PARTY

Zuma's comment on Malawi roads mischievously singled out - ANC

Party says President spoke in length about the unique space that Gauteng occupies in South Africa and Africa

ANC STATEMENT ON REMARKS BY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA AT GAUTENG ANC MANIFESTO FORUM

22 October 2013

The African National Congress has noted the reports in the media relating to remarks made by the President of the African National Congress, Comrade Jacob Zuma, at the Gauteng ANC Manifesto Forum last night. Specifically, that "we should not think like Africans in Africa, this is not some national road in Malawi"

The African National Congress places it on record that both the organisation and the President hold the people of Malawi and elsewhere on the continent in high regard. The context in which the statement was made must be clarified in order to understand how the President's comment, which has been mischievously been singled out, arose. In the President's input on the tolling of roads in Gauteng, the President spoke at length about the unique space that Gauteng occupies in South Africa and Africa. To this end, the President drew parallels between Johannesburg and Polokwane, Rustenburg, Umngungundlovu, Danhauser and many other parts of the country.

The President further called for the residents of Gauteng to appreciate the central role they and their roads play in the country and the continent, linking goods, people and development. It was within this context that the President called on residents of this province to not think and act like others in the country and continent who do not have the unique responsibility and critical role Gauteng has as a gateway to Africa and the industrial and economic hub of South Africa. Registering to pay toll fees on the newly built roads, becomes part of this burden and honour Gauteng is bestowed with as the economic heartland of our country and continent.

The African National Congress welcomes the role played by traditional and social media in our national discourse. It is important therefore that those privileged to form opinion on these networks do so with the intention of promoting fair and balanced reporting, a call we believe would not have arisen had the President's comments were placed in context.

Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesperson, October 22 2013

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