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ANC looks forward to delivery of 2017 SONA

5 February 2017

The African National Congress (ANC) is looking forward to the delivery of the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Jacob Zuma, on the 9th February 2017. The State of the Nation Address is used by the Government of the Republic of South Africa to report on the state of our country, progress we are making in realising our vision of a National Democratic Society and the key actions required to move us closer and faster to the ultimate objective of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

State of the Nation Addresses delivered by the ANC-led government are the penultimate culmination of a continuous process which commences every year with the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) Statement, the January 8 Statement, where the people's representatives, the ANC, having reviewed the past years, outlines the orders to the movement towards realising the aspirations of our people. This year's January 8 Statement directed us to draw from the legacy of that giant of our movement, President Oliver Reginald Tambo, to unite the organisation, unite our movement and unite South Africa towards a common goal. Such goal is radical economic transformation, which the ANC NEC Lekgotla held at the end of January 2017, identified as the most urgent directive to the movement. The Legkotla was instructive on the need for faster economic growth, accelerated radical socio-economic transformation, land reform and redistribution, the funding of higher education, fighting crime and corruption as well as building the capacity of the state as the key priorities of the ANC in the current year.

The Cabinet Lekgotla, which follows the ANC NEC Lekgotla, usually gives practical and programmatic effect to the people's process of policy formation and guidance and translates it into a programme of action for government. It is with great anticipation therefore that we commend to President Zuma and our government the people's aspiration for Radical Economic Transformation NOW.

As per ANC NEC Lekgotla, Radical Economic Transformation refers to a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. Our main objective remains the liberation of Blacks in general and Africans in particular. Its components include the creation of jobs, accelerating shared and inclusive growth, transforming the structure of production and ownership of means of production and enabling the talents and productive potential of our people to flourish. At the heart of radical socio-economic transformation is an effective state that is decisive in its pursuit of structural change.

To achieve decisive advances towards radical economic transformation, the ANC urges government to use SONA 2017 to give expression to the 12 urgent tasks of the movement being:

1. Return the land to the people using Constitutional means
2. Invest money in township and rural communities and ensure we build post-apartheid cities in our rural areas and vibrant businesses in our townships
3. No less than 30% of ALL government spending must go to black businesses and small, medium and micro enterprises
4. Massive roll out of broadband infrastructure, ensuring connectivity of schools, universities, hospitals, police stations and other public spaces
5. Implement the Maputo Declaration and ensure 10% of GDP goes to agricultural development
6. Turn South Africa into a construction site, deliver water,sanitation, roads, electricity and houses
7. Diversify ownership in the financial services sector, licence the Post Bank, introduce new players and transform the industry in favour of the people as a whole
8. Finalise the National Minimum Wage to give income security to all our people
9. Increase the requirement for black ownership in mines, ensure that a significant amount is in the hands of the workers and advance local beneficiation.
10. Implement free higher education for the poor and produce no less than 5000 PhDs per annum by 2030 and urgently generate more artisans
11. Review SA's trade policies to prioritise national interest and support and promote local businesses
12. Mercilessly deal with corruption, fighting both the tigers and the flies

As South Africa prepares for the 2017 SONA, the ANC will continue our active engagement with our people through several build up activities which will include interaction with various sectors of society. These activities will culminate in a People's Assembly on the 9th February 2017 at the Grand Parade, Cape Town, where at a public viewing of the State of the National Address, our people will gather to listen as Comrade President Jacob Zuma outlines interventions to shape our collective future for the better.

Issued by the African National Congress

Enquiries
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
National Spokesperson

Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
National Communications Manager