Hon House Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and for other oversight bodies, the Acting Director-General and the leadership of the State Security Agency, SSA, invited guests and fellow South Africans, the year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the notorious 1913 Natives Land Act. In 1914 its staunch opponent, ANC President John Langalibalele Dube, led a delegation and made an incisive plea to the United Kingdom, and I quote:
It is only a man with a heart of stone who could hear and see what I hear and see and remain callous and unmoved. It would break your hearts did you but know, as I know, the cruel and undeserved afflictions wrought by the hateful enactment on numberless aged, poor and tender children of my race in this their native land. From the ashes of their burnt out kraals, kicked away like dogs by Christian people from their humble hearths, from the dear old scenes where their fathers were born and grew up in simple peace, bearing malice to none, and envying neither European nor Indian the wealth and plenty they amass themselves from this their land, these unfortunate outcasts pass homeless, unwanted, silently suffering, along the highways and byways of the land, seeking in vain the most unprofitable waste whereon to build their hovel and rest and live, victims of an unknown civilisation that has all too suddenly overwhelmed and overtaken them.
As a young nation we have moved on a long and torturous road from colonial and apartheid oppression to a stable constitutional democracy. We are firm in our belief that we will not rest until our people are not just safe, but actually feel safe. As we continue to implement our collective national project of creating a national democratic society, we will spare no effort until our people are free from fear and want. In 2012, the socioeconomic factors and global economic slowdown emerged as the prominent driving forces of risks to security and stability in our country. This was epitomised by the occurrence of continuing incidents of social service delivery protest, linked to various forms of perceived or experienced socioeconomic deprivation. In most cases these protests were related to basic human needs, including access to energy, shelter, safety and subsistence. While the majority of these protests were peaceful, it is of concern that some were violent and disruptive. In addition, violent industrial action tended to be protracted, illegal, unprotected, and disruptive to key sectors of the economy, with a new trend of the shunning of union representation and the hard-won established labour relations dispensation in South Africa.
President Zuma, in his state of the nation address, reminded the nation in general and intelligence services in particular of the duty to protect our Constitution, and I quote:
Our Constitution is truly one of our greatest national achievements. Everything that we do as a government is guided by our Constitution and its vision of the society we are building ...
Our Bill of Rights guarantees that "everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions" ... It is unacceptable when people's rights are violated by perpetrators of violent actions, such as actions that lead to injury and death of persons, damage to property and the destruction of valuable public infrastructure ...
The citizens of our country have a right to expect that their democratic state will exercise its authority in defence of the Constitution that so many struggled so long and hard for. We cannot disappoint this expectation.
Let me be upfront and state loudly that in terms of our laws it is a crime to incite or participate in acts of violence during protests. Both the organisers and the participants must take full responsibility for the consequences of such violent actions, including allowing the carrying of dangerous weapons in public and the destruction of life and property. As a state we can no longer tolerate such abuse.
We have heeded the President's call. The whole security cluster is increasing its capacity and its focus on this scourge. We now have a plan and we are ready to deploy the full capacity of the democratic state in identifying, preventing, arresting and swiftly prosecuting those who undermine our Bill of Rights by engaging in such violent acts. The "eye of the nation" is watching.
Intelligence structures have implemented specific measures to provide early warning to law enforcement agencies and the relevant departments regarding planned protests that have the potential to turn violent. The assessments also focus on the underlying root causes in order to advise on a speedy and integrated response to grievances.
We call upon all law-abiding citizens to join us in a campaign for the restoration of the culture of ubuntu and respect for human rights. Let us reiterate that as a nation we have the right to engage in peaceful and unarmed protest action, but we will not allow criminality to prevail. We must defend our young democracy, work with our law enforcement agencies, strengthen our community safety forums and not be bystanders as criminality drags us all into anarchy. Let us unite and rise in defence of our democratic gains and the Constitution.
The process of restructuring the civilian intelligence community into a single department, the SSA, has almost been finalised with the imminent passing of the enabling legislation in Parliament. We have achieved a number of notable milestones. We have now finalised the new organisational structure and reconfigured line function areas in keeping with a new business case. We have matched and placed 87% of staff into a new SSA post establishment and the rest will be finalised this year.
We have a streamlined department, imbued with a new culture based on shared values captured in the acronym, Icare - Integrity, Commitment, Accountability, Reliability and Excellence.
Over time, the agency has avoided expenditure on non-value-adding projects. We have single asset register, payroll, budget management and financial accounting systems, resulting in the added benefit of considerable cost savings in the consolidation of supporting technologies and related licences. These measures have released considerable resources for our core business and the strengthening of operational or intelligence collection units.
Last year I informed this House about a project that would look at the remuneration management system of the agency. We want to ensure that it complies with legislative requirements and international best practice in making us an employer of choice. In April this year we received a report and we are currently engaging our members on this with the aim of finalising this by July.
For some time now we have been concerned about the financial sustainability of our in-house medical aid scheme, which is a crucial health care benefit for our members. This prompted us to initiate an assessment of the financial performance and future sustainability of our medical aid scheme. Health care actuaries were appointed to provide an in-depth analysis of the benefits provided to SSA members and the long-term financial feasibility of such benefits. The report was finalised in December and its recommendations are currently being explored, and some implemented.
We are making steady progress in co-operation with our veterans. We have finalised the engagement model and identified areas of interaction. I have directed the agency to consult with all our veterans regarding this model and the adoption of a draft constitution for the establishment of their association.
One of our primary quests is to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic. Previously we informed you that we were moving away from an inadequate and fragmented model to a fully integrated model of managing our entire border environment. We intended to begin with the land, and then to move to air and sea space, in order to eliminate irregular and illegal movement of goods and people across our borders.
The SSA led the process of establishing the Border Management Agency, BMA. We concluded the preliminary work and handed it over to the Department of Home Affairs for them to lead the preparation of the proclamation for the establishment of the BMA by next year. Pending the establishment of the BMA, the existing operational structures, such as the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, Natjoints, and the National Joint Operational Centre, Natjoc, are being utilised to achieve the same objectives.
Subsequent to the approval of the national cybersecurity policy framework, NCPF, by Cabinet in March last year, the key task was to establish structures to assist with the finalisation of the national cybersecurity policy and strategy, and to implement it as we go on, because of the urgency to address these new threats. We have realised that specialised skills are critical for the success of these projects and they are currently being prioritised through training and recruitment by the relevant participating state agencies and departments.
The Cybersecurity Response Committee, CRC, which is a strategic priority- setting body responsible for the successful implementation of this framework, was established and has finalised its plans. Noticeable progress has been made in the establishment of the Cyber Security Centre and the Cyber Security Hub. Some of the technologies and infrastructure required to operationalise them have already been acquired. Internal discussion documents on cyber crime, cyber terrorism and the research and development in this environment have been produced. We continue to improve the protection frameworks in regard to cyber crime, cyber warfare and the national critical information infrastructure, and these will receive priority this year. We have instructed the committee to focus on the finalisation of this policy as a matter of urgency.
The illicit economy continues to undermine our economy and this leads to a loss of business due to counterfeiting and smuggling. It includes areas such as counterfeit goods; illicit trading in cigarettes; illicit mining and copper theft. This illicit trade obstructs economic development; undermines government policy and the rule of law; supports corrupt practices; funds organised crime; undermines investment in legitimate manufacturing, innovation, trade and distribution by legitimate industry, and impacts negatively on employment.
The sale of illicit cigarettes and tobacco products, for example, has increased over the past four years. By the end of 2011 the illegal sale of cigarettes was more than 25% of the market sales in South Africa. The loss to the South African fiscus was estimated to be about R4 billion in unpaid taxes. Retailers lost R7 billion in turnover and R750 million in annual profits. This translates to a loss of almost 10 000 jobs in the tobacco industry over the past 10 years. Our neighbouring countries have lost similar revenue due to the nonpayment of taxes and excise duties.
Various steps have been taken during the period under review to address this phenomenon. We have established an interdepartmental national task team consisting of the SA Police Service, the SSA, the SA Revenue Service, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the National Prosecuting Authority. Sometimes it includes representatives of the tobacco industry. We expect to see positive results soon as a result of this intervention. In 2013 the government and the ruling party have directed us to expedite the process of the development and finalisation of the national security strategy. The SSA and the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS, Cluster have already covered a lot of ground in preparing the draft document and we hope to submit it for Cabinet approval within the next three months. Thereafter it is critical to canvass inputs and buy-in by all South Africans. We hope that this Parliament will also drive public consultations.
It is our considered view that this strategy, within the South African historical context, must unpack what we mean by national security, and we think that we should follow a broad human security approach. We must reach consensus on what we mean by national security. This strategy must deepen our national consensus around national security challenges - what are the threats? - and provide a long-term framework for their mitigation and management. It must also propose critical structures for the effective and integrated upholding of national security. It must highlight the important role of the citizens as owners and beneficiaries of national security.
The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now called the African Union, AU. The AU has declared 2013 the year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, in recognition of the need for Africa's citizens to promote unity, prosperity and peaceful coexistence on the continent. We take lessons from the 1963 "We must unite or perish" call by President Kwame Nkrumah, and I quote:
On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence.
Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle ... to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo- colonial controls and interference ...
African unity is above all, a political kingdom which can only be gained by political means ... Is it not unity alone that can weld us into an effective force, capable of creating our own progress and making our valuable contribution to world peace?
He went on to say:
In independent Africa, we are already re-experiencing the instability ... which existed under colonial rule ... The movement of the masses of the people of Africa for freedom from that kind of rule was not only a revolt against the conditions which it imposed. Our people supported us in our fight for independence because they believed that African governments could cure the ills of the past in a way which could never be accomplished under colonial rule.
If, therefore, now that we are independent we allow the same conditions that existed in colonial days to exist, all the resentment which overthrew colonialism will be mobilised against us.
I hope members note this. Global security remains stable but fragile due to pockets of conflict in some regions. One of the most noticeable trends in 2012 was the increase in the threat of terrorism in Africa.
In West Africa, the destabilising activities of extremist militant groups such as Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the Tuareg militia in Mali attest to this. In North Africa, the proliferation of small arms, and the availability of well-trained fighters, have weakened regional security structures. Al-Shabaab is determined to wage a jihad against countries that are part of the AU mission in Somalia.
Central Africa has experienced a resurgence of instability and conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, and the Central African Republic, CAR. We are concerned about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the CAR.
As a nation, we may not turn a blind eye to the evolving humanitarian crisis. The primary objective is to urgently restore security in order to allow inflows of humanitarian assistance and economic reconstruction. The most urgent task is the containment of the soldiers, that is, we must confine those rebels and soldiers to their barracks. We also need to screen them and integrate those who qualify into the national army. We must not allow the integration of child soldiers, foreign militia and those implicated in gross violations of human rights, such as rape and targeted murder.
We will work through the regional body, the Economic Community of Central African States, Eccas, the AU and the UN in assisting with the restoration of peace and constitutional normalcy in the CAR. An inclusive interim government is being established to restore legislative and judicial authorities, initiate national reconciliation, and ensure democratic elections within the next 18 months.
Despite all these challenges, Africa is on the rise from the shackles of poverty. Despite the threat of global recession, 6 out of 10 of the fastest growing economies are on this continent. Political stability and democratic change or renewal of government is steadily becoming the norm, as we have witnessed recently in Senegal, Lesotho, Angola and Kenya. Even in countries in North Africa, which were previously under autocratic rule, we have witnessed progress towards peace and democracy, with the holding of multiparty elections in Libya and Egypt. All these successes are critical contributors to peace and security on the continent.
We are intensifying our efforts in international collaboration in dealing with threats to global security such as terrorism, disasters and transnational crimes, including Internet crimes. In this regard, last year we attended the international meeting on High-Ranking Officials Responsible for Security Matters in St Petersburg, and we also attended the first Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics, National Security Advisors ministerial meeting held in New Delhi in January 2013. The outcomes of these meetings have helped us to share experiences on common approaches in addressing threats such as piracy, terrorism and cybersecurity.
Our vision of a better Africa and a better world received greater impetus when we successfully hosted the 5th Brics Summit in Durban during March this year. As the current chair of the Brics National Security Advisors Forum, the SSA is leading the process of hosting a similar meeting later this year.
In conclusion, we have just presented a synopsis of key strategic policy areas. Much more daily work is being done by the SSA to contribute to our national security, a peaceful Africa and a safer world. Now that restructuring is complete, we will focus on training and the development of modern technology platforms to assist with our national security. As I have mentioned, we will prioritise the finalisation of the National Security Strategy.
Let me thank all those who make my work easier. These include the President, Mr Zuma; the Deputy President, Mr Motlanthe; and my colleagues in the Cabinet who give me their guidance; the leadership of the State Security Agency, led by Acting DG Dlomo; and the parliamentary committees processing our legislation, in the form of ad hoc committees.
Then there are our oversight structures, namely the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, JSCI, chaired by the hon Burgess; the Inspector- General of Intelligence, Adv Radebe; the Auditor-General, Terence Nombembe and his team; Judge Mokgoro, who assists us in ensuring that we get legal intercepts; and other Chapter 9 institutions.
There are also my family and friends; the loyal and diligent ordinary members of the SSA who are not here with us now, but are working to ensure that we are all safe; and, lastly, the ANC, which tirelessly continues to lead South African society into prosperity. I thank you. [Applause.]