Joint NCOP-NA sitting debate on the State of the Nation address


 13 February 2019: Cape Town

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly
Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP
His Excellency the President

Last Thursday the President pronounced a wish list for the ideal State that we all aspire to. It was a picture of the future that has been in the promise kit for 25 years.

Millions of South Africans rejoiced the day former President Zuma exited office, because at last we saw a glimmer of hope. The so-called “new dawn” promised that things were going to change for the better. It seemed we might be able to save South Africa from disaster.

Little did we anticipate that the “new dawn” might not actually be what it was dress-up to be. One has to ask whether the past twelve months were good enough to sustain the hopes of South Africans for a better deal. Has a clean-out of the culprits responsible for the criminal activities of the 9 lost years kicked in effectively, or is it only targeting small fish in order to save face?

South Africa faces a trust deficit between Government and the people. Once trust breaks and shatters, it is very difficult to rebuild it. In order to establish trust, you must first be trustworthy.

It is not the actions of the past 12 months that reveal whether the ruling Party can be trusted. It is the actions of the past 25 years. Yes, we have a different captain. But how can South Africans pin their hopes on change for the better, Mr President, if your generals are still the same crew who stood by and watched when the 9 lost years were unfolding?

In the past year, we have heard shocking stories of how those who were entrusted with the guardianship of the country’s resources have contributed to the collapse of its systems, by looting those very resources.

We have heard of an SACP conference that contributed to the collapse of VBS bank. We have heard that State power was ceded to criminal elements in exchange for trivial personal gain. We heard confirmation testimonies of how the security and justice systems of the country were compromised in order to safeguard and perpetuate the criminal activities of the looters.

These are not new stories in your ears, Mr President. The difference is that they are now told from the horses’ mouths, and not from the benches of the opposition. When we in the opposition sounded the sirens of danger, your colleagues jumped to this podium to defend the rot, enabling it to continue.

It seems our country is now trying to run the marathon of recovery on a tread mill. We are not getting any closer to the promised destination. Those who were fighting for free education this time last year, are still fighting. Labo ababengasebenzi namanje abakasebenzi, Ababengenamanzi namanje abanawo. Ababengenamgwaqo namanje kabanawo. Those who were devastated by load shedding then, are still suffering now.

No wonder the principles of the integrity commission have become dysfunctional. If you were to put people in government on the basis of integrity, Mr President, you would be left with a very small pool of candidates for government positions.

As the country gears up for citizens to give a fresh mandate to a new government, the IFP reiterates its call for integrity, respect and honour for the oath of office.

The IFP appeals to the people of goodwill to entrust their mandate to those who can be trusted: the IFP. We call for integrity in government, for strict adherence to the rule of law, and for respect for the wishes and needs of our communities.

It cannot be that, year after year, the Auditor General keeps on lamenting the waste of our country’s finances through irregular and wasteful expenditure, but nothing is done. It cannot be that, after 25 years, nothing has changed for our rural communities to make them proud of our democracy.

It is shameful that our education system still favours the haves, whilst the have-nots continue to suffer an inferior education. Conditions at our tertiary institutions and TVET colleges are deteriorating so fast that many have reached unacceptable levels.

Healthcare cannot be a saviour to those with money and a disaster to the poor. The Minister of Health waxed lyrical yesterday on Aids successes, yet her Party engineered an age of denialism and refused to roll-out anti-retrovirals until the Constitutional Court intervened. The IFP had done it in KwaZulu Natal. The ANC was ordered to follow suit.

People in rural areas, under Amakhosi, also need good roads, they need clean water, they need electricity, they need jobs. People in our Black townships in Umlazi, Soweto, Khayelitsha, Mdantsane, KwaMashu, and others, also need protection from crime, they need good schools, they need good roads and decent living conditions. Burnt down businesses in Black townships should have been rehabilitated by now. Instead, undocumented foreign nationals have taken over and are selling expired goods to our communities.

For far too long the people of South Africa have suffered betrayal at the hands of the ANC. They voted the ANC into power, and decisions were outsourced to the Guptas while tenders were controlled by BOSASA. The route to fair and effective justice was hijacked by criminals.

This has to stop.

People of South Africa, why watch this space? Kuyobuya amakewu kogeza lapha nijamile. Trust us… Vote IFP!


Mntomuhle Khawula MP
IFP Member of the NCOP
071 207 9445/ 078 303 4542