The Budget Vote in Parliament by Minister Sicelo Shiceka

We want to undertake several urgent tasks. We view the Institution of Traditional Leadership as central to cooperative governance and development, especially rural development.

We will urgently review the Bill on Disputes and Claims relating to Traditional Leaders. We will also review the Municipal Property Rates Act and support the EDI process to the extent that it does not threaten the livelihoods of the poor and the sustainability of our municipalities. Address by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Honourable Sicelo Shiceka, on the occasion of the Budget Vote in Parliament.
President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable JG Zuma;

Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;
Cabinet Ministers Present;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Distinguished Premiers, MECs and Mayors;
Traditional leaders present;  
Members of the National Executive Committee of the ruling party, the ANC;
Chairperson and leadership of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA);
Elected Public Office-Bearers from Provincial and Local Government;
Representatives from business;
Representatives from organised labour;
Key Partners and Stakeholder Bodies;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

During the State of Nation Address debate earlier this month, we declared to Parliament that the Ministry and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will diligently perform its role as the “Choir Conductor” of our system of cooperative governance.
Today we come to this august house and the nation with the symbol that will define our mandate and style of cooperative governance over the next five years, i.e. the Choir Conductor’s Stick. This stick will symbolise our collective commitment to work together in new ways in government and with those outside of government.

We pledge to perform this role with one over-riding objective, that is, to create decent jobs and better the lives of our people through partnerships and cooperative ways of working together.

This new administration, under President Zuma, is convinced that through effective coordination across Government as a whole, and acting in harmony with communities, we can accelerate service delivery and sustainable development.

It is for this reason that today we will reflect more closely on our Choir Conductor’s role. This will include looking at:

•    what is expected from our choristers in government and in civil society;
•    the main factors and risks that can create disharmony and discord;
•    when and how to deal with choristers who are not keeping tune or singing according to the song sheet;
•    indicating when we intend to sing at full volume and when we will sing in soft and pleasing tones;
•    how we intend to get feedback from the audience; and
•    how the audience can continue to enjoy our melodious music in their homes, schools, places of work, places of worship and social clubs.