[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Insights into the chief's thinking
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sat May 23 14:50:23 BST 2009
(To urban-biased me, it sounds like modernisation theory warmed over:
"the key to eradicating poverty in our country lies in building the
rural economy. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will
promote changes in attitudes, policies and practices among the different
social sectors so that efforts to overcome poverty are more effective."
And this is curious: "You may be curious about other departments, for
example why we changed Foreign Affairs to the Department of
International Relations and Cooperation, (DICO). The responsibility of
DICO is to promote international relations and cooperation. We wanted to
keep names simple and focused on the business of the Department.")
Address by President Jacob Zuma at Unizulu
22 May 2009, 13:50
Address by President Jacob Zuma, at the graduation ceremony of the
Faculties of Commerce, Admin and Law, and Science and Agriculture of the
University of Zululand, King Bhekuzulu Hall, KwaDlangezwa, Empangeni, 20
The Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Gumbi,
Chairperson of Council, Mr BM Ntuli
Deputy Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Mr Mtholephi Mthimkhulu
and all MPLs present,
Deans and all other members of the academic community,
Presidents of Convocation and the SRC,
The Guest Speaker, Mr Don Mkhwanazi,
Graduates and their families and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning to you all.
I am delighted to be here during this joyous celebration.
Last month millions of you voted into power our fourth democratically
We have decided to make hard work, excellence, and achievement a
cornerstone of our new administration.
I am therefore honoured to have this graduation, which is a celebration
of hard work, as my first public engagement since the inauguration and
the announcement of our new Cabinet.
As the Chancellor of the University of Zululand, I have the privilege of
praising parents, students and the academia for their hard work,
patience, and the sacrifice that has culminated in this graduation
Your achievements bear testimony to your courage, your tenacity and your
spirit. Your achievements make us optimistic about the future, given our
objectives and plans for this country. South Africa is positioning
itself as a developmental state, meaning that key state institutions are
geared towards economic and social upliftment.
The effectiveness of this will depend on whether or not we are able to
achieve economic development and improved standards of living for the poor.
To achieve those goals, we need education and skills development to be
at the center of our national plans.
When we say we want to halve unemployment and poverty, and substantially
reduce and eventually eradicate social and economic inequalities, we
rely on you, our graduates, to help us achieve those goals.
You are our soldiers on the frontline of the battle against poverty and
We also encourage you to expand your horizons and look beyond your
current fields of study or workplace. You must view yourselves as
important players in the bigger scheme of building a successful and
Unless we make a visible impact on the lives of the poor, we cannot call
ourselves truly developmental.
To become truly developmental and to improve our policymaking and
implementation, we have reconfigured the structure of government. We
merged certain government departments and created new ones in other areas.
This was all with good reason.
As you are aware, the former Department of Education has been split into
the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education
Those who live in rural areas know that the dream of a better education
remains elusive in many areas, as resources are still skewed in favour
of urban areas.
Some urban schools in historically black areas also still lack
facilities, there are no qualified teachers in many, and come December
people wonder why matric results do not improve.
We have seen it fit to establish a separate Department of Basic
Education so that the Minister responsible can focus only on our schools.
The Department will ensure that we improve our schools infrastructure
and facilities in addition to learning and teaching.
We want to see our schools having electricity, water, proper sanitation
and decent conditions generally, especially in neglected rural areas.
Our higher education department also has its work cut out for it, to
ensure access to quality tertiary education for our youth, and the
promotion of a strong academic and scholarly ethos in our country.
Our graduates will notice that the reconfiguration provides opportunities.
Students graduating from the Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law
have a bright future ahead of them.
We are set to improve government's economic policymaking through the
establishment of a department of economic development.
The traditional department of Trade and Industry will then concentrate
on the implementation side, promoting domestic and foreign investments,
and to create a conducive climate for business to take place.
We have also created an independent Department of Tourism, to underline
the seriousness with which we view the tourism industry.
Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the tourism industry has
been growing at unprecedented rates. More than 9 million people visited
South Africa last year, which represents an eight percent increase since
2006 and almost twice the growth enjoyed by the global industry. We had
to dedicate a full Department to tourism to enable this sector to create
much-needed jobs for our people.
We live in a country alive with possibilities and it is up to our
graduates to seize those opportunities.
Those from the Faculty of Law will realize that we have taken a no
nonsense approach to the fight against crime.
We are sending a clear message to criminals that improved policing will
be a critical part of our fight against crime.
That is why we changed the name from the Department of Safety and
Secretary to the Police Department.
The function of this Department is policing to ensure safer communities.
No fancy words, just plain policing to protect our people and their
properties from crime.
Those from the Faculty of Science and Agriculture also have an important
role to play in our society. We have just created a new Department of
Rural Development and Land Reform.
This is in keeping with our belief that the key to eradicating poverty
in our country lies in building the rural economy.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will promote changes
in attitudes, policies and practices among the different social sectors
so that efforts to overcome poverty are more effective.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You may be curious about other departments, for example why we changed
Foreign Affairs to the Department of International Relations and
Cooperation, (DICO). The responsibility of DICO is to promote
international relations and cooperation. We wanted to keep names simple
and focused on the business of the Department.
We also decided to create a stand alone Energy department, a realization
of the need to ensure that we focus on the energy sector.
Unless we focus on developing our energy capacity we cannot meet our
socio-economic development goals.
Homes, schools and other facilities need to be electrified for our
people to see the fruits of freedom, and to drive economic development.
As is well-known, we have decided to establish a National Planning
Commission, which will develop a National Plan for the socio-economic
development of our country. These are truly exciting times.
We will expand on our programme in action in detail in the State of the
Nation address next month.
Ladies and gentlemen, during the inauguration on the 9th of May we
emphasized the need to promote unity amongst all our people.
Our Constitution guarantees human rights and outlines the kind of
society we envisage.
It seeks to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based
on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
We urge you to make the values enshrined in the Constitution part of
your daily lives. We must build a society, which promotes unity,
cooperation and progress amongst all, regardless of political or other
Ladies and gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to wish all South
Africans a Happy Africa Day on the 25th of May. In the coming years this
day must be known and celebrated in every corner of our country.
As part of the renewal we promote, we must make all our people proud of
their African-ness, and inculcate the drive to make this continent
We must all know and sing the SADC and African Union anthems with pride.
Our children, black and white must know what it means to be Africans and
to be part of the African continent.
The 25th of May also marks the beginning of Child Protection Week in our
This will culminate in the marking of International Children's Day on
the 1st of June. We call on all South Africans to use the coming week to
highlight the rights of the child, and strengthen the culture of
protecting South African children.
To our graduates, whatever you do in your professional lives, please
strive to protect children. Policies and programmes you develop must be
designed to make the world a better place for children.
Parents, graduates, and the academic community - congratulations on your
We wish you all the best in your careers as you work to build a better
and prosperous country with your new skills.
I thank you.
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