By – SAnews.gov.za
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that he has decided to donate half of his Presidential salary towards a soon to be established fund that will be launched on July 18 – the birthday of former President Nelson Mandela.
The President said this when he led the debate on the Presidency’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The announcement came as the country prepares to commemorate the centenary of President Nelson Mandela and struggle icon Albertina Sisulu.
He said the Fund, to be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund, will be administered by the Nelson Mandela Fund.
“I have, and this is a private initiative, decided to contribute half of my Presidential salary to a fund that will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Fund.
“This is a private, citizen-driven initiative that will ask all of those with the means to contribute a small portion of their salaries to support the many projects to build the nation.
“This fund, through discussions that we have had with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will be launched on the 18th of July to mark the 100th anniversary of Madiba’s birth and will be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund,” he said.
President calls for patriotism among citizens
The President said citizens should put their differences aside and work together in the spirit of nation building.
“It is this spirit of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, a spirit of solidarity, a spirit of service, a spirit of shared humanity that we should seek to emulate.
It is a spirit that has moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a new nation together.
“It is the spirit that moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a nation of equals.
“We have travelled far. We still have much further to go.
“By working together, by drawing on all our resources and capabilities, by embracing that which unites us and confronting that which divides us, I have no doubt that we will reach our destination,” he said.
President gives progress on first 100 days in office
The President said, meanwhile, that while there are still challenges, progress has been made in his first 100 days in office to improve the lives of all South Africans.
“It is nearly 100 days since we decided, together, to make a clear and decisive break with the discord and division of recent times.
“It was a moment at which we made plain our determination to act with urgency and resolve to transform our society, to grow our economy and to create the jobs that our people so desperately need,” he said.
He said government has identified its shortcomings, acknowledged them and is now poised to make significant progress in addressing the challenges.
“Over the last few months, we have taken decisive steps to improve the business environment, promote the country to investors, ensure policy certainty, strengthen state owned companies and create pathways into employment for the youth.
“We are working with labour, business and communities to forge a new social compact around job creation, which will form the basis for a broader compact around growth, development and transformation.
“The Jobs Summit is an important part of this effort,” he said.
He said government has forged partnerships with social partners to drive economic growth and create jobs.
“In another example of effective collaboration, the Youth Employment Service, which was launched in March, promises to equip hundreds of thousands of young people for the world of work over its first three years.
“Twenty early adopter companies have committed to providing 22 000 work experience opportunities, with a further 18 companies engaging intensively with the YES team to unlock a further 21 000 opportunities.
“This initiative will bridge the critical gap between education and the world of work, significantly increasing the chances of participants to find work after one year.”
The President said the country cannot achieve growth if steps are not taken to massively increase the level of investment in the productive economy.
The President said this is why the President launched an ambitious new investment drive that aims to mobilise $100 billion over the next five years.
“Working together with the relevant government departments and agencies, the special envoys are building a book of actual and potential investments ahead of the Investment Conference to be held in October this year.
“We are using this investment drive to strengthen agencies like Invest SA to become formidable instruments of investment promotion and facilitation.
“What we seek is an army of investment envoys, who appreciate the absolute necessity of establishing and expanding businesses across the country, and who are prepared to use whatever means they have at their disposal to promote the country as a desirable destination for investment.”