Keynote Address by the
Honourable Jeff Radebe, MP Minister in The Presidency for Planning Monitoring and
Evaluation at the DPME Staff Imbizo GCIS Auditorium Pretoria
5 DECEMBER 2017
It is such a pleasure to have
the DPME staff under the same roof as we close what has been an historic year.
This historic moment presented us with an opportunity to take a retrospective
view on the road we have travelled both as the Department and as a nation, and
forge new directions for 2018 and beyond.
The year 2017 was declared as
the Year of OR Tambo, in honour of what would have been the 100th
birthday of Oliver Reginald (OR) Tambo, who passed away in 1993. Tambo left
indelible footprints in our collective memory and his vision as the leader of
our liberation movement is entrenched in the contours of our democratic
society. I had the singular honour of chairing the Inter-Ministerial Committee
(IMC) on the OR Tambo Centenary celebrations. I am proud to say that the
programme of the OR Tambo Centenary has been a resounding success.
It is almost impossible to
speak of OR Tambo without mentioning his close friend and comrade, the late Nelson
Mandela. Tambo and Mandela met on the soccer field as students at the
University of Fort Hare in 1940. They struck a friendship that would last a
lifetime. They joined the African National Congress (ANC) and played an
instrumental role in the founding of the ANC Youth League in 1944.
Tambo was succeeded by Mandela
as the President of the ANC in 1991. It is such a coincidence that these close
companions succeed each other even in their years of birth. As we conclude the
OR Tambo centenary, we begin the Nelson Mandela centenary. The whole world has
been celebrating Nelson Mandela Day for a number of years, but next year’s instalment
has to be something special, as the 18th of July 2018 marks what
would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday. It is an honour and a
privilege that I have been entrusted with the responsibility of serving as the chairperson
of the IMC for the centenary of the late President Mandela.
Those of us who had the
privilege of working closely with Madiba know that he always insisted that as a
leader he was part of a collective — his successes were the successes of the
people. Madiba has touched the lives of multitudes of
people all over the world, but it is his compatriots, we the South Africans,
who are the ultimate benefactors of his life. This also places on our shoulders
the responsibility to champion, uphold and cherish Madiba’s ideals. As
the DPME, we have the daunting task of ensuring that the world pays a fitting
tribute to this global icon.
This year also marked the 5th
anniversary of the adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP). The
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), as the custodians of
the NDP, spearheaded the programme for the national celebrations of the 5th
anniversary of the NDP and introduced a number of programmes to reach out to
different sectors of society. The celebrations of the NDP offered us the
glorious opportunity to reflect on the successes, failures and lessons learnt
during the first five years of this ambitious plan.
The triple challenges
of poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to bedevil our journey towards
a better and more prosperous South Africa. The confrontation of the challenges
that we face as the society requires tenacity and great determination. The
monitoring of our performance is particularly crucial now as we have reached
the midpoint in the tenure of the current administration. We have conducted a
comprehensive midterm review, which reflects on the key challenges that
continue to confront us as a nation. Most importantly, the midterm review
reflects on the key actions that need to be taken in the remainder of the term
of office of government.
of the DPME’s major achievements this year is the cabinet’s approval of the
Mandate Paper, which was initiated by the National Planning Commission (NPC). Cabinet identified the
need to strengthen the alignment of the MTSF and the NDP for the purposes of
budget prioritisation. DPME was instructed to develop, on an annual basis, the
Mandate Paper to guide the budget process for 2018, to ensure a focused
implementation of Government’s plans. The Mandate paper was approved by cabinet
The Budget mandate
paper is conceived as a process for the Presidency to oversee the national
budget process. This allows the Presidency to assume a Birdseye-view on the
performance and expenditure of government and its entities. The alignment of
the responsibilities of planning, monitoring and evaluation with budget
allocation ensures that there is coherence in the work that we do. In this way,
we will be able to provide the rationale and the systematic basis for
reinforcing key strategic choices according to priority areas of government.
Our major setback in the
Department must have been the departure of our Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, who
has been redeployed to the Department of Higher Education and Training. While
we were still looking forward to working with him until the end of the
administrative period in 2019, we believe that his experience and passion is
needed more in the education sector. Education is the apex priority of
As the popular saying goes,
“one man’s loss is another’s gain.” We are confident that he will continue
doing us proud and that the experience he acquired while working as our Deputy
Minister will be useful in his new portfolio. The projects that he was championing,
including his mandate of Youth Development, will continue under the jurisdiction
of the DPME.
While we have lost the Deputy
Minister, we are fortunate to have Ms Mpumi Mpofu as our not-so-new
Director-General. I have had the pleasure of working with Ms Mpofu before and I
know she’s a consummate professional. Her reputation as an experienced
government administrator precedes her. Her track record in her previous roles
as the Secretary of Defence and the DG of the Department of Transport speaks
As we are wrapping up the year
and getting ready to confront the challenges of the new year, let us appreciate
the contribution we have made towards creating the great South African nation
that we all espouse. Theis one of the best performing departments in government
and I want it to remain that way. As we are getting ready to embark on long
journeys to various holiday destinations, I want to thank each and every member
of the DPME family for their contribution in service of the nation.
Let us use this festive season
to rest and reinvigorate our energies so that we can return as a highly powered
force in January 2018. I am looking forward to 2018 especially because it marks
the 100th birthday of the founding father of our democratic society,
the late President Nelson Mandela. I am quite confident that it will be as much
of a success as the OR Tambo has been this year.
I wish everyone Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!