth.

Progress towards expanding these opportunities, and ensuring that no child is left behind, therefore needs to be early and rapid.

The objectives of the inaugural Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting were to establish the IMC through an adopted Terms of Reference, clarify the mandates of each department for ECD delivery, agree on proposed priority areas for ECD programmes, and agree on the development and reporting against a joint outcome-based monitoring & evaluation framework for ECD to track progress against proposed priority areas.

During the meeting, several key points were discussed and agreed upon:

1. Integrated Support for Children's Potential: It was emphasised that for children to reach their full potential, they require a range of interconnected and diverse support delivered by various Government departments as well as social sector partners. 

2. Collaborative Approach: The Departments of Basic Education; Health; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs; Social Development; Higher Education and Training; Labour; Sport, Art and Culture; and Correctional Services and Home Affairs will collaborate strategically to ensure universal access to comprehensive ECD services, with a focus on prioritising the most vulnerable children.

The SAPS will also play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and protection of children.

Support from the National Treasury and the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation will be vital in enabling these departments to fulfil their mandates.

3. The priorities of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for the next 5 years: The IMC for ECD, supported by a Director-General Committee agreed on the following 5 priorities:

• Every child to have access to a flexible package of age-appropriate, affordable ECD programmes 
• Improved collaboration between the government departments, provincial departments and social sector partners.
• Sufficient funding and resourcing to be targeted effectively to the most vulnerable communities
• A capable ECD workforce to be developed that is well-supported and equipped; and
• To enhance programme quality through appropriate support and monitoring.

4. Finally, the IMC also agreed to the joint development of an outcomes-based framework to track progress on the key outcomes and services that are likely to drive changes in child outcomes, as measured by the Thrive by Five Index. 

The Department of Basic Education will be convening future IMC meetings and is committed to working collaboratively with other relevant departments and stakeholders to ensure that every child in South Africa has access to quality early childhood development services.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee affirmed its belief that investing in children's early years is the foundation for a brighter and more prosperous future for our nation.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President, on

Issued by: The Presidency

Deputy President Mashatile to lead an engagement between government and Western Cape Inter-Faith Leaders

Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile will on Friday, 03 May 2024, as part of his delegated responsibility of promoting social cohesion and nation-building initiatives across the country, lead an engagement between Government and Western Cape Inter-Faith Leaders.

The engagement is in fulfilment of the decision of the September 2023 national Inter-Faith Dialogue,  to conduct provincial engagements aimed at enhancing the existing relationship and co-ordination between Government and Inter-Faith Leaders, in an effort to deal with society’s developmental challenges. 

In South Africa, the faith communities have always taken a leading role on matters that affect the welfare and well-being of the nation. 

In this regard, the Deputy President is expected to reaffirm the commitment by both social partners to address various social ills that plague the Western Cape Province in particular and the country in general.

The Deputy President will be supported by the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, as well as senior government officials. 

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the event as follows:
Date: Friday, 03 May 2024
Time: 09h00am
Venue: Southern Sun Cape Sun, Cape Town

Media wishing to cover are requested to confirm attendance with Ms Tshiamo Selomo on 066 118 1505.

Media enquiries: Mr Keith Khoza, Acting Spokesperson to the Deputy President on 066 195 8840

Issued by: The Presidency

Keynote address by Ms. Maropene Ramokgopa, Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, at the Development and Democracy Intergenerational Dialogue, Pan-African Parliament

Programme Director, Ms Sibongile Gangxa, 
Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament,
Hon. Dr. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,
Hon. Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development,
Dr. Emma Kantema-Gaomas, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth, and National Service in Namibia,
Your Excellency, Ms Lindiwe Khumalo, Pan-African Parliament Clerk
Prof Eddy Maloka, CEO of the African Peer Review Mechanism,
Ms Karabo Mohale, Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NYDA Board,
Ms Pearl Pillay and Mr Thulisa Ndlela, Members of the NYDA Board, 
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Your Majesty Lebogang Mogale, Your Royal Highness Dr Koketso Rakhudu) and other Traditional Leaders present,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.

Good Morning!

I am honoured to address this dialogue on a topic of great importance to the future of our nation on the “intersection of development and democracy”. Indeed, we gather here during a critical juncture in South Africa's history, where the voices, perspectives, and expertise of the youth are critical in shaping our collective future. Now more than ever, the youth of South Africa and continent must be at the centre of strengthening democracy and advancing development. 

Last Saturday, 27th April 2024, the world joined South Africa in celebrating and commemorating 30 years of freedom and democracy. During his address at the Union Buildings, President Cyril Ramaphosa shared;

“South Africa’s democracy is young. Most of the world’s most established democracies are over a hundred years old. The progress that has been made in a relatively short period of thirty years is something of which we can and should all be proud.

It is only those who wilfully will not see, who shut their eyes to progress, who will deny that South Africa today is an infinitely better place than it was thirty years ago.”

Programme Director,

Over the past 30 years we have been empowered with policy frameworks and plans aimed at advancing development. These include the Freedom Charter of 1955, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of 1994, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) of 1996, the National Development Plan (NDP) of 2012, and the Medium-Term Strategic Frameworks under each administration amongst several others.

The NDP is South Africa’s first plan that provides a long-term perspective on development to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. The NDP asserts that South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing state-capacity, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.

The high-level goals of the NDP are coherent with key international frameworks for development, namely: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), the African Union Agenda 2063, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020-30). Most importantly, the goals are coherent with the aspirations of our people.

The NDP like many other policy frameworks of South Africa’s Government aims to leverage the nexus of democracy and development. It is a roadmap for transforming South Africa through a commitment to fostering solidarity, equality, and sustainable development while committing to democratic values. South Africa, like many developing democracies, maintain that development and democracy are often intertwined and depend on each other. 

Therefore, as we celebrate 30 years of democracy and freedom, we also celebrate 30 years of development. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our journey to democracy has not been an easy one, nor the journey to development. 

Over the three decades, South Africa has faced systemic and contextual challenges that have impacted the country’s development trajectory.

In 2023, the National Planning Commission (NPC) released the Ten-Year Review of the NDP. The review reflects on our nation's progress and assesses the key NDP indicators and targets, such as poverty, inequality, and unemployment.  

The NDP set a goal of achieving an annual average of 5.4% GDP growth and aimed to create 11 million jobs. Over the past 30 years the South African economy has grown and is expected to be Africa’s largest economy in 2024 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

Our labour force expanded from 11,3 million in 1994 to 28,3 million in 2023. Due to progressive labour legislation, the race, gender, age, and skills composition of the labour force and employment have altered considerably promoting more inclusive economic development. 

Infrastructure development is a pivotal driver of growth and development in South Africa and the continent. South Africa continues to affirm its support for the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative Africa-Wide (PICI) as a member state alongside eleven other African countries.

The main goal of PICI is to ignite and sustain catalytic collaborative partnerships among member-state countries toward the realisation of an integrated continent through transboundary infrastructure development. This is key to ensuring the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Through PICI, member states commit to promoting the empowerment of the most vulnerable groups namely; women, youth, and persons with disabilities across Africa. 

South Africa's demographic landscape reflects a significant youth bulge, with the population aged 25 to 39 representing potential economic drivers. Balancing this demographic potential with education and employment opportunities is crucial.

The Government, through democratic institutions, seeks to create an enabling environment for economic growth by addressing obstacles to transformation, innovation, competition, and development. 

We are yet to fully explore the potential of small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in driving innovation, inclusion, and transformation. The NDP states that SMMEs will create 90% of new jobs by 2030. This accounts for around 9.9 million jobs of the target of 11 million jobs by 2030. 

Therefore, we applaud agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) for their continued work in ensuring the youth-led SMMEs become equal contributors in growing our economy through providing grants, capacity building, and upskilling opportunities for the youth. These include “Areyeng Brazil” Agricultural Summer School, an initiative led by Deputy Chair Karabo Mohale aimed to inspire and empower young people to become leaders and change agents in South Africa’s agricultural sector.

Distinguished guests,

South Africa's social sector indicates notable progress in education, social wage, and health, with young people benefiting greatly from this progress. 

The country is moving towards universal access to education at all levels and improved overall educational outcomes.

More individuals aged 20 and older have attained Grade 12 as their highest level of education, rising from 16% in 1996 to 38% by 2022. In 2002 there were 295 special schools for learners with disabilities. By 2022 there were 489 (435 Public, 54 Independent).

The matric pass rate improved to 82.9% in 2023, from 53.4% in 1995. Enrolment in public universities has more than doubled, steadily edging closer to the NDP target of 1.6 million enrolments by 2030. Access to higher education has been bolstered by the establishment of more institutions of higher learning and increased National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding.

South Africa's health system has evolved and has led to improved life expectancy and increased access to Primary Health Care (PHC) services from 68 million in 1998 to 138,8 million in 2022/23. 

Furthermore, South Africa’s social wage is one of the most advanced in the world and has proven to be an effective anti-poverty tool. It grew from 2,9 million beneficiaries in 1994 to more than 18 million in 2022. The COVID-19 grant increased reach to 27,6 million beneficiaries. Studies conducted over the two decades have shown that the child support grant is associated with a decline in incidents of poverty.

South Africa's youth bulge holds economic promise, yet high unemployment poses instability exacerbating inequalities and stifling potential. The Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) category, which constitutes 37% of young people aged 15-24, highlights the urgency of unemployment. 

Therefore, Government has taken steps to address the youth unemployment challenge. The Presidential Employment Stimulus, has assisted in creating more than 1,7 million work and livelihood opportunities.


Our youth are resilient, resourceful, and brimming with untapped potential. Across the nation, young people are leading grassroots movements, driving innovation, and advocating for change. Their energy, creativity, and passion are the driving force behind our collective aspirations for a brighter future.

As we chart the path forward, we must heed the voices of our youth and harness their potential as agents of change. Building on the lessons learned from the Ten-Year Review of the NDP and the upcoming launch of the 30-Year Review of South Africa’s Democracy, we must redouble our efforts to create an enabling environment that empowers and uplifts our young people.

To achieve the goals of the NDP requires more than a state-centric approach to planning and implementation. It requires a comprehensive, coordinated, and partnership-based approach to development. 

As I conclude, the NDP affirms the future of our nation lies in the hands of our youth. We are fast approaching the 2030 deadline and we need the youth of South Africa to lead in asking; What next?

How does the youth build on the existing progress made in improving livelihoods of the people? What strategies can the youth consider to strengthen institutions and systems we have developed? How does the youth leverage on South Africa’s growing international influence to drive forward domestic imperatives? What key reforms are needed to ensure our country’s economic growth is inclusive, transformative, and redistributive? How we can recalibrate our planning systems so that they can better serve our country?

I believe the youth of South Africa and Africa are in a better position to answer these questions. In the Words of Anton Lembede, Founding President of the ANC Youth League,

“The Hour of Youth has Struck”.

I thank you.

Remarks by Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, as she invited President Ramaphosa to address the BBC Awards and Dinner

Programme Director,
His Excellency, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,
The President of the Black Business Council, Mr Elias Monage,

Allow me to stand on the protocols already established.

Mr President,

I always find it difficult to introduce you as a President of the Republic, when you have to address your people. Tonight, I think I have figured out how to do it.

Last year, I was privileged to speak and participate at the BBC Annual Summit on “the political economy of South Africa and where we were heading”.
In that conversation, I insisted that Decades of institutionalised discrimination created vast disparities in terms of access to wealth and opportunities, hence South Africa still has levels of  economic marginalisation and exclusion. 
I reassured the Summit, that at the forefront of the government’s programme is  addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which are the legacy of Apartheid. A critical aspect of this programme is the  pursuit of economic transformation and empowerment.

I asserted that the future of South Africa's political economy:

1. Will be the pursuit of inclusive growth aimed at addressing income inequality, and empowering marginalised communities.
2. That as the nation sought to reduce its reliance on finite resources and adapt to changing global trends, economic diversification will gain importance. Encouraging sectors such as renewable energy, technology, tourism, services and green economy to increase their contribution to long-term sustainability and resilience.
3. That South Africa will focus on enhancing infrastructure networks to support industrialisation, trade facilitation, and regional integration, while also addressing historical disparities in access to services.
4. That tackling corruption and strengthening governance structures will remain crucial.
5. Reducing poverty and improving social welfare programs will also remain a political priority as we continue on a quest to break generational poverty.
6. Encouraging innovation, fostering digital literacy, and promoting the growth of the technology sector by embracing digitalisation and technological advancements is also a priority.

7. Lastly that strengthening ties with African nations, deepening partnerships with emerging economies, and pursuing mutually beneficial trade agreements will feature prominently in South Africa's economic strategy.
Of course, my contribution to the discussion on the political economy was before the Census 2022 Results that clearly articulated the progress our country has made in the last 30-years whilst point to the gaps confronting us, and the release of the Manifesto of the governing party.  

So, Mr President, it is always better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Let me invite you to address this august gathering of an important sector of our society. 

Mr President.

Keynote address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Black Business Council Gala Dinner, Radisson Blu, Kempton Park

Programme Director,
President of the Black Business Council, Mr. Elias Monage,
CEO of the Black Business Council, Mr. Kganki Matabane,
National Officer bearers of the BBC,
Representatives of the business community,
The generous sponsors of this evening’s dinner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. It is a pleasure to be here, and it is indeed always an honour to be invited to the annual gala dinner of the BBC. 

Our relationship as government with the Black Business Council has deepened since the sixth administration took office in 2019, and I think I can say with confidence that it is also stronger.

I would like to begin by paying tribute to a business legend, Dr. Sam Motsuenyane, who passed away yesterday.

He was a pioneer and a visionary. His founding and stewardship of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce marked a pivotal point in the trajectory of economic transformation in this country.

Dr. Motsuenyane’s impact was a lasting one and on behalf of the government and people of South Africa I offer my condolences to the family, to his peers and to the black business community at large.

In my inauguration speech five years ago I called on all South Africans to join us as we set our collective sights high, on a future of growth and economic opportunity. 

I further called on all of society to mobilise their respective resources and capabilities to make this a reality. 

The Black Business Council, the men and women in this room tonight, and your membership across the country, did not hesitate to answer this call.

You have rallied both with us and around us as government, in what has been a turbulent period marked by a global pandemic, civil unrest, natural disaster, crises in energy and logistics, and slow economic growth that has been further exacerbated by all the aforementioned challenges. 

We also know that as the sixth administration took office, we were also confronted with the task of rebuilding capacity in key state institutions practically from the ground up, following the devastating years of state capture. 

What has been immensely encouraging is that the door of engagement has always remained open, and that has government and the BBC our engagements have been productive, and have always taken place in a positive spirit of partnership.

I would like to thank the leadership of the BBC for the support you have given us as the sixth administration. I believe we can continue to count on this support for the incoming administration following the national elections in late May.

This year we celebrate 30 years of democracy, and it is a time that we reflect on the progress we have made in building a South Africa of equality, human rights, freedom and mutual prosperity. 

Of course it is also a time for sober reflection on the substantial challenges we face and how we are going to overcome them. 

High unemployment, the energy crisis, challenges in logistics, infrastructure and other sectors, crime and corruption, and the effects of poverty and underdevelopment on economic growth are just some of the problems we are contending with. 

Even as we do so, and continue to engage on various platforms, I think tonight is an opportunity to reflect on just how much the economic landscape has changed over the past thirty years with respect to transformation. 

In my State of the Nation address earlier this year I told the story of Tintswalo, a metaphor of democracy’s child. 

It was as story of how the transformative, pro-poor policies and programmes introduced under democracy have changed the lives of the millions born into freedom.

A story that has not being fully told or explored, and we should think of how we do this both as government and as the BBC – is of how the democratic state working in partnership with black business, have pushed the frontiers of economic transformation in this country.

This year marks twenty years since the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act was enacted into law. 

The BBBEE Act is the singular most significant, far-reaching piece of legislation introduced under democracy to bring about the transformation of the South African economy, and its impact has been considerable.

This law, alongside affirmative action legislation and supportive initiatives like the Black Industrialists Programme, worker shareholder schemes, and funding for black entrepreneurs, have enabled fundamental transformation in the economy over the past thirty years.

During apartheid the prospects for black business, for black entrepreneurs, and for black South Africans in general were bleak.

The economic landscape was extremely unequal. A small number of white-owned firms exerted significant control over the major sectors, and new entrants faced barriers to competition, further entrenching the concentration of economic power. 

As black South Africans we were systematically excluded from owning businesses or operating them outside of townships and in the so-called homelands. 

Access to capital or the ability to accumulate capital was constrained. 

Laws around land ownership made it impossible for those black businesses who had managed to eke out an existence in the system to expand, grow or become sustainable. 

This led to highly concentrated markets in key economic sectors like chemicals, steel, finance and retail, which were dominated by a small minority of white-owned firms.

Afrikaner capitalism, so called Volkskapitalisme, skewed the economy even further as the state mobilised the savings of Afrikaner farmers to create a capital base that they used to further entrench white minority business interests.  

With respect to the workplace, job reservation and lack of meaningful educational opportunity closed the door to black professionals in nearly every sector.

When South Africa's first democratically-elected government took office, it inherited an economy in crisis. 

Over the preceding decade, GDP growth had stagnated at a mere 1,2 per cent. The early 1990’s saw our country emerge from a deep four-year depression, marked by high public and foreign debt.

It is undeniable, particularly given the state of the apartheid economy in 1994, coupled with the scale of the market and workplace distortions we inherited that we are light years away when it comes to economic transformation.

Our economy, despite its present challenges, has opened the doors of opportunity for millions of  black South Africans and for black business. 

I like to think of this new frontier we have created together as a galaxy

The transformative economic policies of democracy have birthed stars and leading lights, constellations of interconnected and interdependent black-owned businesses, and indeed, supernovas as well. 

Many are in this room tonight. 

Men and women who are established and respected senior business leaders. CEO’s of black-owned companies both small and large. Heads of listed companies that have grown from humble beginnings.

Many of us will remember the news stories from the early days of democracy. Being a black person at the helm of one’s own business, being a black CEO, a black or female chairperson of a board. This was the headline. This was how decades of professional personal experience was condensed, because it was a rarity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

That this is no longer something prioritised as being of news value, in itself speaks volumes about the progress we have made on our collective journey.

In 1994, total employment stood at 8.9 million, with black South Africans predominantly in wage employment while skilled workers, managers, and executives in both public and private sectors were overwhelmingly white.

Since 1994, the number of South Africans in employment has increased to 16.7 million in 2023, reflecting a doubling of opportunities and livelihoods for our people.

While unemployment remains a challenge, the proportion of black South Africans in executive management positions has increased almost five-fold between 1996 and 2016.

The Black Economic Empowerment Commission reports that black ownership of firms in South Africa has grown from negligible levels in 1994 to approximately 30 per cent of reporting firms today, with black women's ownership averaging around 14 per cent. 

The Black Industrialists Programme that we initiated in 2016 had an initial target of 100 black industrialists to be supported and developed.

Today, in 2024, we have over 1,700 black-owned and black-managed firms across all sectors of the economy that are benefitting from the programme.

Last month we hosted the Second Black Industrialist and Exporters Conference, which brought together more than 1 200 black-owned businesses. 

The Conference was an opportunity to reflect on progress made, on challenges encountered and on steps to be taken to boost black industrialist development in the next 5 years. 
These firms are active in the food and agriculture sectors, in clothing and furniture, in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, high-tech, steel and the creative sectors, amongst others. 

These firms have a combined R330 billion annual turnover, measured in their operations and that of their core suppliers. They support over 282,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

These black industrialists are investing in fixed capital stock, in factories, machinery and equipment, mobilising working capital and bringing the spirit of entrepreneurship to their businesses. 

Many are exporting to the continent, to the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area or AfCFTA holds immense potential in this regard. 

We will be setting ourselves an ambitious target for expanding trade with our fellow African countries over the next five years leveraging the AfCFTA. 

This strategic initiative will form the cornerstone of our efforts to deepen economic integration and maximize the benefits of regional trade.

As government we plan to roll out a program aimed at assisting companies to take advantage of the AfCFTA. 

This will include identifying critical markets, products, and value chains where targeted support can make a transformative impact. 

By adopting a nuanced and adaptive strategy, we aim to foster sustainable partnerships and unlock new avenues for trade and investment within Africa.

At the Black Industrialists Conference, we secured R261 billion in pledges to buy from more than 230 black-owned firms over a period from 1 to 5 years through private sector procuring entities in retail, automotive, metal fabrication, food and agriculture, ICT, the financial sector and others.  

What we are also pleased to report that of this, R11,8 billion in pledges were made by 18 black industrialists to procure goods and services from 55 black industrialists in turn.

We are also seeing more black industrialists making pledges at the annual South Africa Investment Conference. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is all progress. This is transformation. This is change. We will not be swayed to shy away from it or to diminish it. The landscape for black business has fundamentally transformed since 1994. 

We know the picture is not all rosy. Much more remains to be done if the SA economy is to enter a phase of transformation, dynamic and inclusive growth.

Resolving the crises in the energy sector, in logistics and in critical infrastructure is key to the viability of businesses. The scourge of unemployment threatens to roll-back our hard won gains under democracy.

I want to call on black business and on black industrialists in particular to be part of the effort to rebuild our economy.

Without investment there can be no jobs, and without job creation on a large scale, our prospects for achieving full economic transformation are diminished.

By strategically investing in the economy we are laying the groundwork for prosperity, connectivity, and opportunity across our nation. 

Green industrialisation is an area of opportunity for black business. 

As government we are prioritising the production of electric vehicles, green hydrogen production, and the processing of critical minerals essential for the battery value chain. 

In February 2024, we announced a comprehensive set of incentives designed to spur investment in these critical sectors, which will be rolled out over a ten-year period. These incentives will stimulate innovation, attract private capital, and accelerate the adoption of green technologies, ensuring a just and equitable transition towards a sustainable future.

By embracing green industrialization and promoting a just transition, we are not only safeguarding our environment but also fostering economic resilience and creating new opportunities for our workforce. 

As part of our commitment to fostering economic inclusion and levelling the playing field, the Competition Commission will continue to embark on market inquiries across the economy.  

These inquiries are aimed at addressing high levels of economic concentration and encouraging greater participation by small businesses. By identifying barriers to entry and promoting fair competition, we will create opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to thrive and contribute to our economy.

These initiatives underscore our dedication to promoting economic empowerment, fostering entrepreneurship, and creating a more inclusive and equitable economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past thirty years South Africa has undergone deep, fundamental and irreversible change. It has been tangible and its dividends are there for all to see. 

Black business has been a valued partner along this journey and I have no doubt will continue to be so for time to come.

We salute you for your solidarity, your positive, cooperative spirit with us as government, and above all for your patriotism. This year’s celebration of democracy is a celebration of you all, and of your achievements.

As we look to the future with optimism, let us continue to work together on this journey towards a fully transformed economy where no one is left behind. 

I thank you.

Oration by the Grand Patron of National Orders President Cyril Ramaphosa at the presentation of the 2024 National Orders, Sefako Makgatho Guest House, Tshwane

Deputy President Paul Mashatile,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of Parliament,
Chancellor of National Orders, Ms Phindile Baleni,
Members of the Advisory Council on National Orders,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Recipients of the National Orders together with their family members and friends,
Fellow South Africans, 

It is my honour and privilege to present the recipients of this year’s National Orders. 

National Orders are the highest accolade bestowed by a country on the men and women, citizens and non-citizens, who have played an invaluable role in building our nation. 

Two days ago, on the 27th of April, we celebrated Freedom Day and the victory of the democratic breakthrough that enabled South Africans of all races to cast their votes for the first time. 

This year marks 30 years since we attained our freedom. 

This would not have been possible without the bravery, fortitude and noble acts of those the preamble of our Constitution recognises as having suffered for justice and freedom in our land. 

The men and women we honour here today have played an invaluable role in giving birth to the free South Africa that we all enjoy today. 

Our nation owes each of them a great debt. 

By bestowing these National Orders, we want to ensure that their contributions are recognised and spoken of by generations to come. 

The recipients of the National Orders are chosen by the South African people themselves. It is the South African people who makes nominations for consideration. 

This is most appropriate because the recipients are the heroes and heroines of the entire nation. 

The truest test of heroism is that these acts are not done for the sake of name, prestige, fortune or fame. 

They are done out of conscience and an unwavering sense of responsibility. 

They are born of a burning quest for social justice. 

They are anchored in the belief that the achievement of equality and human dignity for all is the highest aspiration of humankind. 

The Order of Mendi for Bravery is made to South Africans who have performed acts of great bravery.

All this year’s recipients were anti-apartheid activists and they are being awarded posthumously. 

They lived at a time when apartheid repression was at its zenith, and they displayed the outmost courage. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten and their memories live on. 

The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace. 

Several of the recipients of this year’s Order of Luthuli were brutally killed by the apartheid regime. 

One of them is Ms Nokuthula Simelane, who was abducted and tortured by the apartheid Security Branch. Her remains were never found. 

This is a wound that will never heal for her family, like the scars of many other South Africans whose loved ones disappeared during the repressive years of apartheid. 

By honouring those fallen heroes with National Orders we are saying that no matter how great the passage of time, they have not been forgotten. 

The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South Africans who have excelled in the arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. 

In this, the 30th year since we achieved our freedom, we also celebrate the democratic gains we have made in enshrining the principle of a free and independent media. 

Among those being honoured today are legendary journalists who were the voice, words and conscience of an oppressed people during the darkest periods in our history. The standard they set for media ethics and freedom are embodied in today’s generation of journalists and media workers. 

The Order of the Baobab recognises South Africans who have made a difference in business and the economy, in science, medicine and technological innovation, and in our communities. 

As we strive to bring about social and economic transformation in South Africa, we are keenly aware of the importance of every endeavour, be it in business, in science or in innovation, being put in the service of social justice for all. 

The recipients of The Order of Mapungubwe displayed excellence in scientific endeavours for the benefit of South Africa and beyond. This year’s recipient undertook valuable research in the aerospace field and set a standard that today’s generation of researchers will strive to emulate for time to come. 

Lastly, The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises the great friends of the South African people from beyond our shores, whose sense of moral duty to oppose apartheid saw them undertake acts of solidarity and cooperation in the cause of the liberation struggle. 

We honour journalists who helped amplify the voice of the liberation movement abroad, campaigners and fundraisers for the anti-apartheid movement, and activists who played an important role in the sports boycott against the regime. 

Congratulations to all who are being honoured today and to their families. 

Under the powers vested in me by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), I now confer the Order of Mendi, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of the Companions of O R Tambo. 

The recipients shall henceforth be honoured as esteemed Members of the Orders. 

The people of South Africa salute them all.

I thank you.

Address by Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile on the occasion of the African United Business Confederation, Bryanston Country Club, Sandton, Gauteng Province

Programme Director, Ms Katlego Msomi;
Mr George Sebula, AUBC President;
AUBC Global Director and NAAMSA CEO, Mr Mike Mabasa;
Director General of the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation in The Presidency, Dr Robert Nkuna;
Representative of the National School of Government, DDG Dr Maja;
President of the South African Indo-Afro Business Association (SAIBA), Dr Kinesh Pather;
Business leaders and representatives;
Representatives from The Presidency;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen;

I had eagerly anticipated interacting with you, particularly because of the theme of this engagement, "the role of leadership in economic growth." Undoubtedly, effective leadership significantly affects the economic landscape of nations and societies.

We are convinced that to build our economy, leaders from all sectors, including business, politics, Government, and civil society, must work together. We must collaborate, with each playing a distinctive part, to generate employment and boost trade investment between our nation, the continent and the world. Our roles are all important, and if one lags behind, it will affect the growth of our economy.

It is our duty as political leaders in Government to formulate policies that promote an environment conducive to economic growth. This is because effective economic policies can stimulate innovation, promote entrepreneurship, and drive innovation.

Moreover, as you may have observed, since the advent of democracy, we have created political stability by promoting free and fair elections, which will continue to be the case in the upcoming election on 29 May 2024. A stable political environment is critical for investor confidence and economic growth.

Your responsibility as a leader in the private sector is to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, both of which are vital to economic expansion and job creation. Furthermore, the private sector is key to enhancing the competitiveness of the South African economy. Together, as leaders, we possess the foresight to identify opportunities, mitigate risks, and make strategic decisions that drive sustainable economic development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our journey to freedom and democracy illustrates the results of leaders who collaborated for the greater good. We were able to achieve our freedom because of selfless leaders like former President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and many others who gave up their lives to achieve the political freedom we enjoy today.

Despite attaining political freedom and substantial advancements since 1994, South Africa is yet to realise economic freedom and an economy that adequately provides for the majority of its populace. As present-day leaders across various sectors of our society, we must set aside our differences and concentrate on fully rousing the potential of South Africa’s economy.

We must proactively address socio-economic challenges such as high unemployment, poverty, inequality, and corruption. In this regard, I agree with what Prof. Somadoda Fikeni once said; “Corruption is the biggest threat to SA's democracy.” To reach the goal of ending poverty and boosting economic growth set out in the National Development Plan (NDP), we must all work together to fight corruption and support accountability, openness, and good government.

Indeed, this fight against corruption should be multifaceted, involving both the public and private sectors. We have to strengthen anti-corruption partnerships, intensify efforts, and promote a zero-tolerance approach to corruption led by capable leaders, who are resilient, highly adaptable and are willing to implement bold reforms to surmount our challenges and transform the economy.

Cognisant of the legacy of exclusion from participating in the economy because of race, and gender specifically, it is critical that leaders across sectors become intentional in their inclusion of women, youth and other marginalised groups in economic reform efforts. The participation of women specifically is essential in addressing some of the socio-economic challenges that potentially hinder economic growth, considering the significant role they generally play in society generally. Investment in women and female-led businesses to achieve economic development and gender equality must as such remain a priority in the agenda for transformation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

An ANC Government will continue with the expansion of industries for an inclusive economy, revitalising the economy, and investing in people and micro businesses, particularly those owned by previously marginalised groups. We aim to make South Africa a nation that fosters investment by creating an environment that is conducive for investment to everyone.

In this regard, under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, we have introduced the Red Tape Reduction Team to improve the ease of doing business in the country and further stimulate business development. The team focuses on reducing red tape in priority areas such as mining rights, tourism operator licenses, travel visas, work permits, and the informal sector, aiming to create a competitive and vibrant economy. The intention is to speed up the discipline of execution and ensure faster results.

In this case, we are making progress in reducing regulatory impediments for SMMEs and cooperatives, as well as making it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses. Specifically we have reduced regulatory hurdles for SMMEs and cooperatives, reduced VAT refund processing time from 15 weeks to 4 to 5 weeks and reduced the Corporate Income Tax audit process from 32 weeks to 17 weeks.

Additionally, the Minister of Small Business and Enterprise has proposed an SMME and Cooperative Funding Policy, mandating Business Development Service Providers to provide pre-funding support to these enterprises.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Regarding the energy supply, we commend the Minister of Electricity's leadership for tirelessly striving to find solutions to power cuts and increasing energy availability. It is commendable that we have had four conservative weeks without power interruptions. We equally commend the Eskom team as led by Mr Dan Morakane in this regard.

While some think that this is an electioneering strategy, I want to reassure you that this reality is just evidence of improvements in the entities operations. Our strategy has been the implementation of a concerted and deliberate Energy Action Plan (EAP), which has improved Eskom's performance.

As Government, we remain committed to implementing the EAP’s key interventions, which include fixing Eskom and improving the availability of existing supplies; enabling and accelerating private investment in generation capacity; and unleashing businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar energy.

Furthermore, we are ensuring that all power stations have the right leaders who will drive the appropriate discipline within those operations. As the government, we welcome the changes made over the past 18 months in Eskom’s leadership and believe that with the right skills, talent, and experience we can sooner achieve an energy secure future.

We are similarly committed to implementing all necessary steps to maintain the security of our infrastructure, as it is crucial to attaining long-term economic and social goals. As you may recall, in May 2020, the Cabinet adopted the Infrastructure Investment Plan to demonstrate our commitment to infrastructure development and moved swiftly to implement it.

The plan includes projects from the Government, State-owned enterprises, and the private sector in six sectors, namely; energy, water and sanitation, transport, digital infrastructure, human settlements, as well as agriculture and agro-processing. We are certain that these ambitious projects will boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Recently Cabinet has taken a decision to establish a water task team which I lead working with the Ministers of Water, Human Settlements, Police, Electricity, Finance and COGTA. The task team seeks to implement a coordinated intervention to avert the water supply shortage in the country. Together with these Ministers, we are visiting water infrastructure facilities across the country, engaging with water boards and visiting the Lesotho Highlands Water Project as part of our effort to meet the water needs in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would also like to urge the Confederation and its members to take advantage of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. This trade revolution will shape the continent's future by stimulating innovation and value-chain growth, industrialisation and job creation across the continent.

Given Africa's present population of 1.2 billion and its predicted increase to 2.5 billion by 2050, the AfCFTA will be the biggest free-trade area since the World Trade Organisation's inception. It will boost African trade, enhance the capacity of African companies to cater to global markets, and foster African economic and commercial diplomacy.

To achieve these we must champion policies that empower marginalised communities and create opportunities for all individuals to participate in, and contribute to the economy.

We must continue to address skills shortages and mismatches primarily because a shortage of trained professionals stifles innovation, reduces productivity, and inhibits foreign direct investment. Furthermore, it perpetuates the cycle of unemployment and inequality, preventing individuals from securing gainful employment and contributing to the nation's overall economic prosperity.

As chair of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), I am pleased that we have signed Social Compacts to demonstrate government and social partner dedication to addressing skills shortages in critical economic sectors.

These compacts prioritise digital skills for the 21st century, aligning with the global demands of the Fourth and Fifth Industrial Revolutions. We need to realise that technology has the potential to level the economic playing field, facilitating more and better access to markets. Therefore, as leaders, we must equip the younger generation with skills relevant to the digital economy and necessary for them to succeed in the workplace.

On that note, as we celebrate International Workers Day tomorrow, it is crucial to recognise the vital role of the workforce in the economy. Human labour produces goods and services, and the market relies on individual skills and competencies. We, as social leaders, can improve these abilities through education and training, making the labour force a dynamic talent pool for businesses.

In conclusion, let me re-emphasise that we have a collective role to play in paving a way for future generations of leaders to contribute to the transformation of our economy. Through strategic leadership, we unlock the countries' potential, drive innovation, and creates a better future.

Thank you and I look forward to having a meaningful discussion with you.

President Ramaphosa pays tribute to the late Dr Sam Motsuenyane

President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the passing of black-business pioneer and co-founder of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) Dr Sam Motsuenyane at the age of 97.

President Ramaphosa offers his condolences and those of government to the family, friends and associates of the veteran visionary business leader, farmer and philanthropist.

Dr Motsuenyane was also an Esteemed Member of the National Order of the Baobab (Gold) in recognition of his significant personal achievements – which included leading the establishment of African Bank – and the inspiration and leadership he provided in fostering the development of black-owned businesses and economic liberation more broadly.

He served as a Member of Parliament and as South Africa’s first ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

President Ramaphosa said: “The passing of Dr Sam Motsuenyane 60 years after the establishment of NAFCOC is a profound reminder of the breadth, durability and longevity of his vision and passion for self-reliance and development.

“The remarkable sweep of his life as an entrepreneur, leader of organised business, parliamentarian and diplomat among other roles embodied our resilient national character and values of ubuntu.

“His philosophy of self-sufficiency is today entrenched in the constitutional right each of us enjoys to freely choose our trade, occupation or profession and in the socio-economic rights that our constitution safeguards.

“Dr Motsuenyane’s passing on the eve of the 2024 National Orders Ceremony causes us to recall the honour bestowed on him in 2002 as the nation paid tribute to an outstanding patriot and source of inspiration for our then fledgling democracy.

“May his soul rest in peace.”

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President –

Issued by: The Presidency

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