Address by the Deputy Minister in The Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela, to the Vision 2030 Summit, Boksburg, Gauteng, 22 June 2017
Programme Director – Mr Peter Ndoro
Chairman of Mathews Phosa and Associates – Dr Mathews Phosa
Leaders of state institutions
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning to all. I wish to thank Topco Media for the invitation to address you at the Vision 2030 Summit and I congratulate them for hosting this important initiative.
I have been asked to address you on South Africa’s commitment to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
These Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) build on the successes as well as address the shortcomings of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) which, as you will remember, were adopted in 2000.
Similar to the MDG’s, the new SDG’s will serve to galvanise the resources and energy of the global community towards a set of common goals focussed on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.
In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development at the 70th UN Summit. The agenda is made up of various parts, including the declaration, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets. The SDG’s officially came into effect on 1 January 2016.
Over the fifteen-year period to 2030, with these new goals in place that universally apply to all countries, we are expected to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty and address inequalities. And we have to ensure that no one is left behind.
As I noted the SDG’s also address what was not achieved by the MDG’s and in that respect these SDG’s build on the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Many are an extension or a combination of the MDG goals and indicators.
The 2030 vision includes ending poverty and hunger everywhere; combating inequalities within and among countries; building peaceful, just and inclusive societies; protecting human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and ensuring the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
This vision is anchored and guided by the aims and principles of, among others, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.
In this way it reaffirms the outcomes and principles outlined in major UN conferences and summits including that of common but differentiated responsibilities. It emphasises that the sustainable development agenda of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership now and in the future is indivisible.
It further affirms that the call for eradicating poverty, combatting inequality, preserving the planet, creating sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fostering social inclusion are interlinked and are interdependent.
It is important to note that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also reflects South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) as well as the African Union Agenda 2063 – “The Africa we want”. We find, therefore, that the broad goals outlined in the NDP 2030, the SDG’s and the AU agenda 2063 are fundamentally the same.
All the goals seek to combat inequality, eradicate poverty in all its forms and deal with unemployment through sustainable and inclusive economic growth without leaving anyone behind.
In the same way as we committed to the attainment of the MDG’s, South Africa participated actively throughout this process of finalising the SDG’s. Our participation was primarily in our capacity as Chair of the Group of 77 and China at that time. In this capacity, we were able to lead and protect the interests of developing countries, particularly during the final leg of negotiations.
In addition, it was through South Africa’s efforts as a co-facilitator of the 2013 UN General Assembly Special Event on the MDG’s that we were able to ensure that negotiations took place in an open, transparent, member state-driven process. South Africa also proposed and supported the appointment of a fellow African, Ambassador Macharia Kamau (Ambassador & Permanent Representative at Kenya Mission to United Nations) as the co-facilitator of the intergovernmental negotiations.
Currently we find ourselves in the context where the global and continental agendas for sustainable development have progressed from the conceptualisation to the implementation phase. Parallel to SDG’s, implementation of the first Ten-Year Implementation Plan for the African Union Agenda 2063, adopted in January 2015, has started.
In addition, as you are no doubt aware, since adopting the NDP in 2012 as the roadmap for South Africa’s future, we are in the process of implementation through the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).
Furthermore, to ensure alignment and progress with our commitments, South Africa, has commenced with the incorporation of both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs in our national development plans by developing clear linkages between our national, continental and global agendas to allow for integrated and systematic monitoring, and review processes at all levels.
South Africa through Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has developed an integrated indicator framework to outline the alignment of the NDP indicators in the MTSF, Agenda 2063 (first ten years of implementation) and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The framework will be expanded this year (2017) to include Provincial Development Plans and IDPs. The indicator framework provides a clear basis for understanding what has to be addressed in planning as well monitoring and evaluation of the goals contained in the post-2015 development agenda.
We have undertaken this work not only to evaluate the progress that we are making as a country in terms of improving the lives of all our people, but because we are keenly aware that as a democratic country we form part of a global community with rights and responsibilities.
In this regard, the UN process requires that all countries develop a baseline report covering the suite of indicators that they will be able to track during the 15 years between 2016 and 2030.
Since the indicators have to be based on the country’s own development agenda, it would be obvious that certain SDG indicators may not be relevant for South Africa. Equally, others have to be amended to reflect our country’s unique circumstances, while additional indicators may have to be added to adequately cover our national situation.
These amended or additional indicators (referred to as domesticated indicators) will be measured and reported on within the South African Indicator Baseline report and all subsequent progress reports.
Consultations have started to ensure that the SDG indicators are amalgamated and incorporated to reflect the specificities of our country. The consultations followed a bottom-up approach to ensure that no one is left behind or excluded. The data for the SDGs will come from Stats SA, line ministries, the private sector and civil society.
In this respect sectoral working groups have been established to deal with data access and quality from the different data sources that have been identified.
It is crucial that I reiterate that in addition to the technical work being undertaken in terms of reporting, we have a strong political commitment to:
- end poverty and hunger everywhere
- combat inequalities within and among countries
- build peaceful, just and inclusive societies
- protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and
- ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
I am restating this not only because we have obligations in terms of our international commitments but as stated earlier, but because these goals form part of our National Development Plan. It is equally important to remember that the commitment to these principles go back even further and can be traced to the rights enshrined in our founding document of our democracy, the Constitution.
Having said that, I want to stress that as South Africans we are committed to a Global Partnership to ensure the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda and to establishing a process for the follow-up and review at the national, regional and global levels of the progress made in implementing the goals and targets over the next 14 years.
There is an acute awareness among our leaders in this country and on our continent that development rests in our own hands. It should be noted, however, that while leaders can adopt resolutions and make declarations, unless the people take up the opportunities, the resolutions will remain words on paper.
I thank you.