South Africa, President Zuma had many good stories to tell during his state of the nation speech, yet he has no answers to corruption and unemployment and will the good story of 1994 return to this country.
After president Zuma delivered his current state of the nation speech, the opposition parties debated this speech in parliament and concluded that his good story telling does not reveal any definite answers to the real problems.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition party to the ruling African National Congress (ANC), spokesperson, Lindiwe Mazibuko said that President Zuma is riding on the success of his predecessors.
Zuma had an opportunity to answer key questions regarding his plan for the future and his sure promise of job creation and corruption during 2009. He did neither, and this is a glaring omission from his 2014 speech. It is an indication that he has neither a plan nor any preparations to fight corruption and create jobs. Zuma continued to maintain success based on his predecessors.
Zuma had a good story to tell on the economy of the country, but the people of South Africa tell a different story, a story of frustration. Unemployment is not a statistic; it is a cold, harsh reality and a reality for too many South Africans. The labor policies set up with the ANC’s coalition partners are crippling the economy.
In 2009, Jacob Zuma the emerging new leader, promised to create five million jobs and has failed miserably. A mere five hundred thousand jobs have been created. Today, more than 1.4 million people are unemployed than when he assumed office in 2009. There was no explanation of the failing economy and the growth rate, which remains significantly lower than other emerging economies.
President Zuma had a good story to tell on service deliveries and the public have a story of desperation to tell. The escalation of service delivery protests has spiraled more than five times more than between 2004 and 2009. People are desperate for change. Innocent people have died during protests for basic human rights. The access to water and the infrastructure falling apart is a constant headache for struggling people.
Police brutality falling under the scope of service deliveries remains a frightening disregard of human basic rights. People who die while in custody and the forceful fear displayed by police officers are a constant concern. The overcrowding of prisons, the dirt and health risks cry out for attention. Honest people suffer under the hand of the police brutality while the president refuses to establish a suitable policy and turn the police service into a practical honest service.
Zuma had a good story to tell on combating crime and once more, people of South Africa told a story of fear. The crime statistics have increased in murder and other serious crime. There was no clear indication that Zuma had plans to challenge the justice system. No plan to prevent crime is visible, and without a comprehensive plan in place, the war on crime will not be won.
President Zuma had a good story to tell on the fight against corruption and the South African people told the story of greed. It is estimated that over R30 billion is stolen each year from the public. Money that could improve service deliveries create employment and assist the poor. Rather this money is enriching politically connected people.
The R200 million upgrade on Zuma’s private residence remains critically scrutinized, and the final reports are waited in anticipation by the opposition parties. Corruption and no responsibility are the core element of the present government. No credibility and no transparency are accounted for by the president.
The elaborate cover up of the Nkandla scandal is an attempt to protect the president from scrutiny and accountability. The DA committed to undertake steps to determine whether Zuma was part of the monumental cover-up.
Zuma did not attempt to establish credibility in the fight against corruption and the various scandals that have riddled his presidency.
During January, this year President Zuma addressed thousands of ANC members and said that corruption will be fought in all spheres. Zuma said that anybody found guilty of any crime would face the wrath of the ANC party. He said officials found guilty of corruption and crime will not be allowed to do business with the government.
His tough talk on corruption and crime was welcomed by the members, but again it was only talk. No action, and no discipline, the corruption continues to spiral out of control.
The DA said they would rewrite the story of greed, the story of fear, the story of desperation and the story of frustration for South Africa. The DA stand committed to restoring the good story of 1994 and deliver on the promise of freedom for all.
The DA agreed that South Africa is better today than it was in 1994, and this was never an argument. South Africa is indeed a miracle nation that inspires hope. The concern is the progress between 1994 and 2009 that is moving backwards by Zuma, a president who lacks leadership qualities.
President Zuma and his advisors have no new solutions to the crises dwelling within the South African borders. There are no answers from the presidency, and the last five years under the Zuma spell have cast doubt among the people. The good stories told by president Zuma are only stories and nothing more.
By Laura Oneale
The New Age