The speech of President Cyril Ramaphosa on the state of the nation in 2019 was held on June 20, 2019. Below are excerpts from his speech that are relevant to the planning, development, and design of South African cities and communities.
On the rails:
"We want a South Africa that has set priorities in its rail network and produces high-speed trains that connect our megacities and the remotest areas of our country. We should imagine a country where high-speed trains travel through Johannesburg as they travel from here to Musina and stop here on the way from Ethekwini to Buffalo City. "
In new cities:
"I dream of a South Africa where the first all-new city in the democratic era will be built with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories. This dream was inspired by my conversations with four people: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, dr. Naledi Pandor, Ms. Jessie Duarte and President Xi Jinping, whose report on building a new Beijing in China has helped solidify my dream. This is a dream that we all share and where we can participate.
We have not built a new city in 25 years of democracy. By 2030, 70 percent of South Africans will live in urban areas. The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini have no room left for those in the cities. Has not the time come for us to be brave and go beyond ourselves and do what seems impossible? Is not it time to build a new smart city based on the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution? I would like to invite the South Africans to imagine this prospect. "
"Spatial interventions such as Special Economic Zones, revitalization of local industrial parks, business centers, digital hubs, and township and village businesses will promote the economic development of local areas. We will also focus on small, medium-sized businesses in our cities, communities and rural areas and create markets where they trade in their products. "
"We will be more than doubling our efforts to double the number of international tourists who will reach 21 million by 2030."
"We have received the report of the Presidential Advisory Council on Land Reform and Agriculture, which will now be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration. The Panel's recommendations will enable the conclusion of a comprehensive, far-reaching and transformative land reform program. In the near future, the government will accelerate its efforts to identify and release public land suitable for smart urban settlements and agriculture. "
"Infrastructure is a critical area of investment that supports structural change, growth and job creation. It is essential for our economic rejuvenation to give meaning and effect to our new dawn.
Our new approach to infrastructure development is based on closer partnerships between the public and private sectors and with local communities. It includes a specific set of financial and institutional measures to promote the construction and prioritization of water infrastructure, roads and student accommodation through more efficient use of budgetary resources.
As announced in the previous SONA, the government has earmarked 100 billion rand for the deployment of the infrastructure fund. We are working to institutionalize the fund, which is managed by the Southern Africa Development Bank, with the newly created Public Works and Infrastructure Department playing a supervisory role. We did this in consultation with private investors, such as pension funds, who are enthusiastic about participating in the infrastructure fund.
These reforms will ensure better planning of infrastructure projects, consistent feasibility and preparation, improved strategic management, good implementation and better governance. This will urgently boost the construction sector. "
On youth unemployment:
" The fact that the unemployment rate among young South Africans is more than 50% is a national crisis that calls for urgent, innovative and coordinated solutions. And with more young people entering the workforce each year, the economy needs to create far more jobs for young people than is currently the case to keep the youth unemployment rate constant. The brutal reality is that when it comes to youth unemployment, we just have to run away to stay in the same place.
It is therefore essential that we immediately implement a comprehensive plan, steered and coordinated by the Presidency, to create as many as two million new jobs for young people within the next decade.
This plan will work in cooperation with the private sector in all government departments and all three levels of government.
We are already working with the private sector to find ways for young people to work by expanding existing path management networks. "
Information about service provision in municipalities:
" We will pursue a district-based approach that will focus on 44 districts and 8 subways in order to accelerate the delivery of services and ensure that communities are properly supported and adequately resourced. "
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