African People's Convention Response to the State of The Nation Address

 

THE APC’S RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

 

TUESDAY,19 FEBRUARY 2013

 

 

Mr Speaker Sir,

 

I dedicate my speech to the late Cde Joe Mkhwanazi. 

 

May his revolutionary soul rest in peace. 

 

Comrades and honourable members.

 

Cde President, congratulations on your State Of The Nation Address.  We noted your report on the progress made on implementing some of last year’s commitments and the plans ahead.

 

On the challenges facing our country we are in agreement from education, health, infra-structure, rural and urban development, land reform, unemployment, inequality, poverty etc.

 

The critical question, however is how we tackle these issues -  the urgency, the resolve, the capacity and appropriateness of our responses.  It is the considered view of the APC that enhancing the capacity of the State is of the most critical necessity, for everything else depends on it.  To this end the DPSA has to play a much bolder and central rule in this regard.  The PSC has to be strengthened, better led and given more powers.  We need a single civil service, with a single entry point.  We cannot overemphasise the need for stability at the senior management levels and doing away with short term-ism.

 

Our education suffers from a lack of proper, energetic and courageous administrative leadership.  Some of our school principals, circuit managers etc. leave much to be desired as leaders, thus the poor outcomes.  The sometimes poor focus and discipline of students and teachers is a reflection of a lack of competent leadership.  We need urgent intervention – a bold performance management system to weed out the unfit from office.

 

Whilst we have an energetic Minister and Competent DG in Health – reports of patients going without food or medication, professionals not being paid, requires firm and drastic intervention.  These kinds of things should be considered intolerable deserving of harsh sanction against managers.  We look forward to the implementation of the NHI, it is the way to go to ensure universal access to quality health care and better run health facilities.

 

Cde President, it is the contention of the APC that the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment cannot be addressed without the state playing an active role in the economy.  A “matshinkilane” state will just guard over the continued impoverishment over the majority.   There is no doubt that the years of freedom have been good to business – they have made huge profits in peace without the burden of operating in an apartheid state.  But the question is, has business been good to freedom?  The answer is to be found in the more than R500 Billion stashed away in banks and not invested in the productive economy;  it is to be found in the conduct of Anglo-Platinum, Harmony; the Criminal conduct of the construction companies etc. 

 

It will be waiting for “Godot” to expect them to help in addressing these challenges.  The state does not resonate with the political feelings of the owners of capital.  They were defeated in 1994.  There is still a grievance to nurse.  It is not coincidence that the beneficiaries of colonialism and apartheid have bonded themselves together into a political formation – to be un-cooperative, negative and to oppose the rule of the majority. 

 

Some of the machinations we see in this House and outside are related to this fact : the fight back against 1994.

 

Cde President;  the APC believes that the progressive forces in our country have a responsibility to train their collective focus on these rightist manoeuvres.

 

On this century of the Native Land Act;  as the APC we say let us cast aside tentativeness, let us move forward with boldness, to end this century of untold suffering and national humiliation. The Native Land Act was a response of the settler’s government to the calls by its constituency.  Let us now respond to the cries of our people as their representatives.  The land of the African People must be restored to its historical and rightful owners.

 

The APC salutes our founding fathers for setting up the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) half a century ago to strengthen the bonds of African Solidarity, and fight for the decolonisation of Africa.  We want peace, development and integration in Africa to improve the lives of our people.

 

Thanks

 

Themba Godi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                          

 

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