Government ‘must now perform’: Zuma

23 July 2010

The South African government will be closely monitoring the performance of its departments to ensure that delivery agreements signed by ministers are met, says President Jacob Zuma.

“Progress with implementation of the delivery agreements will be the key agenda item on an ongoing basis for engagement between ministers and provincial MECs, clusters, Cabinet committees and Cabinet,” Zuma said at a press conference in Pretoria on Thursday following a two-day Cabinet meeting.

While not divulging the contents of the contracts, Zuma said several delivery agreements were finalised between himself and his Cabinet ministers, and that departments were expected to give regular progress reports on the implementation of various key priorities outlined in the State of the Nation address earlier this year.

A ministerial committee to deal with corruption and crime will also be set up, and each department will be required to have such a unit dedicated to stamping out corruption in the public service.

Strengthening police, justice system

He said the meeting had agreed that the government should draw on the success of the recent 2010 Fifa World Cup to take the delivery of major projects forward while strengthening South Africa’s policing and justice system.

Crime figures were reportedly down in the country during the month-long World Cup, which had some calling for the police to sustain their increased presence after the tournament.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has indicated that he is considering keeping the special courts that helped to speed up World Cup-related cases during the event.

Engaging with business community

Zuma said the government will soon announce a meeting with the business community to discuss the legacy of the tournament on South Africa’s economy and the business opportunities it had created for local entrepreneurs.

“The [meeting] resolved not only to continue to build on the spirit that has welded us together as a cohesive nation, but to harness this energy to solve the many problems we face as a developing country,” Zuma said.

The World Cup had created much international goodwill towards South Africa, and many factors indicated that the tournament was economically in the county’s interest, he said.

He said that Government Communications (GCIS) would arrange several media briefings over the next two months with individual ministers who would share their lessons from the World Cup and how they planned to build on the success of the tournament.

Tackling unemployment

Zuma added that the government’s immediate priority would be to respond decisively to the challenges posed by unemployment, especially among young people.

“We will for instance be increasing access to post-school education and training to give young people who have not completed their senior secondary education an opportunity to attain an equivalent qualification.”

Those who have passed matric but cannot progress to tertiary education will be given opportunity for practical training and access to programmes that are occupationally directed, such as artisan training, he said.

Source: BuaNews