Address by President Jacob Zuma at the launch of Operation Phakisa Big Fast Results Implementation Methodology, Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban

19 July 2014

Photo of: President Jacob Zuma
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu,
Minister in the Presidency, Mr Jeff Radebe, Minister Edna Molewa and all Ministers present,
Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela and all Deputy Ministers present,
Honourable MECs,
The Mayor of Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality, Councillor James Nxumalo,
Senior Government Officials,
Executives from our State-Owned Companies and Statutory Councils,
Captains of Industry,
Representatives of the Government of Malaysia,
Representatives of Civil Society,
Representatives of Academic Institutions,
Fellow South Africans
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon

Yesterday, we celebrated the birthday of our international icon, Madiba, by dedicating ourselves to the social upliftment activities that he cherished so much.
Today, we are gathered to mark another important milestone in taking forward Madiba’s vision of a better life for all.

We are here to witness the birth of Operation Phakisa – an innovative, pioneering and inspiring approach that will enable us to implement our policies and programmes better, faster and more effectively.

In his inauguration speech on 10 May 1994, former President Nelson Mandela stated that:
“The task at hand will not be easy, but you have mandated us to change South Africa from a land in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future”. 

The National Development Plan 2030 takes us a step further in meeting these goals outlined by Madiba, with the ultimate aim being to eliminate poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The Plan enjoys overwhelming support in the country. We have now moved to the point of implementation.

Operation Phakisa is designed to answer that fundamental implementation question. To find solutions, we have decided to learn from other countries where possible, which have done well in implementing policies and programmes.

In August 2013, I undertook a State Visit to Malaysia, during which we observed what the country had  achieved within a very short space of time, using the Big Fast Results Methodology.

We expressed an interest in the use of this approach and the Malaysians were ready to provide support.

Operation Phakisa is an adaptation of that Big Fast Results methodology that was first applied by the Malaysian Government very successfully in the delivery of its Economic Transformation Programme and the Government Transformation Programme.

We renamed the Malaysian Big Fast Results approach as Operation Phakisa, to highlight the urgency with which we want to deliver on some of the priorities encompassed in the National Development Plan 2030.
Operation Phakisa will initially be implemented in two sectors, the ocean economy and health, especially clinics.

The first implementation, which is the focus of attention today, is Unlocking the Economic Potential of South Africa’s Oceans.
The Oceans project brings together representatives from government, industry, labour, civil society and academia to collaborate in unlocking the economic potential of our oceans.

We chose the ocean economy with good reason. South Africa is uniquely bordered by the ocean on three sides – east, south and west. With the inclusion of Prince Edward and Marion Islands in the southern ocean, the coastline is approximately 3 924 km long.

This vast ocean space is relatively unexplored in terms of its economic potential. 

In 2010, the ocean contributed approximately 54 billion rand to South Africa’s gross domestic product and accounted for approximately 316 thousand jobs.

An analysis was conducted of nine sectors that comprise South Africa’s ocean economy. The ocean has a potential to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product up to one hundred and seventy seven billion rands (R177 billion).

The ocean also has a potential to contribute between eight hundred and one million direct jobs.

These growth levers reflect at least 4 percent annual growth in both Gross Domestic Product contribution and job creation. 

Four priority sectors have been selected as new growth areas in the ocean economy, with the objective of growing them and deriving value for the country.

These are:
(a) Marine transport and manufacturing activities, such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment;
(b) Offshore oil and gas exploration;
(c) Aquaculture and
(d) Marine protection services and ocean governance.
The Operation Phakisa project will focus on these four priority potential growth areas.
A key step in the Operation Phakisa approach is the Delivery Laboratories or intensive work sessions. Multiple stakeholders work full-time in one location for about five weeks. At the end of this period, they deliver complete and signed-off action plans for presentation to the Cabinet.

Delivery Labs create transparency and help to remove bottlenecks and resolve the most critical challenges facing a sector.

Our teams began working here in Durban on the 8th of July and will continue working until 15 August 2014, preparing the action plan for unlocking the potential of the country’s oceans. 

We are pleased that over 180 delegates from national Government departments; provincial Government departments, civil society, private sector, labour and academia are participating in the oceans component of Operation Phakisa. This includes both full-time and part-time participants.

A lot of work is being done.

The workstream on Marine Transport and Manufacturing will explore the country’s natural advantage in maritime transport and manufacturing.

South Africa aims to capture the benefits of growing volumes of cargo handling, sea and coastal shipping and supporting transport activities such as storage and warehousing.

In addition, South Africa can utilise its location and expertise to increase its share of the global marine manufacturing market, including ship-building and repair, rig repair and refurbishment or boat-building.

Against this backdrop, the aspiration of this workstream is to grow the marine transport and manufacturing sector over the next 5 years, to increase the contribution to GDP and multiply the number of jobs in South Africa.

The workstream on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration takes forward issues that government has previously tackled.
Recent developments have included the merging of Mossgas and Soekor to form a new national petroleum company, PetroSA and also the establishment of Petroleum Agency SA, and the introduction of enabling legislation such as the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Royalties Act and schedule 10 of the Income Tax Act.

These developments were a major step forward and contributed to increasing South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination for international oil and gas companies.

The aspiration of this workstream are to further enhance the enabling environment for exploration of oil and gas wells, resulting in an increased number of exploration wells drilled, while simultaneously maximising the value captured for South Africa.

Mechanisms for achieving this include:
(a) providing an enabling policy and legislative environment; 
(b) promoting inclusive economic growth;
(c) addressing the skills gaps and
(d) overcoming infrastructure challenges.

The third workstream focuses on the relatively underdeveloped area of Aquaculture.

South Africa’s aquaculture sector has an increasingly important contribution to make globally in food security.  
Despite its relatively small size, aquaculture in South Africa has shown strong growth of 6.5 percent per annum.

By generating jobs, especially in fish processing and marketing, employment in aquaculture can enhance the economic and social status of individuals in multiple coastal communities.

The aspirations of this workstream include enhancing growth in the sector through increasing the value contribution of all segments across the aquaculture value chain.

The second important focus area is to create jobs and improve participation across the industry in supporting the transformation agenda.

The objective of inclusive economic growth permeates all four workstreams.

The fourth and last workstream namely, Marine Protection Services and Governance, recognises that South Africa needs to continuously balance the economic opportunities which our ocean space affords while maintaining its environmental integrity.

The aspiration of this workstream is to develop an incremental and integrated approach to planning, monitoring and execution of ocean governance and enforcement in the next few years.

This will be achieved by:
(a) Developing an institutional framework for the management of South Africa’s ocean space.
(b) The implementation of Marine Spatial Planning of South Africa’s oceans,
(c) Improving the protection of South Africa’s oceans particularly around critically endangered ecosystems,
(d) Sustaining environmental integrity and also through
(e) Addressing the skills gap.

Ladies and gentlemen

It is still early days for Operation Phakisa on the ocean economy. The teams will devote the next few weeks to further develop these aspirations and ideas, setting ambitious targets and formulating detailed delivery plans for accelerating delivery.

Once the detailed delivery plans have been completed, we will then move into the implementation phase of this Operation Phakisa.

This will involve making public commitments to the implementation plans, coupled with frequent detailed monitoring of progress.

I will be taking a personal interest in monitoring progress with implementation, and will receive regular progress reports from the relevant Ministers, with a view to dealing with any challenges that arise during implementation.
The people of South Africa deserve much better from all of us. Through Operation Phakisa and all our other key strategic interventions to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan, we must work tirelessly to move our country forward and build a better life for all especially the poor and the working class.

The achievement of this noble goal requires all of us to work together - government, private sector, civil society, academia and statutory councils must work together to create the enabling environment.

Ladies and gentlemen,


I wish our teams well as they continue their work. We look forward to the first results.

Operation Phakisa is here.

It gives me pleasure to launch this important initiative, and I urge all key role players to commit fully to the success of this programme.

I thank you all.

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