Mtomuhle B. Khawula (MP) IFP-NCOP
Hon Chairperson of NCOP
Your Excellency the President
Your Excellency the Deputy President
I want to preface by a quote that says “Honesty is a very expensive gift, therefore never expect it from cheap people”.
The same goes for integrity.
The same goes for accountability.
The same goes for reliability.
The same goes for Ubuntu.
The same goes for owning up.
The same goes for responsibility.
The same goes for respectability.
The list goes on and on.
Mr. President, The image of your statesmanship as South Africa’s No.1 citizen is very important to the country. If this image goes up, the country goes up with you. If this image goes down, the country goes down with you.
Right now the image of our country is at rock bottom, unfortunately because of your actions or non-actions.
I subscribe to the current popular sentiment that the South African political/ governance system is crying out for leadership.
Your presidency, Mr. President is characterised by the instability in important governance institutions like the NPA, the HAWKS, the judiciary, the intelligence services, the police and the chapter 9 institutions. Some of these institutions are nearing a state of paralysis because of lack of proper leadership from government. More often than not, it is the usual mistake of cadre deployment that comes back to haunt the presidency.
In education, South Africa has been piloting one program after the other since 1994. This, to the detriment of the future of our nation. This has badly compromised the quality of the education system that the government offers to our youth. A young South African who was born in 1994 has had to finish matric in 2014 on pilot programs. They themselves have become pilot projects of this government. This has seriously jeopardized the quality adulthood of our young South Africans.
The president spoke about the construction of three new power stations Kusile, Medupi and Ingula in order to resolve the energy crisis currently experienced by the country. The president further says this is not a crisis but a challenge. The fact of the matter is that the country is building two power stations and not three. The third one referred to, Ingula, is a pump storage scheme and not a power station. I wonder why the President is running away from the term ‘crisis’ when industries are losing millions of Rands a day and tens of working hours per day due to power cuts: when hundreds culminating to thousands of jobs get lost because of power cuts.
When millions of South Africans get destabilised in their daily lives because of power cuts, this is indeed a crisis and not merely a challenge.
The president presented the state of the nation address on Thursday and had an interview with SABC about this speech on Sunday. It provides an interesting observation that the issues presented on Sunday differ widely from those issues presented on Thursday. The president in the interview spoke about protest action in Malamulele and other areas, spoke about attacks on foreign nationals owning shops in the townships and villages, all these issues which were not touched on in the state of the nation address.
Coincidentally, one minister in your government Mr. President speaks in a manner which incites the attacks, when another minister in the very same government speaks against these attacks. This presents a picture of a very confused government in policy approach.
Unemployment, despite the President’s advice to the contrary, we note that it continues to increase and that we still have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and that this has not changed since the 1990’s.
According to a recent HSBC report, economic growth and GDP were lowered by 0.3% to 1.6% for 2015. The Rand/Dollar is at its lowest level since 2008.
Foreign direct investment was dealt another blow with the president advising that legislation will be passed that prevents foreigners from owning land in South Africa.
The Honourable President also spoke to a reduction in crime. What informs this statistic? We find that it is baseless and misleading at best. The fact is that crime statistics cannot be correctly determined because of SAPS disincentive to report same in order to meet their crime level reduction targets.
Honourable Speaker, the endless rhetoric over the last years by this presidency and government is now leading us into a perfect political and socio-economic storm, from which we fear there will no return, unless drastic action is taken by this government to halt our descent into what can only be termed as a chaotic secure-cratic, police state.
I thank you.
Mr MB Khawula, MP