Hon Chair, hon Members of Parliament, our very important guests here today, our hon Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, our Deputy Minister and the House at large, I greet you this morning. First of all, I wish to express my appreciation on being afforded this opportunity, knowing full well that it is a right in a democracy to be a Member of Parliament and to speak on behalf of others, though this has not always been the case for black people, especially black rural woman in this country. It is therefore rather surprising that some decide to stay away from the election process and, many a time, to criticise all the processes, when many South Africans have paid the supreme price for such an opportunity. Indeed, we owe it to those who died far away from their beloved country for this opportunity.
Today, hon Minister, many South Africans are waiting for this moment with curiosity: for their hon Minister to pronounce the budget amounts that continue to enable them to survive under very difficult conditions on a daily basis. Having heard what you have said, hon Minister, I congratulate you on having been reappointed by our President to lead this difficult task.
For the past 20 years, this exercise has given hope to over 16 million people who currently receive grants. I therefore dedicate this debate to those whose lives have improved as a result of the grants. Indeed, hon Minister, you and your organisation have a good story to tell. [Applause.]
I congratulate hon Minister Dlamini on having spearheaded, with great success and impact, the very difficult political management programme, because it is always faced with the pressing and competing needs of the poor. Once again ...
... uMongameli weli lizwe uhlab'khangela ngokuthi buya kwakhona. Siyabulela , sithabile [kwaye siyavuya.] [... the President of this country has done the right thing by bringing you back. We thank you, and we are happy].
The history of poverty in the country can be traced as far back as 1652. We did not wake up poor. We know where it comes from. And I know I'm running the risk of being very unpopular for having spoken this truth, but I'm supposed to say this once in my life. When Jan van Riebeeck arrived in this country, he had been charged with corruption by the Dutch East India Company and sentenced, as I understand from many writers, yet he went on to colonise the Cape. It is for this reason that we have Marikana today. It is for this reason that we are talking about poverty. This is a community; a population that was uprooted and disrupted, leading to the tragedy we are faced with today. It is so nice to talk about it. Yet none of us in this House is responsible for those men having to leave their families to work far away, disintegrating their family life.
How I wish that when the matters concerning the platinum belt are resolved, there will be an opportunity to travel for one day to be with your family, rather than reinforcing the migration labour system by ensuring that you are kept at work for six months, or so many months, and that when you travel it takes you three days because these days flying is only for those paid by government. You can see this if you look at the statistics of who gets to fly.
I can say the process of dispossession led to the many evils I have mentioned, such as the migratory labour system and even forced removals. Those who are supposed to be enjoying their lives next to the sea that they were born near to are now scattered all over the country.
To date, the majority of the people in the country are said to be lacking scarce skills. This is simply because the current economically active population age group consists mainly of the survivors of the forced Bantu education system, which was prescribed by the Bantu Education Act of 1953. It is no mistake that we are where we are today. This is just one of the numerous evils of oppression, such as separate development, the Natives Land Act of 1913, and many more. All of these led to the state of affairs that was inherited in 1994: poverty, inequality, unemployment, hunger and starvation. I am convinced that no other intervention will enable so many South Africans to survive until the service delivery plans, hon Minister, are actually implemented from A to Z - then there will be peace and stability in your country, my sister. I am also thankful for the idea, the vision, the notion of the comprehensive social security model that is now a revised vision for the department.
The ANC has always been seized with the liberation of all South Africans - and I repeat: all South Africans - from the bondages of poverty. That is why the ANC went from door to door as far back as 1955 and found a plethora of challenges facing most South Africans. These challenges culminated in the noble Freedom Charter that we all say is good to have in this country.
When the new democratic South Africa was ushered in, departments were established to respond to those 1955 challenges, and this department was established to make specific interventions like the one we are talking about. The Budget Vote today, which I call upon all of us to strongly support and even to call for more, if possible, responds fully to the challenges of poverty, hunger, starvation, inequity and unemployment.
The ANC has flagged the emancipation of woman as an integral part of the struggle and has not failed to note that, in our situation, women are the most affected by all the evils I have mentioned, irrespective of colour, creed or race or even political affiliation. The fact is that women suffer the most and carry the heaviest burden in this country. Hence, the former president of the ANC, the late Oliver Reginald Tambo, when discussing this with his colleague Sam Nujoma, the late former president of Swapo, or the South West Africa People's Organisation, had this to say:
If, at the end of our struggle, South African women and those of Namibia are not emancipated we will have not finished our work.
The vision of the department, which is supported by the portfolio committee, largely resonates with the commitments by those struggle icons. This is also in line with the debates before us, namely early childhood education, which is a lifetime investment; comprehensive social security; food security; food for all; and zero hunger. If we get hungry at some stage - all of us here - we have choices: I want to eat a burger; I want to eat that. But others are not fortunate enough to have a choice. They have to eat whatever is going to relieve the hunger pangs.
During the election campaign, the ANC engaged with all South Africans with the aim of understanding their needs and the challenges that have been addressed, as well as those challenges that have not been addressed. The lessons learnt include the fact that South Africans in cities have had their share, despite the fact that there is still a plethora of needs to address in those communities in cities. Indeed, they engaged with those communities that, once upon a time, used to rent from aboMadam or in the back yard. In addition, they have now seen an opportunity to settle freely where they want to. Yes, it is irritating when you think about the backlog that creates, about the protests, about the ... [Inaudible.] But at some stage there was a reason that they left those rentals: They were free to go to the city. The city is their own city today.
So those people in peri-urban areas are not very rural or very urban. They might, then, lack focus, and I am sure the Minister has also experienced that during her visits. There are those who live in the back of beyond, like me: "kwa nja mayiphume". They have the same story to tell, a good story. This good story might be irritating, but others get bored simply because they never travelled the route or the journey that most of us have.
I come from the very same areas, where indeed I was born behind the door. Therefore, I always think of a more peaceful, democratic South Africa. Please support this particular Budget Vote for all of us to benefit. Ngiyabonga, Modulasetula. [Thank you, Chairperson.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, I truly believe that we must confront the hard truth about the poor performance of the department and its entities if we want to ensure that all South Africans enjoy their constitutional rights. The same issues that appear on both the strategic plan and the annual report of the department were discussed and resources were appropriated for them to be implemented five years ago when I was a member of this committee.
Today, I find myself with more questions than answers. Once again, we revisit the same issues and make plans for the period of 2017 to 2019. Why is it that those plans tabled five years ago were never implemented? What happened to the resources that were allocated to these plans? With all the challenges that we face as a nation - poverty, inequality and unemployment - one would have expected the department to implement its programmes with far greater urgency.
The issues at hand are the universalisation of the child support grant and the old age grant, the child protection register, the policy for nonprofit organisation funding, or NPO funding, and the establishment of an inspectorate for social security. Despite the massive expansion of the grant system as a source of income for many poor families, many still suffer the double fate of poverty and social exclusion. A recent study found that 2,3 million eligible children are not receiving the child support grant, primarily because of a lack of documentation and administrative obstacles.
It is worrying that, as a country, we still use the means test to determine who qualifies for social grants, thereby excluding many deserving citizens of this country. The extent of this exclusion indicates that there is an urgent need for a policy review that will focus on the legislative changes necessary to unblock the legal impediments to the child support grant and the old age grant. Since 2009, the DA has proposed the removal of the means test so that a person, by merit of being a South African citizen, receives the grant according to his or her needs - and not related to his or her income and assets. It is sad that after so many years this matter will only be finalised during this financial year.
With regard to nonprofit organisation funding, we have seen an expansion of the social grant system, but, in contrast, funding for social welfare services has been relatively neglected. In 2009, NPOs challenged the department on problems in its NPO funding policy. This included a judgment of the Free State High Court instructing the department to come up with a better policy in respect of funding of NPOs. These NPOs filed this court application after several years of serious frustration with how the department dealt with transfers to and subsidies of NPOs. The frustrations, amongst many others, included delayed payments, lack of communication, lack of consultation, payment amounts not corresponding to the services rendered and not enough funding for nongovernmental organisations for the services they render. As a result, many NPOs are unable to successfully perform their duties. The judgment notes that many NPOs are funded by the department and that the department openly acknowledges that these organisations play a major role in delivering social services to children, the elderly and people with disabilities. In fact, in many cases, the department is dependent on these NPOs for delivering services that government are actually responsible for through laws like the Children's Act and the Older Persons Act. The department also acknowledges that the transfers it provides to many NPOs do not cover the full cost of service delivery, yet we see no urgent effort to fix this situation.
During the strategic plan and budget presentation by the department to the committee, it was indicated that only by 2019 would the department come up with an efficient regulatory system, the capacity-building ability and the funding model for NGOs. This is unacceptable because by then it will be 10 years after the court judgment. Hon Minister, surely we owe it to NPOs to accomplish this review with greater urgency? If we don't, the following will happen: many NGOs will be closed; many people will lose their jobs; and 62% of the social welfare services rendered by these NPOs will come to a standstill.
It is not only the judgment of the High Court that provided the recommendation on this matter. The Financial and Fiscal Commission's 2013 report highlighted the low financial provision by government to child welfare services, which amounted to R5,7 billion in 2013-14 compared to the estimated need of at least R12,9 billion for only the low-level implementation of the Children's Act. Finally, the report also points to the vast disparities in funding social welfare and the expenditure between provinces. KwaZulu-Natal spends R81 per child while the Northern Cape spends R412.
In the Western Cape, where the DA governs, we have managed to introduce a new departmental system for monitoring the use of these funds by NGOs, ensuring that the vulnerable citizens of the Western Cape get the maximum benefit. This drive shows that the Western Cape department of social development spent the biggest portion of its budget, 68%, on transfer payments to NGOs. This is more than any other province in this country, according to the Financial and Fiscal Commission in its submission for the division of revenue in 2014-15. During a time of financial crisis and with the National Lottery failing the NGOs dismally, we believe this is a critically strategic move to preserve the welfare services of our people. Surely, we need to assess the rationality of our spending across the provinces and rectify these disparities.
Hon Minister, I believe the power is in your hands to do what is right for those South Africans whose lives depend on this Ministry.
During the 2010 Budget Vote debate in this very venue, I was concerned about and raised the issue of the legal cases brought against Sassa in the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. One of the Supreme Court of Appeal judges described the inefficiency in the processing of social grant applications "as a war of attrition against the poor". Today, as I stand before you, there is a Constitutional Court case against Sassa. Maybe we should be asking ourselves why Sassa is back in court again. How many court cases is Sassa facing?
We know that the Cash Paymaster Services tender was declared invalid. It is about time that Sassa corrects the public procurement principles of transparency and adheres to the Constitutional Court order. In 2011, during a Questions for Oral Reply session in the House, I asked the former Deputy Minister, Mrs Ntuli, why the department never established the inspectorate for social assistance, as required by chapter 4 of the Social Assistance Act. If the department is really serious about fraud and corruption within Sassa, I believe Sassa could have acted immediately. We also take note of other systems that Sassa is trying to put in place, especially with regard to reregistration. Why has the inspectorate for social assistance never been established? The department has lost millions through fraud and corruption since the establishment of Sassa. According to Sassa, it will only establish this inspectorate by March 2019 - that is 10 years later!
Currently, the bulk of Sassa's expenditure goes to cash payment contractors which, on average, account for approximately 53% of the entire budget, whilst the remaining caters for so many little things. In 2009, I asked the Minister this question, and I am asking it again: Does the department really need Sassa to administer the grants on its behalf? I ask this because Sassa has subcontracted out the very job it is supposed to be doing to contractors who are taking huge chunks of the budget. Is Sassa an asset or a liability to the department? It is clear that the majority of Sassa's budget does not benefit the poor and vulnerable of our country. Why will the department only have developed a payment system in three years' time that will strengthen the position of Sassa as a payment provider?
In conclusion, allow me to leave this House with Albert Einstein's words. He said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. [Interjections.] Anything we have criticised is because we care; we are part of South Africa. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Sicela iti! [We want tea!]
Uzolithola itiye baba. [You'll get your tea, sir.]
Hon House Chairperson, the EFF will not support this budget, based on the following observations. We welcome the department's efforts to provide social grants to our people. We say: Give people grants, not peanuts, Minister. But what are people supposed to do with R310? For instance, 20 nappies cost R85, and that does not even last a week, and 1,2 kg of milk formula costs R233,90. [Interjections.]
Order, hon members! Continue.
Thank you, Chairperson. We propose, as the EFF, that all social grants be increased by 100%. [Interjections.] Furthermore, we understand the importance of social grants as a way of alleviating poverty. The ANC must not use social services as a campaigning tool. We have seen this during the elections in the distribution of blankets, food parcels, etc. One of the main aims of this department is to enhance early childhood development in the country. However, these words ring empty when it comes to the day-to-day experiences of many rural and township preschool teachers and young children. Nomonde Ngalo from the Eastern Cape is just one of the many cases in which the words and promises of this department have failed her. Nomonde started a preschool in 1985 to serve the needs of her community. This broken-down school could fall apart at any moment. The children receive no food from the department - there is no feeding scheme - and Nomonde has never been paid for her work. I am sure this is not a good story to tell.
Kutsho wena! [You say so!]
Yebo, kusho mina. [Yes, I say so.]
For years she has approached this department, but the department has turned a blind eye. There are many other stories like hers in our many rural and township areas across the country. We demand an early childhood development programme that services the daily life experiences of our people. Early childhood development must be made part of mainstream schooling, and it must be standardised from the age of three years. Early childhood development must be part of the education system, and people must be paid properly and treated like the proper teachers they are. They are doing a good job. Only thereafter will there be a good story to tell. For now, there is no good story to tell. [Interjections.]
Order, order, hon members! Order!
Thank you, Chairperson, for protecting me.
Order! We want to hear the speaker at the podium. [Interjections.]
With the efforts to curb substance abuse through the national Anti-Substance Abuse Programme of Action, this department falls further short. It has failed to create enough rehabilitation centres in rural and township areas.
Ziyafa ingane zethu yiwunga; zisibamb' inkunzi silele ... [Our children are addicted to wunga; they are robbing us in our sleep ...]
... because this department is failing us. [Interjections.] In this country, you can only attend rehabilitation and treatment programmes if you can afford them. How many people from our rural and township areas can really afford treatment when they are not even employed? [Interjections.]
Order! You are too loud!
This department has prioritised the end of hunger through the establishment of the food distribution centres, the community food depots and the community food and development centres. But these are only in three provinces, which is insufficient. Furthermore, this department has not been clear on the developmental aspect of this initiative. Where will they receive their supplies? Who will their suppliers be? And how will this initiative boost black farmers and create employment? The EFF demands a food economy that empowers communities to produce food for themselves. [Interjections.] Let me repeat: the EFF demands a food economy that empowers communities to produce food for themselves. The community must be able to produce for themselves. [Interjections.]
Order! Order, hon members!
There are too few Sassa footprints in this country. There is only one regional office in each province and an inefficient number of district and local offices, resulting in large transport costs for rural and township citizens who need to consult. These citizens are mostly poor and unemployed.
We suggest the following solutions: Each and every ward in the country must have Sassa offices - if you want to tell a good story. As South Africa is bedevilled by crisis levels of poverty and access to basic services, it needs an urgent programme to deliver quality and sustainable services. Listen carefully: The EFF's approach to the delivery of basic services to the people is that it should be labour-absorbing and should produce quality products, goods and services. I hope you hear me very well. [Interjections.]
The EFF believes that social grants are an important aspect of bringing the poorest of the poor up to the same level of economic participation. The EFF says that we should introduce a system that would link social grants to development. We say further that education and training opportunities for women who receive child support grants ...
Hon member, your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Thank you. I will continue workshopping you, ANC. [Interjections.]
Thank you, hon Maxon. Hon members, could we please respect and uphold the decorum of this House. Thank you.
Hon Chairperson, I rise on behalf of my colleague the hon Liezl van der Merwe, who is currently speaking in the debate on Women, Children and People with Disabilities and is unable to be here.
The IFP regards Social Development as a key government department, for we prize the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our society. We understand the value of a social grant and the meaningful difference it can make in the lives of the poorest of the poor.
But we in the IFP also have self-help and self-reliance as part of our cornerstone philosophy. Our people should not remain dependent on grants alone. We need a robust economy in which everyone can participate, earn a living and enjoy meaningful lives.
It is against this background that the IFP has time and again decried the plight of NGOs, such as Rape Crisis and Tears - Transform Education about Rape and Sexual Abuse. These organisations are vital partners in our fight on behalf of the most vulnerable sectors of our society. We cannot fight without them. We therefore welcome the department's consideration of a new funding model as a solution to the funding crisis.
However, the intended completion of the project's review in 2017 leaves us deeply concerned for those organisations that are already in crisis. We appeal to the hon Minister to make urgent interventions whenever they are needed. We also appeal to the Minister to speedily process amendments to the Children's Act of 2010. The department's failure to comply with the Act by timeously processing paperwork to facilitate adoptions is grossly unacceptable. It has had a detrimental effect on the lives of orphans. In fact, adoption rates have halved since 2009. Interim measures are needed to compel improvement in systems and processes.
Some 17 million South Africans are dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Yet, we are ill equipped to handle the scourge of drugs and alcohol addiction in South Africa. This department must champion a more integrated approach. Funding for more treatment facilities is needed. But unless their services are better co-ordinated and managed between the various departments, we will continue to lose this war.
We are concerned by the recent allegations that Sassa has irregularly used millions of rand meant for the poor to pay for bodyguards for senior Social Development and Sassa officials. While we appreciate that the Public Protector has launched an investigation, we hope that the hon Minister will also launch an investigation into this regard, as the final responsibility to account for every cent falls on the Minister's shoulders.
The imminence of the 2016 local government elections gives us cause to warn against using this department as a political tool to advance the ruling party's agenda. Allegations that food parcel distribution is often linked to by-elections must be taken very seriously.
The mammoth task of looking after the most vulnerable sectors of our society cannot be performed by the hon Minister and her team alone. We therefore look forward to partnering with her on this journey. We are cognisant of the great responsibility we all bear; the responsibility of changing the lives of people for the better.
Mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe njengoba izigi-ke bezizwakala ngaphambi kokhetho nihambise izijumbane zokudla emphakathini, namanje azizwakale yize noma ukhetho seludlulile. [Hon Minister, you were very actively distributing food parcels to communities before elections and you must continue doing so even after elections.]
The IFP will support this Budget Vote. [Applause.]
House Chair, hon Minister Bathabile Dlamini, hon chairperson, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as the Bible says:
As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms ...
For even the Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.
President Zuma, in the state of the nation address delivered on 25 May 2014, committed this term of office to radical socioeconomic transformation to push back the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which continue to affect the lives of many of our people.
This reminded me of the words of the former Minister of Social Development, Mr Zola Skweyiya, when he reflected as follows: The paradigm shift from a welfarist to a social development perspective is premised on the notion that people are the masters of their own destiny and, instead of helping the poor in the traditional way with handouts, it moves on to the development and empowerment of individuals, groups and communities, teaching them to be self-reliant.
In the 10 years following the release of the Social Development Integrated Service Delivery Model, in the words of Paulo Freire, we need to ask ourselves whether we have simply walked over the words, or whether we indeed managed to grasp the soul of the words of the former Minister of Social Development.
Radical socioeconomic transformation requires that we, individually and collectively, grasp the soul of the social development perspective if we are to break the chains of poverty, inequality and unemployment. It requires of each and every one of us to interrogate the manner in which we deliver services, the manner in which we "care", how we target interventions, who we partner with, and how we advocate for the rights of children, young people, people with disabilities, women and older persons.
Allow me to extend a special word of welcome to my mother, who is with us in the House today. Not only did she have to contend with being a black rural woman in apartheid South Africa, but she also had to survive eking out a living as an unemployed woman in a rural village in the then Bophuthatswana Bantustan. Added to this was giving birth, in 1971, to a baby girl with a disability, at a time when there was neither information nor services available on how to parent a disabled child in Phokeng, where disability was linked to witchcraft, sin and many other superstitious beliefs.
This dictated the community response to and interaction with our family henceforth. However, thanks to your dedication, Ma, your I-don't-give-up attitude and your willingness to sacrifice, you actioned the soul of Ellen Goodman's words when she said: "The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears."
I also wish to pay tribute to my father, who stood by his family in the early years, and I challenge all fathers to remain active in their children's lives, whether they have disabilities or not. Ma, I can only imagine the extent of your anguish on your journey back home after you left me alone as a young, eight-year-old girl at a special school far away from home. For that, I am very grateful, as it afforded me the opportunity to stand here today, with education as the backbone of who I am. I want say thank you, Ma, and thank you once more. [Applause.] In 1990, when I gave birth to Kealeboga, my first daughter, who was also born blind, I was a single, teenaged mother, forced to drop out of school. Like my mother, I still had no information or support services to guide me in bringing up my daughter in Phokeng. Still, I had self-knowledge of growing up as a blind child, which enabled me to seek information and resources, albeit it at a high cost at times.
By 2003, almost 10 years into democracy, I gave birth to Zanele, my 10-year- old. Zanele was also born with the same disability because our disability is genetic. There was not just a visible change in the attitude of nurses, neighbours and family, but also in the rest of South Africa as a whole. Zanele was celebrated. I was now married, and a Member of Parliament, and we lived in an urban setting. Service-related information was available at the click of a button through the Internet, but this, of course, required computer access and literacy. I suddenly had choices of whether to enrol Zanele in an inclusive or special early childhood development programme or school.
This right to choice for what I deemed to be in the best interest of my child was as a direct result of the policies of the ANC-led government, which took decisions in 1994 that persons with disabilities belonged in the communities where their families lived, and not far away from them. [Applause.] I have taken some time to illustrate my personal journey, as it depicts the progress made over the past 20 years of democracy. It also points us in the direction of the action required to accelerate the radical socioeconomic transformation agenda.
The economic benefits of investing in children have been extensively documented. Investing fully in children today will ensure the wellbeing and productivity of future generations for decades to come. This will break the vicious cycle of poverty, inequality and unemployment, and declare a demographic dividend in the future.
Our government has acknowledged this reality and has committed to shifting significant resources to early childhood development services. Our challenge, firstly, is to guarantee access by putting mechanisms in place to ensure that these services reach every child equally, irrespective of geographic location, disability, health or socioeconomic status and/or gender - and that is a promise we are willing to keep.
Our second challenge is to ensure that we place the empowerment of our children at the centre of these programmes. This should include providing them with platforms through which they can represent themselves, thereby giving effect to meaningful child participation. Together, in this House, let's listen to the voices of our children. Empowerment of children is about more than stimulation programmes. It is also about attitudes and relationships, as well as life skills, which start with parenting in the home.
Allow me to pay tribute to my Grade 1 teacher, Mme MmaShebe, whose guidance, and the respect she afforded me, made an indelible imprint on my future. Public servants such as Mme MmaShebe, who believe in the potential of all children, irrespective of their disability, creed, gender, religion or health status, provide us with the platform through which we can achieve the vision of the 2030 National Development Plan. I call on all those who work with children to unlock their potential by tapping into their hopes, creativity and abilities through active engagement.
Our third challenge is to ensure that early childhood development programmes invest in parent empowerment and support, as well as information services for parents.
In the words of Eva Feder Kittay in her book, Love's Labor: In a just society, mothers of children with disabilities can mother, and they, their children, and other needed caregivers will be adequately supported. That is the 10 000 Evas we are talking about.
The purpose of developmental social services is, among other purposes, to enhance social functioning and human capacity, and to promote social inclusion through the empowerment of those who are socially and economically excluded from mainstream society. This places a particular responsibility on the shoulders of every stakeholder involved in community development to ensure that programmes do not unintentionally discriminate in the extent to which all our citizens have access and are able to participate. It requires of every duty bearer across the service-delivery value chain to acknowledge the factors that contribute to exclusion and inequality of outcome, such as the stairs that are unnecessary in front of buildings; to put in place measures that remove barriers and strengthen equitable access and participation; to ensure that these measures are budgeted for and implemented; and, at the end of the day, to report on the extent to which programme outcomes are equitable for everyone. Then people with disabilities will be fully included.
Developmental social services also require that we put our individual egos aside and that we compromise for the attainment of our 2030 vision of reducing inequality, alleviating poverty, creating jobs and fighting unemployment. This requires that we work together as units, as departments, as spheres of government, as social partners, as disability organisations, as parent organisations, as young persons, as women and men, as persons living with HIV and Aids, as communities, as the LGBTI community - that is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community - and, in this House, collectively, as leaders.
Allow me to thank the corporate sector partners who have, over the years, never failed to heed the call to contribute to the socioeconomic development agenda. These are partnerships we value, as they focus on empowering communities, not polishing the egos and lining the pockets of individuals. On behalf of those communities that all these partners have assisted, vho livhuwa, thank you very much, re a leboga, le ka moso.
In conclusion, sustainable and radical socioeconomic transformation requires that we focus on breaking access and participation barriers; reducing compounded vulnerabilities; empowering children, young people, women and men, and persons with disabilities; supporting sustainable, independent living in the community for persons with disabilities and older persons; strengthening the representative voices of children, young people, persons with disabilities, women and older persons; and building a women, child, youth and disability rights-responsive Public Service towards the building of a caring, inclusive South African society for all who live in it.
Our Constitution, together with the international human rights treaties ratified by South Africa, provides the guiding words. However, it is now up to us, individually and collectively, to ensure that we do not walk over the words contained in these instruments, but that we give effect to the soul of them. In the words of former President, the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, "It always seems impossible until it is done."
Allow me to thank my husband and children for their unwavering support; my family for creating and giving me the support and space to enable me to serve; the Minister for her leadership in steering this ship forward and the very warm welcome we received; the team in my office, led by Mathuto Motumi; Director-General Ntate Coceko and his team; the National Development Agency team; the Sassa team, led by their respective CEOs; the rest of the government; and the Social Development family.
Working together, we are committed to moving South Africa forward and building a fully inclusive society, free from unfair discrimination, inequality, abuse and exploitation. As we present this Budget Vote with the hope that you will support it, because it is all about the poor and the vulnerable of this country, let us celebrate the life and times of Maya Angelou with her words:
Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.
She will forever remind us of the commitments we have.
Once again, I call on all parties to partner with us to walk the road together, as we continue to tell the good story in changing the lives of South Africans. I thank you. [Applause.]
Hon members, I just need to remind the House that you are not allowed to record the proceedings of the House or to take pictures. I hope that will be obeyed.
Modulasetulo, e re ke ise tlhompho ho Ditho tsa Lekgotla la Ketsamolao la Afrika Borwa; ke ise tlhompho ho Letona, hong le Motlatsa Letona; mme ke ise tlhompho ho baetapele ba mafapha, le ho setjhaba ka kakaretso.
Puong ya hae ya setjhaba ka kgwedi ya Phupu, selemong sena sa sa ditjhelete, Mopresidente wa Afrika Borwa, mohlomphehi Jacob Zuma, o hlalositse hore sehleng sena sa Palamente ho hlokahala hore ho kenngwe tshebetsong maano a tlisang phetoho ya moruo wa setjhaba ka sekgahla se matla, e le hore ho potlakiswe mananeo a tlo fokotsa bofuma, tlhokeho ya mesebetsi le ho se lekalekane.
Jwale, Lefapha la Ntshetsopele ya Setjhaba le sehlohlolong sa ho tlisa diphetoho tsena ho baahi ba Afrika Borwa ka kakaretso. Lefapha le filwe maikarabelo a ho ntshetsa pele Sephetho sa 13 sa Morero wa Ntshetsopele ya Setjhaba [National Development Plan] o itshetlehileng ho mokgwatshebetso wa tshireletso o akaretsang o bile o arabela.
Ha re sheba mananeo ao lefapha le batlang ho a kenya tshebetsong sehleng sena sa ditjhelete ho lwantshana le bofuma, tlhokeho ya mesebetsi le ho se lekalekane, ho a bontsha hore e le ka nnete, tsena ke diphihlello tse tekilweng ho Tokomane ya Setshwantsho sa Molao wa mokgatlo wa ANC, ho tswa Sebokeng sa Mangaung ka selemo sa 2012. Moo, ho neng ho buuwa ka tlhabollo ya thekolohelo [social transformation] e seratswaneng se itshetlehileng ho tlhahiso ya Tokomane ya Lewa la Thuso e Batsi ya Tshireletso ya Setjhaba ya