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Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the Expanded Public Works Programme, Buffalo City Stadium, East London

Programme Director,
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Mr Sihle Zikalala,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premier of the Eastern Cape, Mr Oscar Mabuyane,
Premiers and MECs
MPs, MPLs and Councillors,
Traditional leaders and leaders of faith-based organisations,
Representatives of business, labour and civil society,
EPWP participants,
Fellow South Africans,

Molweni eMonti!

Sanibonani. Dumelang. Goeie Môre, Kgotsong, Lotjhani, Ndi matsheloni, Nhlekanhi. Good Morning.

Ndivuya kakhulu ukuba lapha nani eBuffalo City, ePhondweni.

Ndivuyela nokuboba abantwana benkululeko, ooTintswalo.

Ibali likaTintswalo ndilibalise ePalamente ekuqaleni kwalo nyaka. 

uTintswalo ngumntwana owazalwa wakhulela enkulelekweni. 

uTintswalo ngumntwana owafumana amathuba ngamathuba okuphucala ubomi bakhe ngenxa yenkululeko.

Ayilobali lomntwana wentsapho efumileyo enezinto zonke. 

It is the story of the children born in 1994 in Bhisho, in Mdantsane, in King William’s Town, around Buffalo City and around the country, who were given a chance in life and a chance to succeed. 

Children whose parents never had that chance because they were born into a world of apartheid oppression. 

It is this Government that has supported the children of poor families to access healthcare and education, to receive free basic services, to obtain social grants to help them and their families, and to attend university and colleges for free.

Once they finished their schooling journey it has been this government that has continued to provide opportunities to young South Africans to obtain employment, to become self-employed, to become entrepreneurs and to improve their skills.

It has been this Government that has designed programmes to support the unemployed with work opportunities that at the same time enable them to make a difference in their communities.

Enye yezo nkqubo ezitshintshe ubomi babantu yile EPWP singayo namhlanje.

For the past twenty years, the Expanded Public Works Programme has transformed the lives of millions of young South African men and women born into democracy.

In 2004, the EPWP was officially launched in Limpopo to create work opportunities for South Africans who were unable to find employment in the formal economy. 

Since then, the programme has created more than 14 million work opportunities across the EPWP sectors, with more than 300 public bodies across all spheres of Government and non-profit organisations as implementing agents.

We have said that the EPWP is changing lives and transforming communities, and the evidence is there for all to see. 

We have seen EPWP beneficiaries who are part of the provincial roads programme hard at work repairing our road infrastructure to make it safer for commuters. 

Through the EPWP infrastructure projects, Welisizwe rural bridges are constructed and maintained to create better access to markets, school and clinics. 

We have seen the beneficiaries of the Working on Waste environmental programme helping to clean and green our streets and our communities. We have seen the Working for the Coast teams helping clean up our country’s beaches. 

We have seen EPWP participants from the social sector involved in Early Childhood Development, community home-based care, school feeding and community crime prevention. 

We have seen how participants in the Community Works Programme have been hard at work in our communities, planting food gardens and assisting at elderly care homes.

Just very recently, we saw the great work done by the teams of Working on Fire in battling fires in the Western Cape. 

This is an EPWP environmental sector programme that has become so renowned across the world that the teams are called on by other countries to assist them with firefighting. 

Some of the young men and women of this programme have gone on to be trained as emergency response personnel, as members of the South African Police Force, and even qualified as pilots. 

Since its inception, the EPWP has been a great success thanks to the collaboration between different Government departments and agencies.

We are on course to meet the target of five million work opportunities for this fourth phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme. 

Over these past five years, no less than R41 billion has been transferred to poor households, ensuring that participants and their households live above the poverty line. 

The activities EPWP participants have been engaged in go far beyond earning a livelihood to support themselves. They are contributing to building a better South Africa that is caring, that is united and that leaves no-one behind. 

The preamble of our Constitution enjoins the state and social partners to work together to “improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person”. 

The EPWP is testimony to the vision of a developmental state that is pro-poor and is focused on tackling the root causes of poverty, unemployment and inequality. 

Today we heard encouraging testimonies from the beneficiaries of the programme. 

I have been to the exhibition stand. The stories there reflect the reach and impact of the EPWP in all nine provinces. This reminds us that despite the odds that we face, our Government and social partners are working together to change the lives of the most vulnerable. 

The National Development Plan, which is our blueprint for transforming South Africa, calls for an expansion of public employment with a specific focus on youth and women. 

It further emphasises expanding the nation’s skills base through better education and vocational training.

It says that greater attention must be given to continuous training for existing workers and to providing career paths for all workers. 

South Africa is still grappling with high levels of unemployment.

Youth unemployment is more than 50 percent.

The Expanded Public Works Programme, alongside other public and social employment programmes, remains a critical policy instrument to tackle unemployment and reduce poverty. 

Over the years, the programme has fostered a sense of ownership and participation among communities, empowering them to address local needs and build resilience. 

This collaborative spirit has not only yielded more effective projects but has also nurtured a sense of collective responsibility and self-reliance within communities. 

While we celebrate achievements of the past, we must also use this 20 year milestone as a springboard for even greater achievements in the years to come.

We must build not only on lessons from the EPWP, but also from the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which has, over the last few years, demonstrated that public employment can go to significantly greater levels of scale.

We need to improve the quality of the work experience provided to participants and the quality of the services delivered to communities and society. 

We need to mobilise the nation behind a revitalised portfolio of public employment programmes.

This will include urgent service delivery priorities such as road upgrading through pothole patching and block paving, and infrastructure maintenance. 

Public employment can also assist in tackling a wide range of social challenges, such as gender-based violence and substance abuse. It can also support early childhood development. 

Public employment has a vital role in tackling environmental challenges, supporting clean energy installation, and catchment management to improve water quality and limit the risks of floods. 

It can include the digitisation of public records, giving young people a first step into this growing sector of our economy. 

Let us use our creativity and initiative to create work that inspires and excites participants and society.

We are confident EPWP Phase 5 will rise to the challenge. The new phase has committed to more programmatic approaches to public employment, to enhance the quality of delivery. It has committed to increased youth participation and strengthened skills development.

This phase will also focus on more targeted exit strategies for participants through training, enterprise development and linkages to other employment opportunities. 

As we enter this new phase, we must reiterate that there can be no space for corruption, nepotism or favouritism. 

Effective and fair recruitment practices must be applied. 

Today, Government signs a pledge to work together to achieve these improvements and to deliver 5 million work opportunities in the next five years. 

We call on social partners and the private sector to work with our Government during Phase Five to lend a hand in creating jobs and work opportunities for South Africa’s youth, women and persons with disabilities. 

Working together through public and social employment programmes and by providing support for small enterprises and cooperatives, we can create more jobs at a much faster pace while improving the delivery of basic services.

We will continue to expand public employment through the EPWP, the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the National Youth Service, and others.

We will also assist civil society organisations that are creating work opportunities.

We will continue to support entrepreneurship and job creation by increasing support for small enterprises and cooperatives in our townships and villages.

We will continue to prioritise young people in public employment programmes, in work-based learning programmes, in artisan training and in entrepreneurship programmes. 

Fellow South Africans,

When I told the story of democracy’s child, Tintswalo, in this year’s State of the Nation Address, many young South Africans stepped forward to say proudly that they too were beneficiaries of the great change this country has undergone since 1994.

But many also said they have yet to reap the benefits of democracy.

I say to those young South African men and women that we will not leave you behind. We are determined to reach you, one and all, to help you and to support you.

This is the promise of democracy and freedom. 

Our continued commitment to public employment is part of that promise. 

A promise to rebuild South Africa together. A promise to leave no-one behind. 

Working together, let us make the next phase of the EPWP, as part of a revitalised portfolio of public employment programmes, an even greater success. 

Let’s get South Africa to work.

I thank you.

Statement by the Chancellor of the National Orders, Director-General in The Presidency Ms Phindile Baleni on the announcement of the recipients of National Orders

It is my privilege as Chancellor of the National Orders to announce the names of those South Africans and foreign nationals who will be awarded National Orders at an investiture ceremony to be held on Tuesday 30 April 2024.

National Orders are the highest awards that our country, through the President, bestows on our citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.

The National Orders also recognise the contributions made by individuals who contributed and continue to contribute to the building of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in our Constitution.

His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa will bestow on deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery.


MS MAWILLIAMS KEKANA:  For her generosity and courageous act of sheltering freedom fighters during a time where it was illegal to align with revolutionaries.   She offered her house as a safe haven for liberation stalwarts against the hostile security police.

IGNATIUS “IGGY” MTHEBULE (PH): For his gallant fight against an unjust system of apartheid.  He is among many lost sons and daughters whose demise in the hands of security police remains unknown as he disappeared without a trace.  This was at the height of political upheaval where opposition was brutally silenced. Despite his disappearance, he left an indelible mark of courage and leadership.

MR MAKHWEZI MCDONALD MTULU (PH): For his excellent contribution to the liberation of the people of South Africa.  He responded to the brave call to join the military wing of the ANC forsaking the safety of his home to the fight for freedom and died in the process of executing the armed struggle.

MR ROBERT ANTHONY BASIL WATERWITCH (PH): For courageously pushing back against the oppressive system of the apartheid government. He ultimately lost his life for the ideals of freedom in the middle of the war against racism and inequality.

MS COLINE DENISE WILLIAMS (PH):   For courageously pushing back against the oppressive system of the apartheid government.   She ultimately lost her life for the ideals of freedom in the middle of the war against racism and inequality.

The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.


MS NONTANDO (NONI) HELEN JABAVU (PH): For her excellent contribution in the field of journalism and scholarship on the liberation struggle.  Her affinity to history and storytelling through journalism informed and enlightened the nation.

MR AGGREY KLAASTE (PH): For his exceptional contribution to quality journalism and as a reporter exposing the cruelties of apartheid and encouraging unity among the people of different political persuasions to fight for liberation. He was a nation builder with a vision for an equal and thriving society.

MR MADALA MUZWAKHE KUNENE: For his exceptional contribution to the arts, especially jazz music, using home-brewed sounds that are unique to South Africa. He has collaborated with some of the best talents in our country.


MR ANGUS GIBSON: For his contribution to filmmaking; he strived to provide a safe haven for black artists at a time when discrimination was normalised and practiced with impunity. His collaborations produced iconic narratives of South African history and youth culture.

MR EMILE LESTER JANSEN: For his contribution in the field of arts and hip hop culture in South Africa.  His artistry and activism formulated a unique lexicon now firmly known as Afrikaap, explaining the African origins of hip hop.

MS SARAY NKUSI KHUMALO: For being an inspiring way-maker for many women through her quest of summiting seven mountains while raising funds. She inspires every African child to pursue what may seem to be impossible dreams.

MS SOPHIE MSOZISWA  MAHLANGU: For her excellent contribution to the development of indigenous Ndebele arts. Her commitment to passing on knowledge to younger generations is commendable; she has become a bridge connecting generations.

MS MADOSINI LATOZI MPHAHLENI (PH): For her exceptional service in preserving and elevating indigenous South African musical traditions. In a rapidly changing world, she stood as a guardian of these ancient sounds, ensuring they were not forgotten. Her commitment to passing on her knowledge to younger generations was unmatched, safeguarding the nation's identity and cultural heritage.

MR TREVOR DUNDAS MWELI SKOTA (PH):  For his contribution to the promotion of black African knowledge by his trailblazing work, including a biographical dictionary of notable black figures on the continent.

The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation.


MS BLANCHE VALERIA LA GUMA (PH): For her courageous fight for social justice and equality for all South Africans.  She lived by the courage of her convictions and fought for the rights of workers and the liberation of the oppressed.

MS ZUKISWA PATRICIA MATOLENGWE:  For her commitment to realizing social justice for the homeless and downtrodden using ingenious means of stokvels for financial empowerment.  Her tireless work in providing dignified living space for the homeless is laudable.

The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.


MR MXOLISI ‘DICKY’ JACOBS (PH): For his ultimate sacrifice to the struggle for liberation. His life ended defending the principles of a just and equal society.  Although his life was cut short, he remains a towering stalwart of the struggle who laid down his life for the liberation of his people.

MR PETER CYRIL JONES (PH):  For his courageous contribution in mobilising communities across the length and breadth of South Africa. He was one of the leading lights advocating for Black Consciousness message of self-reliance, pride and self-affirmation for the oppressed people of our land.

MR BENJAMIN LANGA (PH): For his ultimate sacrifice for equality and social justice in South Africa.   He endured unimaginable pain and remained loyal to the cause until the end.  His legacy remains a beacon of light and inspiration to many.

MR THOBEKILE ‘TOBSY’ MADAKA (PH):  For his gallant fight against the oppression of our people.  He fearlessly spoke truth to power and eventually gave his life for the democracy of South Africa.  He lived by the courage of his convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime.

MR SIPHIWO MTHIMKHULU (PH): For his gallant fight against the oppression of our people.  His fearlessness and leadership belied his age as he boldly confronted the forces of oppression and eventually gave his life for the democracy of South Africa.  He lived by the courage of his convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime.

PROF. HARRY RANWEDZI NENGWEKHULU: For his gallant fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa.  He has straddled academia and political activism with a goal of a free South Africa always in his mind and has served as a source of inspiration for many Black Consciousness activists and others.

MR KENNETH RACHIDI (PH): For his courage to face a repressive government and resist its unjust laws that promoted inequality.  He lived by the ethics of Black Consciousness and conscientised many. His activism and vocal opposition to oppression remains a legacy and inspiration to South Africans.

MS ANNIE SILINGA (PH): For her commitment to the liberation struggle.  She played a leading role in some of the liberation campaigns. She continued to campaign against passes at national and local events.

MS NOKUTHULA SIMELANE (PH):  For her incredible bravery in the face of brutal security operatives. She lived by the courage of her convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime.  Her ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of all South Africans will remain in the annals of our nation’s history.

The Order of Mapungubwe recognises South Africans who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.


PROF MULALO DOYOYO (PH): For his enormous contribution to the academia and research in the field of aerospace.  His outstanding work continues to open doors.  The sciences have been enhanced by his participation and young aspirant scientists looked up to him as a mentor.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.


MR HUUB BAMMENS—THE NETHERLANDS:  For his contribution to promoting awareness of human rights violations by the South African apartheid government to the world via Radio Freedom.  His technical skills were used to build studios for the liberation movement.

MS DONNA KATZIN - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  For her innovative thinking in assisting post-apartheid South African business get ethical investments by promoting networking between South African business and American investors

MR KEN LUCKHARD - CANADA:  For his selfless service for South Africa through anti-apartheid activism; he organised a mass disruptive protest against a visiting English cricket team that had links with apartheid sport.

SIR NICHOLAS STADLEN - UNITED KINGDOM (PH):  For his steadfast standing with the South African liberation movement at a time when it was not convenient to do so.  He believed in equality and supported exiles as a friend of South Africa.

MR FULCO VAN AURICH - THE NETHERLANDS: For his contribution to promoting awareness of human rights violations by the South African apartheid government to the world via Radio Freedom.  He organized and developed the campaign in the Netherlands to support Radio Freedom.

MS BRENDA WALL - CANADA: For her selfless service for South Africa through anti-apartheid activism; she organised a mass disruptive protest against a visiting English cricket team that had links with apartheid sport.

We congratulate the recipients and call on all South Africans to join us in celebrating these outstanding South Africans and distinguished friends of South Africa.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President –

Issued by: The Presidency

Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Inaugural Worker Share Ownership Conference, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

Programme Director,
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairpersons of the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Empowerment Fund,
Leadership of the competition authorities,
Representatives of labour, business and industry bodies,
Ladies and gentlemen, 

Good morning. It is a great pleasure to be here. 

This first conference on the state and future of worker share ownership schemes in South Africa is taking place at an important time. 

Firstly, we are marking 30 years of freedom, giving us an opportunity to reflect on progress in transforming our society and economy.

Since 1994 we have made a concerted effort to address the racial and economic injustices of the past. 

We have enacted competition laws that opened doors for small and medium-sized enterprises to flourish.

Working with our social partners, we have introduced labour legislation to foster sound labour relations and ensure decent working conditions for all.

We have pursued policies to foster entrepreneurship and empower black South Africans in the economy. 

This year marks 20 years since the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act was promulgated as one of the most transformative pieces of legislation to come out of democratic South Africa. 

Yet, despite the measures successive democratic administrations have introduced to transform patterns of ownership in the economy, we still have much more to do. 

This is therefore a good time to collectively assess the impact of the enabling legislative environment and examine the learnings over the past two decades. 

A vital measure of economic empowerment is the extent to which ownership and control of the economy is broadened, particularly among black and women South Africans.

Worker share ownership schemes are valuable instruments to broaden ownership and, with time, to enable greater control of the economy.

Also known as Employee Share Ownership Programmes, these schemes are underpinned by the BBBEE Act, together with the Competition Act, the Companies Act and others. 

Government continues to play an important role, through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, in providing guidance on the design and implementation of these programmes. 

The Industrial Development Corporation, the National Empowerment Fund and others provide catalytic funding. 

Worker share ownership schemes furthermore complement the Black Industrialist Programme, providing another means through which government can contribute towards more equitable ownership in the economy. 

In 2019 we enacted changes to the Competition Act that have helped to advance worker ownership. 

The amendments require government and competition authorities to specifically consider how an acquisition or merger will affect the spread of ownership in the economy, particularly for workers. 

The amended legislation also calls for engagement with merging companies to implement structures that can enable greater and more meaningful participation of workers, not only as owners of equity, but as stakeholders with a voice. 

The immense transformative potential of worker ownership schemes is often overlooked. 

We have come a long way from the early days of black economic empowerment, where instances of workers as shareholders in companies were rare.

The impact of these schemes were relatively limited, in part because of the finite nature of the respective arrangements.

In the intervening years, these efforts have picked up pace considerably. 

According to a study done by the DTIC, in South Africa today, more than 500,000 workers are part-owners of the companies they work for. 

This equates to one in every 20 workers in the formal private sector. 

We are creating a new class of worker-owners across the country. 

And these are not just managers. 

They are mineworkers, who are now amongst the owners of our country’s vast mineral wealth. 

They are workers in garment and auto manufacturing industries, who are now amongst the owners of factories. 

They are workers in the agricultural sector, who are part-owners of the land they farm. 

They are workers in food and beverage, hospitality, energy, transportation and logistics, IT, financial services, telecoms, and many other sectors. 

These are the Tintswalos, the children of democracy, who are striving to give effect to the words of the Freedom Charter that ‘the People shall share in the country’s wealth’. 

That is why this conference is so important. 

It is an opportunity to acknowledge the successes of existing employee share ownership programmes, raise awareness about their potential, and explore strategies to promote more of them within and across more sectors. 

In 2018, I had the privilege of co-chairing the International Labour Organisation’s Global Commission on the Future of Work, alongside the then Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr Stefan Löfven. 

The commission’s report reflected not only on what choices countries need to make to adapt to a rapidly changing world, but also on the critical issue of achieving social justice in the world of work. 

In a number of respects, worker share ownership schemes are just such an investment towards the achievement of greater social justice. 

These investments are necessary for the sake of equal opportunity and addressing historical inequalities, but also towards increasing productivity and growth. 

These investments are necessary to advance inclusive growth that benefits both workers and businesses. 

Employee share ownership programmes offer employees access to a share of the profits generated by the companies to which they contribute their labour. 

Moreover, they give workers a seat at the table where strategic corporate decisions are made. 

By participating as owners, workers also develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing their companies, enabling more fruitful partnerships to unlock opportunities for growth, investment and job creation. 

This is a paradigm shift, which aims to empower workers not only as wage earners but also as stakeholders with ownership in capital. 

Beyond the principle of social justice, worker ownership initiatives make sound business and economic sense. 

They are key to building a more resilient economy whose benefits flow equitably through society. 

Worker share ownership initiatives boost morale and productivity. 

Several studies have shown that worker ownership also fosters greater innovation within companies. 

Workers who feel valued and respected by their employers are more likely to contribute ideas for improving processes, products and services. 

It is human nature that one is more inclined to contribute one’s best efforts when one has a vested interest in the success of that particular venture. 

This conference is an opportunity for meaningful dialogue among a diverse array of participants, including trustees, CEOs, labour and business representatives, and company chairs.

It is an opportunity to develop a model of worker ownership that can serve the needs of our economy. 

While there has been a focus on expanding the number of worker share ownership programmes, insufficient attention has been given to enhancing the impact of many of these schemes and unlocking their full potential. 

Moving forward, we will need to address key issues such as developing best practice funding and dividend policies, and enhancing governance structures. 

Worker ownership must transcend black economic empowerment. It must be a mechanism for wider economic inclusion. 

We need to expand the reach and impact of employee share ownership programmes, strengthen legislative and regulatory frameworks, and foster greater collaboration with stakeholders. 

We should seize this opportunity to create networks and enable knowledge-sharing, and improve the impact and reach of existing worker ownership structures. 

I wish to thank Minister Patel, the DTIC and its agencies for all the work that has gone into creating an enabling environment for employee share ownership programmes to flourish in South Africa. 

The progress that has been made would not have been possible without collaboration between the state, labour, the private sector and other stakeholders in the economy. 

I congratulate the companies, many of which are represented here today, who continue to work to implement such structures in collaboration with their employees. 

We all share a commitment to economic transformation. 

It is vital that we harness this spirit of partnership as we chart the course for the future of these programmes and for an even better, more sustainable worker shareholder regime. 

By championing worker ownership, we are building a future where every employee has a stake in the success of their company, where innovation flourishes, and where prosperity is shared by all. 

Together, we are paving the way for a more equitable and prosperous society in which no-one is left behind. 

I thank you.

Deputy President Shipokosa Mashatile in the United Arab Emirates on a Working Visit

Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile is undertaking a Working Visit to Dubai and Abu-Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 22 - 25 April 2024. 

The Deputy President’s visit to the UAE is aimed at building and strengthening bilateral relations, particularly increasing economic and knowledge exchange between the two states. 

The visit will see the Deputy President and his delegation engage with experts in the telecommunications and digital economy, in line with South Africa’s goals related to expanding technological and digital infrastructure towards Meaningful Universal Connectivity. 

Countries are moving towards digital sovereignty and South Africa, as one of the leading nations in the sector within the continent has the opportunity to spearhead initiatives in this regard towards strengthening public service delivery and enhancing participation in the digital economy. This working visit is as such, integral to building capacity towards digital sovereignty. 

During the visit the Deputy President will interact with the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Applications as well as other relevant national and regional entities within the UAE.

The UAE is a competitive market for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The UAE public sector investment helps drive demand for ICT products and services in sectors such as healthcare, aviation, defense, transportation, financial services and others linked to the UAE’s economic diversification plans.

The visit by the Deputy President provides an opportunity for the South African government to increase knowledge and expertise in the ICT sector towards the improvement and expansion of public services and governance systems through digital economy channels.

The Deputy President is accompanied to the UAE by Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini - Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister Mondli Gungubele - Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, and Minister Ronald Lamola - Department of Justice.


Media enquiries: Ms Itumeleng Mafatshe, Acting Head of Communications, ODP on +27 72 451-7490.

Issued by: The Presidency

Minister of Electricity to visit Medupi and Matimba power stations

The Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will today, 23 April 2024, visit Medupi and Matimba power stations in Lephalale. 

The visit will commence at Medupi power station where the Minister will inspect progress on the installation of a  second hand Stator which was procured  from the Netherlands to  refurbished unit 4 which was damaged by an explosion in 2021. 

The visit to Mepudi will immediately be followed by a programme at Matimba power station.

Matimba continues to perform below its planned outputs, and the visit is intended to engage management on a more aggressive approach to improving the stations performance.

Media enquiries: Tsakane Khambane on 082 084 5566

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa to address Transport Summit on Universal Accessibility

President Cyril Ramaphosa will, on Thursday, 25 April 2025, deliver the keynote address at the Transport Summit on Universal Accessibility to be held at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Gauteng. 

Themed “Accessible Transport for All’’, the Summit marks a significant step towards ensuring inclusivity and equal access to transportation services.

With the overarching objectives of fostering dialogue, identifying challenges and opportunities, and charting a roadmap for accelerated implementation of universal access, the Summit aims to cultivate a shared vision and recommendations for the future direction of transportation policy.  

The Summit will elevate the discourse on universal accessibility across the aviation, maritime, road, rail, and public transport sectors. 

The genesis of the summit is the Economic Empowerment Summit of Persons with Disabilities held in December 2022, where the President committed to fostering a transport sector that champions universal accessibility. 

The Summit aligns with international obligations and underscores the imperative for State Parties to ensure equal access for all individuals to transportation and other public amenities.

South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The Summit will be attended by representatives from the Department of Transport, its supporting State-Owned Entities, provincial Departments of Transport, and integrated public transport network municipalities. 

The President will address the Transport Summit on Universal Accessibility as follows:
Date: Thursday, 25 April 2024
Time: 08h30 
Venue: Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre
RSVP: Media wishing to cover  the event are kindly requested to submit their accreditation details on or before 24th April 2024 at 12h00 (midday), to Ms Nozipho Nhlapho on 066 496 2986, and Khibi Manana on 083 296 4367, and cc Hlobisile Nkosi on 

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President on

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa wishes the Jewish Community Chag Pesach Sameach

President Cyril Ramaphosa wishes the South African Jewish community Chag Sameach as they prepare to observe the Pesach holiday.
Pesach is a celebration of freedom, and commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery.
President Ramaphosa said: "The Jewish community is an important and deeply valued part of our diverse society, and I extend my best wishes to them over Pesach."
"The message of Pesach has particular resonance today, against a backdrop of conflict and suffering in many parts of the world. As we reflect on the story of Exodus over the next two days, let us take this moment to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy and commit ourselves to the value of Tikkun Olam, healing the world. Furthermore, as we are reminded in the Haggadah of the long history of persecution against Jews, let us reaffirm that South Africa will always remain a safe and welcoming home for the Jewish people."

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President on

Issued by: The Presidency

Minister of Electricity to brief media on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will tomorrow, 22 April 2024, brief the media on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan. 

Members of the media are invited to attend the briefing as follows:
Date: Monday, 22 April 2024
Time: 09:00 (media to arrive at 08:30 for setup)
Venue: Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard Street, Hatfield, Pretoria 

Live Streaming details:

Members of the media are required to RSVP by sending their details (name, surname, media house and car registration) to Kutlwano Huma – or 078 133 1482 by no later than 19:30, Sunday, 21 April 2024. 

Media enquires: Tsakane Khambane, Spokesperson in the Ministry of Electricity on 082 084 5566 /

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa mourns passing of Struggle Veteran and Pan Africanist Dr Motsoko Pheko

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the passing of liberation struggle veteran and former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) President Dr Motsoko Pheko.

Dr Pheko passed away at the age of 93 on Friday, 19 April 2024.

President Ramaphosa offers his condolences to the family, comrades and associates nationally and internationally of Dr Pheko who formerly served as the PAC Representative to the United Nations and as a Member of Parliament during his distinguished political career.

He was a lawyer, author of 45 books, theologian, academic and historian.

President Ramaphosa said: “With the passing of Motsoko Pheko, we are grateful for the extended lifetime during which this son of Lesotho became a champion of our liberation struggle and fought for the rights of dispossessed and landless people who had endured colonialism and apartheid.

“His diverse qualifications and interests made Motsoko Pheko an invaluable contributor to human development and the intellectual heritage of our nation and that of our continent whose causes and accomplishments were uppermost in his consciousness and activism.

“As we observe 30 Years of Freedom, we honour all individuals and political traditions who brought about the dispensation in which we live today and to whom we remain indebted.

“May Motsoko Pheko rest in peace.”

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President –

Issued by: The Presidency

Address by Deputy President Paulus Mashatile, at the launch of the SA Connect Phase 2 Project, Modimolle, Waterberg District, Limpopo Province

Programme Director; 
Minister of Digital Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele;
Limpopo Province MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Rodgers Monama;
Executive Mayor of the Waterberg District Municipality, Morris Mataboge;
Mayor of Modimolle-Mookgopong Local Municipality, Aaron Sebolai;
Speaker of the Waterberg District Municipality, Reginah Molokomme,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good Day! 

Let me begin by commending the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies for the work that they have done to increase connectivity and narrow the digital divide in the country. In the world that we live in today, internet connectivity is an integral part of how we do life. Our children rely on the internet for learning, it supports us in improving our health and well-being, keeps us connected to loved ones and plays a role in strengthening our local economies by making it easy for local entrepreneurs to do business.

This launch comes at a time when as a nation we are preparing for the seventh National General Election. Thirty years ago, South Africa looked completely different to what it looks like today. I am proud that this launch takes place in the month of the commemoration of South Africa’s freedom. Indeed the world has since 1994 evolved in leaps and bounds, and global development has reached levels that have enabled us to transform our societies for the betterment of the present and future generations. 

The work that the Department has been doing to connect our communities, is nothing else but a manifestation of the Freedom Charter which has always, and will always serve as a premise for what we as the ANC government implement to improve the lives of the poor and marginalised of our society. 

The South Africa Connect programme is the government’s effort to bridge the digital divide by among other things: 
a) Extending connectivity to all schools, health facilities, and government facilities; 
b) Increasing the connection speed to facilitate effective teaching and learning, e-health and access to government services to fast-track service delivery by government; 
c) Meeting the country’s vision of a seamless network of networks that will make broadband universally accessible at a cost and quality that meets the needs of citizens, formal and informal businesses, and the public sector in 36 months. 

In implementing the country’s broadband policy, the government commenced with the SA Connect project which involves public entities and private entities deploying the infrastructure across the country. 
The project is split into three components, which are - Household Connectivity, Government Facility Connectivity and Social Obligations Connectivity.

I would like to focus on the real game changers of this project we are launching, the SA Connect programme which is estimated to provide direct employment opportunities of about 4 505, made out of skilled professionals and semi-skilled labour force as well as further opportunities downstream. As the government, we are determined to see the participation and employment of people in the communities where we are deploying the Wi-Fi to households and communities. 

This project will see opportunities created for 75 SMME companies. Thus far, 16 SMME companies that are Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have already been appointed. Amongst the 16 companies: 3 are youth-owned companies, 2 are women-owned and 1 is owned by a person living with disability. The 16 companies have created 200 direct jobs, of which, 158 are youth employees, 87 are women and 1 person living with a disability. 

As government we want these ISPs and many others to participate in the mainstream economy, we want them to flourish in this business and the digital technology sector in general. Considering that the global expansion of the digital economy is inevitable, I strongly encourage the youth to consider amongst others, careers in ICT and engineering, so they too can participate in this economy. 

I am informed that NEMISA, which is one of the entities under the Department of Communications and Digital Communications is also here today. Please do approach their exhibition to find more information on their training programmes on digital literacy, SMME development and other online digital connectivity programmes.  


The two entities under the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), the Broadband Infraco (BBI) and SENTECH in conjunction with the ICT industry are on course to provide broadband services to South Africans, targeting 32 055 community Wi-Fi hotspots, enabling connectivity of about 5,6 million households over a period of 3 years. We have observed that the deployment of broadband to households thus far has only been in urban and affluent areas- which has exacerbated the digital divide in the country. As the government, we have put this intervention to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital economy. 

Meaningful Universal Connectivity means that anyone, anywhere, regardless of geographic location, socio-economic status, race, gender, or any other differentiating demographic, must have access to affordable services and devices to connect to reliable and safe internet. Through the SA Connect programme in Modimolle, the community is now part of the digital world. 

Through the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) we are providing and maintaining connectivity to government sites through the current allocation of individual Departments at a minimum of 10 megabits per second (Mbps), targeting a total of 14 742 government sites over 36 months. This involves upgrading current connectivity as well as deploying new connections to unconnected government facilities so that all three spheres of government are easily accessible. 

The power of this digital connectivity also means that SMMEs are able to trade online. You now stand a better chance of marketing your product beyond the word of mouth and your own movement. But the internet empowers you to reach customers beyond your community, municipality, province and even the country, and connects you to the digital world. 

This the message we are spreading today: that through partnership with the Licensed Telco Operators, who are locally based SMMEs, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), who are leasing capacity from BBI and SENTECH, we are providing connectivity to households. 

A black child in South Africa today now owns an ISP business that is deploying community Wi-Fi hotspots, with the applicable mentoring and support from government. This programme is producing a cost-effective way of ensuring communities are connected to the internet.

Regarding the accessibility of data, the data packages offered to the community of Modimolle are exceptionally affordable. There are two data packages: the day package of 1GIG costs only R5, and the monthly package costs R245 unlimited- that means you connect day and night, week in and week out, all month for R245. With that power of digital connectivity, you can connect to your loved ones, and your old friends, make new friends and even have time to chat with us in government online. Modimolle has gone digital! 

As part of the SA Connect programme, SENTECH intends to roll out an estimated 20 fixed wireless access base stations in the Waterberg District. Therefore, when you see cars and people who are unfamiliar, those are SENTECH technicians coming to install 214 hotspots and about 11 base stations in the Modimolle-Mookgophong areas. So please welcome and protect them, because their visit is to connect your communities. 

As government, we are responding to mitigate the devastating aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of connecting government and society, SITA has launched smart schools (Cyberlabs) across the country. The Cyber Labs are cutting-edge computer laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art technology and digital tools including laptops, digital screens, servers and internet connectivity. This initiative seeks to empower schools to improve their computing skills, ensuring inclusivity of the fourth Industrial Revolution and preparing for the digital economy of tomorrow.

The Cyberlab packages comprise 40 configured Laptops for the school, connectivity to the benefiting school, basic programming training to the learners as well as support from SITA to the school beyond the Cyberlab handover.

Provinces such as Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West are beneficiaries of these Cyberlabs and all other remaining provinces will benefit too as more of these Cyberlabs are rolled out through this initiative driven by the Department and SITA. This is part of the digital revolution, and we are intentionally turning our schools into digital research centres of excellence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The Communications Department has been in this area, migrating household from analogue to digital broadcasting. Over 1 986 households benefited from a subsidized decoder from government because of their socio-economic status. I want to encourage those who retired, over 65 year olds, or those who live in household where income is R3 500 or less, to go to their nearest Post Office in either Modimolle or Mookgophong to register to get your free set-top-box decoder. 

We are going digital as a country and we will switch off all analogue signals by 31 December this year. If you do not qualify for a government-subsidised decoder, please go to your nearest retail shop and buy one. We do not want anyone to be left behind! 

SENTECH has undertaken a transformative initiative to introduce freevisionplay. This platform promises to redefine content distribution in South Africa and bridge the current gaps in broadcasting by accommodating a diverse array of broadcasters, including SABC and e-TV, premium FAST (Free Ad Supported Television) channels, community TV and radio stations, and private commercial radio stations. It offers an interconnected network, enabling wider content access and collaboration among stakeholders. 

The Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform comes with all 19 SABC Radio stations, and all SABC TV stations including the 24-hour news channel, SABC Education, and SABC Sports.

With your R5 per day or R245 per month, you now have access to content for your education and entertainment needs. The power of digital connectivity is here!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Connectivity in underserved communities has created virtual job participation in global markets, with local businesses that can thrive as entrepreneurs in online sales and students can participate in online schooling due to stable broadband infrastructure. This underscores our government’s commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind as we seek to venture into new frontiers and reap the benefits of the digital economy.

I must say that I am deeply humbled to, together with the Minister deliver to the people of Modimolle, the opening of the cultural treasures of mankind for all. The South Africa Connect programme is in essence, a platform for the free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands as espoused in the Freedom Charter. Minister and your entire team, this is a historic moment, and to you, I say aluta continua!

As I close, allow me to use this opportunity to go back to where we started. On the 29 May, we will as a nation be going for our national elections. As we do so, I urge you all, especially the youth, to not take this opportunity to exercise your democratic right to vote for granted. We have come a long way as a nation, and it is because of the commitment that we shared to a better and more prosperous future. We are still building the South Africa of our dreams and I invite you to journey with us to this future. Together, we can certainly do more.

Baheso boModimolle – you have gone Digital! Wi-Fi is now within reach and in your hands!

Thank You.

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