Economic transformation, guided by the National Development Plan, will take centre stage as South Africa enters "the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society", President Jacob Zuma announced on Saturday.
Delivering his first address to the nation after being sworn in as President at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Zuma said his second term in office would be marked by radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes aimed at putting the economy on an inclusive growth path.
"Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society," Zuma told over 4 000 guests gathered in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre and more than 20 000 people gathered below on the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings.
"This second phase will involve the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes over the next five years," Zuma said after taking the oath of office and receiving the National Salute, which included a mass flypast of South African Air Force aircraft.
"We have already placed before the nation the National Development Plan (NDP), our roadmap which outlines the type of society we envisage by the year 2030. Through this programme, we will move South Africa forward to prosperity and success," Zuma said.
"At a social level, as outlined in the NDP, our vision is to develop communities where households will have access to housing, water, electricity, sanitation, safe and reliable public transport, health, education, security, recreational facilities, a clean environment and adequate nutrition.
"As the National Development Plan outlines, the structure of the economy will be transformed through industrialisation, broad-based black economic empowerment and through strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy."
The President also reaffirmed government's commitment to promoting local companies, entrepreneurs and cooperatives through local procurement by the state and its agencies.
At the same time, the NDP prioritised the national infrastructure development programme. "We will continue to build schools, railways, ports, universities, clinics, colleges, power stations, broadband, roads and more infrastructures around the country. This programme will continue to be the flagship of government."
The end result of these programmes, Zuma said, would be a growing, inclusive economy which created jobs and provided opportunities for all, especially the youth.
But for this vision to succeed, the state will need to improve. Key targets in this regard, Zuma said, would be to eradicate corruption and inefficiency in the public service.
"We will promote productivity within the public service and ensure much tighter accountability, with firm consequences where there is a failure to deliver services to our people.
"The road ahead is long and demanding," the President said. "The challenges ahead may seem insurmountable, but we are determined to succeed, as we have always succeeded in our efforts to overcome challenges."