A COMPREHENSIVE LAND REFORM PROGRAMME THAT ENABLES EQUITABLE ACCESS TO LAND WILL UNLOCK ECONOMIC GROWTH

The African National Congress has just recently concluded a two-day NEC Lekgotla in Tshwane.

The Lekgotla focused on a number of issues, including the current status of our economy, job creation and land reform.

It further engaged on issues of governance, social development and broader transformation which will be elaborated on by the Secretary General tomorrow.

We thought that it was important for the President of the ANC to clearly and unambiguously articulate the position of the organisation on two matters that are critical to the economic development of our country and the well-being of its people.   

The first is the implementation of of the ANC’s resolution on land reform.   

The second is about the current   economic environment.

On land reform, the ANC applauds our people, from all walks of life – including the rural poor, farm labourers, the unemployed, the landless, urban residents, farmers and traditional leaders – for expressing their views on this critical matter.

Our people have been expressing their views on the land question openly and without any fear or favour.

They have been putting forward solutions on how the land question can be resolved.

This is the constitutional democracy that we fought for.

The ANC reaffirms its position that the Constitution is a mandate for radical transformation both of society and the economy.

A proper reading of the Constitution on the property clause enables the state to effect expropriation of land with just and equitable compensation andalso expropriation without compensation in the public interest.

It has become patently clear that our people want the Constitution be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation, as demonstrated in the public hearings.

There is also a growing body of opinion, by a number of South Africans, that the constitution as it stands does not impede expropriation of land without compensation.

The lekgotla reaffirmed its position that a comprehensive land reform programme that enables equitable access to land will unlock economic growth, by  bringing more land in South Africa to full use, and enable the productive participation of millions more South Africans in the economy.

Accordingly, the ANC will, through the parliamentary process, finalise a proposed amendment to the Constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be effected.   

The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security.

It will also transform the unjust spatial realities in urban areas.

To accelerate agrarian reform, the ANC has further directed government to urgently initiate farmer support programmes in depressed areas before the first rains this year.   

This should include supporting farmers with tools, tractors, fertilisers, seeds, extension services, finance and access to key infrastructure.

Our economy is facing serious challenges. The recently released figures on unemployment are worrying.

Given this economic environment, the Lekgotla directed government to move with urgency to develop and implement a stimulus package to ignite growth that will lead to the creation of jobs, especially for young people and women.

These efforts should focus on rural communities and townships.   

This stimulus package will be based on existing budgetary resources and the pursuit of new investments while remaining committed to fiscal prudence.

It will comprise, amongst others, of the following:     

  • Increased investment in public infrastructure.    
  • Increased support for entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for youth and women, as well as small and medium businesses    
  • Trade support measures for sectors such as sugar and products affected by big import surges    
  • Ensure that procurement focuses on localization     
  • Training for unemployed young South Africans with the skills necessary to compete in a rapidly-changing economy. 

As deployees of the ANC in government, we have committed that the work to develop this stimulus should start now to ignite growth, tackle unemployment and mitigate the effects of the rising cost of living.

We call on all South Africans to work with us in developing a social compact for economic inclusion, economic growth and jobs for all.   

Cde Cyril Ramaphosa is the President of the African National Congress

TECHNOLOGY FOR AN INCLUSIVE FUTURE

Were it not for the constraints of time and geography, this week’s summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would have taken place on the chilly plains of the Karoo.

For there is probably be no more fitting place to hold the 10th BRICS Summit than in the shadow of Meerkat, the world’s biggest and most sensitive radio telescope for space observation. The telescope, which will form part of the Square Kilometre Array, is more than a demonstration of Africa’s technological prowess. As it examines the history of the universe, the Meerkat is writing our future.

It is this future – of technology, innovation and inclusive development – that will dominate deliberations at the BRICS Summit, to be held in Johannesburg on 25-27 July 2018.

As the host country, South Africa has chosen to focus on collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the fourth industrial revolution. This theme reflects the core priorities developed in the first decade of the BRICS Forum. The five countries have committed themselves to the creation of inclusive development by advancing global partnerships based on mutual benefit and openness. They have been working together to address common challenges that will bring prosperity to all humankind.

As technological change accelerates, as the fourth industrial revolution begins to reshape economies and redefine the nature of work, the BRICS countries have recognised the need for greater cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Last year, they adopted the BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation, which stressed innovation as a key to global sustainable development as it unlocks human potential through entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth.

Among the areas on which BRICS countries have agreed to cooperate are innovation advancement and technology transfer, science parks and incubators, and the application of geospatial technology. Through these agreements, the BRICS countries have set themselves on a path to realise the empowerment of our countries in the next phase of global economic development.

As it assumes the chairship of BRICS, South Africa is aiming to consolidate the progress over the last few years by establishing a framework on the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is geared towards support for industrialisation and sustainable development.

However, many developing countries, particularly on our continent, do not have the underlying skills and infrastructure to be able to compete at a global level. Some of our partners in BRICS have successfully confronted these challenges and there is much that we can gain from their experiences. They have adopted industrial and regulatory policies that support the development of high speed internet infrastructures and secure data spaces.

One of the main economic and social challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a possible increase in inequality, driven by the substitution of automation for labour, displacing workers and exacerbating the gap between returns to capital and returns to labour. Training and educational policies therefore must be put in place to support the development of new skills, including re-training of existing employees.

In this rapidly changing global economy, our countries must invest in the development of young scientists to reap the economic and social benefits of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The architecture of the next industrial revolution must be inclusive. The citizens of the developing economies should not be treated only as consumers of technology, but pathways must be open for them to participate also as developers and managers of innovation.

If we contribute to setting the global science agenda, then the solutions that technology produces will be able to advance our specific developmental interests. This requires the concerted development of human scientific capital.

Sustainable global development needs intensified dialogue among all nations and committed engagement to work together. No country or research group can work or succeed alone. Resources need to be pooled and expertise shared.

The BRICS Forum is an ideal platform for this type of collaboration. It brings together countries with differing levels of technological and scientific capabilities, each with something to contribute to a collective effort. The opportunities for the exchange of ideas, technology and skills are limitless. As the BRICS Forum enters the second decade of its existence it must place the potential of technology for inclusive development at the centre of its agenda. In doing so, it will ensure that it remains relevant and that it makes a significant and lasting impact on the lives of its 3.1 billion citizens.

By President Cyril Ramaphosa

 

 

 

QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR ALL IS WITHIN REACH

With the recent release of the National Health Insurance Bill, South Africa is one step closer to achieving universal health coverage for all its people and the realisation of the demand of the Freedom Charter that “free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all.”

National Health Insurance (NHI) provides a real opportunity for the present health system to be overhauled towards a universal system where people will access quality care based on need and contribute towards its funding according to ability to pay.

Since the Bill was released for public comment, two questions have dominated debate on the NHI – what will it cost and can the country afford it?

South Africa, with its current two-tiered and unequal health care model, has one of the most expensive health systems in the world. We presently spend more than R420 billion on health care. Half of this amount is used by only 17% of the population. We pay more per person on health care than most middle income countries.

The provisional report of the Health Market Inquiry headed by Judge Sandile Ngcobo, which was released last week, highlights the high and rising costs of health care and medical scheme cover even when the range of services are declining. The report points to the unaffordability of private health insurance. This is compounded by inequalities in access to health facilities, specialists and a geographic concentration in the urban areas.

Despite what we spend on health care, many of our health outcomes have been disappointing. Our infant, child and maternal mortality rates are much higher than expected for a country of our level of development. There are also many inefficiencies in a two-tiered health care system. This means that current costs are not a reliable basis for projecting the future cost of a universal health system.

We need to change the present cost structure of our health care system and significantly improve efficiencies. Doing this will improve outcomes. There is no truth to the claim that covering all South Africans with good quality care will cost more than we currently spend. We can, in fact, secure substantial savings by covering everyone under a common National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

One of the important principles we should embrace as a nation is social solidarity. We will be able to achieve greater social solidarity between the rich and poor, young and old, healthy and sick, by pooling most health funds into NHIF. Mandatory prepayment through payroll taxes to the NHIF, for example, would be significantly less than what people now contribute to medical schemes.

It will enable government to ensure cost effective prices, medicines and supplies. The NHIF can build on recent achievements by the Department of Health in securing significant savings from R2.3 billion on antiretroviral drugs and R4.4 billion on vaccines.

We will also be able to make sure that the money from NHI Fund does not pay for things that have nothing to do with health care, such as medical scheme administration, brokers and marketing.

We will save money also by investing in primary health care, strengthening referral systems and devolving hospital management responsibilities to hospital CEOs and contributing to efficiency gains.

We therefore need not be transfixed on the costs alone but on the efficiencies and savings that NHI will bring to the entire health system. No amount of precision cost calculation will outweigh the real public benefit of improved quality of life for our people.

South Africa has the resources to finance NHI. The biggest problem in our country is not having sufficient funding to finance health care provision; it is how we allocate our existing health financial resources to provide everyone good quality health care.

Our health system has so far allowed and encouraged massive inequalities, where those with high income have access to the best private health care and those who have low or no income but have greatest health needs are required to access health care services in under-resourced and overcrowded public health facilities.

Currently government continues to finance these inequalities by paying medical aid premiums for state employees and giving tax breaks and rebates for those who contribute to medical schemes.

This adds to inequities and inefficiencies within and between the public and private health sectors. That is why we are committed to transforming how we finance the health care system. As outlined in the White Paper on the National Health Insurance, we will do so by moving beyond the existing fragmented public and private health financing systems to create a common modern universal health financing system which is cost-effective, professionally run, trusted by citizens and provides protection against costly health services.

We will move from a voluntary to a mandatory prepayment system, which means that there will be no need for payments at the point of use or service. This does not mean the abolishment of medical schemes, as they will provide complementary cover and continue to exist side by side with the NHI.

We will need to raise additional revenue for health care to supplement existing resources in the public sector but the total spend will still be below what we spend overall as a percentage of GDP.

We will also achieve savings by purchasing health care products and services from a mix of accredited public and private providers. This will enable economies of scale to achieve cost-efficiency, and deliver quality services and continuous  improvements in health outcomes

The NHI will be predominantly funded through general tax revenue allocations through the national budget, supplemented by a payroll tax payable by employers and employees and a surcharge on individuals’ taxable income to support the social solidarity principle. This will work out much lower than what poor and rich households currently pay as their contribution to medical scheme premiums.

We remain committed to ensure that NHI is adequately financed and that it enables all to have access to quality health care. It will be implemented in a phased manner, informed by evidence and guided by experience, to ensure that it is sustainable. The question is not whether South Africa can afford to implement universal health coverage, but whether it can afford not to.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO RADICAL TRANSFORMATION

On Tuesday 26 June, South Africans celebrated the anniversary of the adoption in 1955 of the Freedom Charter, a document that provides a compelling vision of the society to which we all aspire. It envisages a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, a South Africa in which the country’s wealth is shared among all its people.

As we intensify the struggle for the achievement of this goal, the struggle for radical economic transformation, we should look for guidance to one of the most celebrated statements of the Freedom Charter, that: “The doors of learning and culture shall be opened!”

This is because the most effective way to end poverty and reduce inequality is by providing young South Africans with education and training opportunities. It is broadly accepted that the purpose of education is, among other things, to develop the intellect of the nation, to serve social needs, and to contribute to the economy by developing skilled workers. Our country’s skills deficit is one of the biggest impediments to economic growth and development. It retards investment, sustains income equality and contributes to the high rate of youth unemployment.

As the country embarks on a new path of jobs, growth and transformation, we need to mobilise all South Africans in support of a skills revolution. This means we need to dramatically improve access to quality education for the poor, undertake a massive skills development effort and focus on disciplines that are needed in the economy now and into the future.

In the year that South Africa marks the 65th anniversary of the notorious Bantu Education Act, the ANC’s January 8th Statement says the country needs to sustain its significant investment in education to enable us to modernise our economy, improve the beneficiation of our natural resources and prepare our workforce for the fourth industrial revolution.

We need to build on the significant progress that has been made in education and skills development, especially in ensuring access for the poor. Around 77% of learners in public high schools now receive free basic education and there are currently almost a million students enrolled in higher education. There were only just over 500,000 students enrolled in higher education in 1994. Today Government provides free meals to nearly 12 million school children every day.

The decision to provide fee-free higher education to all students from poor and working class backgrounds, which is being implemented in a phased manner from this year, will make a significant dent in the skills deficit. It will ensure that young people from poor families can gain skills and have greater access in far greater numbers to opportunities that they had previously been denied. This will help to reduce poverty and inequality. It will give the economy an important boost as more graduates enter the workplace and the pool of qualified professionals expands.

This is taking place alongside a significant investment in TVET colleges, which need to develop the technical skills that are needed for the country’s major industrialisation drive. Work is underway to reposition TVET colleges as viable and attractive places of study for more school leavers. Partnerships between these colleges and the companies that need their skills will form an essential part of this effort. Such partnerships are needed to bridge the gap between the training provided and the skills that the economy needs. There is a need for companies, particularly the larger corporates and state owned enterprises to forge practical and effective partnerships, with TVET colleges in the development of vocational skills by ensuring that there is alignment between theoretical training with practical work experience.

The skills revolution requires that we take decisive measures to reduce inequality in the education system and significantly improving learning outcomes. Despite the creation of a single education system after 1994, there is still a great difference between the quality of education available to the poor and the wealthy.

We are working to address this through a massive investment in early childhood development to ensure that the children of the poor get the start that they need. Today, there are nearly a million children in early childhood development. We are also working to improve the leadership and management of schools, understanding that these are crucial determinants of educational success. As we work to improve the matric pass rate, we are also focusing on the ‘throughput rate’, which means ensuring that more learners who start in primary school stay in school and complete their schooling.

To achieve our educational objectives, we need to become a reading nation. From an early age, children should be taught to read and should grow up to love books and learning. This isn’t a task only of schools; it is a task that everyone in society should embrace. Government needs to work with civil society and community organisations on a national campaign to promote reading and literacy.

Only 15% of South Africans are said to read books regularly and yet countries like Russia have up to 85% of their population reading books regularly. We can improve on this.

The country needs to prepare for the reality that the fourth industrial revolution is going to displace a lot of people from traditional jobs. There is already much change in the world of work and more and more people need to be trained in different skills to enable them to be better prepared for other tasks. With the support of the SETAs, companies need to re-skill and retrain their employees.

We need to seize the opportunities of technology for reducing barriers to effective education for the poor. Used effectively, technology can reduce costs, overcome problems of distance and engage students in interactive learning beyond the classroom. These are among the reasons why we need to speed up processes towards making broadband affordable and universally available.

We have already done much to satisfy the demand of the Freedom Charter that: “Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children.” We have also made important progress towards ensuring that “higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit”.

To achieve the skills revolution we require, we must build a social compact involving unions, government, the private sector and non-governmental organisations in promoting the development of skills at all levels, both in the formal sense and informally.

We should encourage lifelong learning, where all citizens make it their duty to develop their skills on an ongoing basis. Community colleges should be dedicated to equipping people with skills they can use to improve their lives.

A skills revolution means that every South African must have a desire to gain skills which they can use to become economically active either as an employee or as a self-employed person.

If we are to achieve the radical social and economic transformation envisaged in the Freedom Charter, then we cannot wait any longer for such a skills revolution, one that fundamentally changes the capabilities and the fortunes of the youth of South Africa.

Cyril Ramaphosa

A SOCIAL COMPACT FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

Creating jobs for young South Africans is the most urgent and important task of the moment. It must be at the centre of all the efforts of social partners to grow and transform the economy. It should guide all the policies and programmes of government. Activities that create jobs should be supported; activities that have the potential to destroy jobs should be shelved. In its January 8th Statement, the ANC called for a social compact that unites government, business, labour and civil society around a programme for growth, job creation and transformation.

It said: “While this social pact will be wide-ranging, it will need to focus in particular on youth unemployment, whose devastating impact on young people is cause for major concern. Despite the progress we have made in expanding access to education, millions of young people do not have the skills that the economy needs. Even those with skills lack the work experience and readiness that most employers look for.”

This social compact is already taking form. The constituencies in Nedlac have begun preparations for a Jobs Summit to take place later this year, which is expected to agree on a range of extraordinary measures to get millions of young people into employment as a matter of urgency. The process will draw on the insights, energy and capabilities of a broad section of South African society to ensure that this is a truly national undertaking. The input of young people will be critical in making sure that the Jobs Summit is meaningful and leads to the creation of job opportunities for youth.

This task is so important not only because of the extent of the challenge – more than a third of South Africans between 15 and 34 years are unemployed – but also because a massive increase in youth employment is central to our efforts to defeat poverty, grow the economy and improve livelihoods. Employment is the most direct way for young people to escape the cycle of poverty and to achieve a better standard of living. More broadly, it contributes to the development of communities, reduces inequality and promotes transformation.

It is necessary to ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities to find employment and to advance within the workplace. This will go a long way to improving the economic position of women and thus their position in society. It will empower women and contribute to gender equality.

The extent to which South Africa addresses youth unemployment will largely determine the economic and social path that the country takes. Because South Africa is such a young country – more than half of all South Africans are under 35 years – it has enormous potential to become a centre of production, innovation and growth. South Africa has an opportunity to benefit from the ‘demographic dividend’, where a country’s productive capacity expands as more young people enter the workforce in large numbers. This contributes to faster and more sustained economic growth, while ensuring that the benefits of the growth are more broadly shared.

However, South Africa will not benefit from the demographic dividend if it is not able to create work for young people, to equip them with the skills they need and ensure that they are prepared for the world of work. Unless we move quickly to reduce youth unemployment, the economy will decline, poverty will deepen and social stability will be gradually eroded.

That is why the next few years matter. We need to move quickly and with purpose to create more jobs in those parts of the economy where young people, many with few skills, will find employment. There needs to be detailed work, as part of preparations for the Jobs Summit, to identify where jobs can be created and agree on measures to develop such industries. Such job creation depends on a growing economy, which depends on far higher levels of investment. Guided by the resolutions of the ANC 54th National Conference, government has undertaken a massive investment drive to reach out to local and international investors and to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa.

While it is essential to generate investment, any significant growth in youth employment depends on improving the skills of young South Africans. Children need to receive quality education from early childhood and need to remain in school through to matric. Even as the matric pass rate improves, it is necessary to reduce the drop-out rate. More matriculants need to get passes that enable them to proceed to universities, TVET colleges and other institutions of higher learning.

The implementation of the ANC 54th National Conference resolution to provide fee free higher education to students from poor and working class backgrounds has begun, with students entering first year study receiving a comprehensive bursary from the state. As it is progressively phased in, this policy promises to dramatically change the level and distribution of skills in the country. Not only will the economy have more of the skills that it needs, but it will be able to find those skills among the children of the poor.

Another critical task, which is receiving the attention of government and the private sector, is ensuring that institutions of higher learning, particularly TVET colleges, produce relevant skills that are needed in the economy. There are several initiatives to ensure that companies are more integrally involved in determining skills priorities, designing courses and providing workplace experience for students. We should follow the example of other countries, such as Germany, where the theoretical aspect is reinforced through practical artisan training.

In addition to these efforts, there is a need to create pathways for young people into employment now. Young work seekers face many obstacles. Most do not have access to networks, are not aware of opportunities, live far from places of work and lack suitable work experience. In response to this challenge, government, business and labour have launched the Youth Employment Service initiative, which provides one-year work experience opportunities for unemployed youth in participating companies. Alongside government’s Employment Tax Incentive, this initiative aims to reduce the cost and risk of employing young people with little work experience. Together with public employment schemes like the Expanded Public Works Programme and the set-aside of jobs for youth on major infrastructure projects, there is great scope for increasing youth employment now.

There is a significant challenge of graduates who cannot find employment, and whose relative lack of experience discourages companies from employing them. These graduates constitute a significant untapped pool of skills and talent. Companies and public sector institutions need to understand that it is in their best interests to take on these graduates and realise the great potential that they possess.

These efforts all depend on effective collaboration between the social partners and the mobilisation of broader society. The challenge of youth unemployment requires a response that draws on the energies, talents, resources and attention of all South Africans. This will largely determine whether our country enters a new era of inclusive growth and development, or whether it is overcome by the legacy of the past. We therefore have no time to waste and no effort to spare. Now is the time to build a social compact for youth employment.

Cyril Ramaphosa

 

THE NEW DAWN BELONGS TO ALL SOUTH AFRICANS

In the 100 or so days since the country set out on a path of renewal and rebuilding, South Africans have enthusiastically embraced the new dawn that we spoke of in the State of the Nation Address. They have taken upon themselves the responsibility to ensure that the new dawn brings real changes in the lives of the people.

This is a signal of renewed hope among South Africans that the country now has an opportunity to confront the challenges it faces and to make progress in building a more inclusive and prosperous society. Everywhere we go around the country, people say they want to be part of making change happen. It is a sentiment that is shared even by many of those we meet outside the country. The anecdotal evidence of this new mood is reinforced by the results of recent surveys. Research company Ipsos found that nearly two thirds of voters, or 63%, believe the country is going in the right direction. This is a significant improvement from a study in November 2017, where two-thirds of South Africans felt the country was going in the wrong direction.

This should give encouragement to the ANC, which, in outlining its tasks for the year in the January 8th Statement, said:

“The ANC will work with renewed determination to unite all South Africans – regardless of race, class or affiliation – around a shared vision of fundamental transformation. We need to restore the unity of purpose and sense of common destiny that was forged under the leadership of Nelson Mandela.”

We now have a valuable opportunity to build a powerful movement for social and economic change that draws on the energies and capabilities of a broad cross-section of South Africans. Most of our people accept that the future of the country requires a growing economy that is inclusive and a society that is more equal, and are prepared to be part of the effort to achieve it.

There has been some debate about the content of the ‘new dawn’, whether it is simply a slogan, or whether it has substance. The new dawn is real and tangible. It consists of clear priorities and tasks, many of which are outlined in the ANC’s January 8th Statement and elaborated in the State of the Nation Address.

A central priority in the new dawn is the creation of jobs on a significant scale, particularly for young people. This is really the only way to reduce poverty and inequality in a meaningful way. Among other things, this means that we need to grow our economy at a much faster rate and attract far greater levels of investment. For this, we need to be prepared to take extraordinary measures.

The Jobs Summit that is being held later in the year therefore needs to emerge with a social compact among all stakeholders on the contributions that each needs to make to ensure that the obstacles to job creation are removed. Preparations for the Jobs Summit are taking place alongside an ambitious investment drive that seeks to generate at least $100 billion in new investment over the next five years. This is far more than South Africa has managed to achieve in recent times and will take the country significantly closer to the 2030 targets of the National Development Plan.

Investment, from both domestic and foreign sources, is necessary to stimulate growth and create opportunities for new jobs. As the World Bank notes in a recent diagnostic report on South Africa: “Greater investment is needed to overcome exclusion.” As confirmation of the January 8th Statement, the same report notes, that for investment to increase, South Africa needs to improve investor confidence through, among other things, greater policy certainty, effective steps against corruption and crime and making it easier to do business.

Another important priority in the new dawn is decisive action against state capture and corruption. This has become a major concern for all South Africans. Not only does it deprive the state of resources that should go to improving the lives of the poor, but it also weakens public institutions and significantly erodes confidence among investors, business people and citizens more broadly. The economic effects of state capture have been dramatic, and it is therefore critical that it be stopped and those responsible held to account. The establishment of a commission of inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Zondo has begun its work to investigate all allegations that have emerged of the private capture of public institutions. It expects to start public hearings in August. This is taking place alongside the work of law enforcement agencies and steps being taken by government to strengthen key institutions like SARS and clean up state owned enterprises.

Other constraints on investment include the unequal distribution of resources and low skills levels. These are the consequence of devastating apartheid policies, which the Constitution requires that we correct. Consistent with its historic mission, the ANC has prioritised the accelerated redistribution of land, both in rural and urban areas, to reduce inequality and poverty, increase agricultural production and realise the economic potential of this national asset. The ANC’s National Executive Committee recently adopted a far-reaching programme of action on land reform and agrarian revolution that will take this process forward.

Alongside ongoing work to improve the quality of our basic education outcomes and expand access to early childhood development, we have begun the phased introduction of fee free higher education for students from poor backgrounds entering their first year of study. This will significantly improve access to higher education for South Africans who would otherwise be denied the opportunity, expanding our country’s skills base and contributing to economic growth and development.

Over the next few editions of ANC Today, we will further discuss some of these priorities of the new dawn. They constitute an essential part of the shared vision of fundamental transformation around which we need to unite all South Africans. Working together over the last 100 days, we have made important progress along the path of renewal, but there is still much to do. By working together as all the people of South Africa, we can ensure that the hopes and expectations of the new dawn are realised.

 

Cyril Ramaphosa 

 

President of the African National Congress