What the FF Plus would like to hear in the SONA
9 February 2016
What does the FF Plus want to hear from president Zuma in Thursday’s (11 February) State of the Nation Address, what is the FF Plus’ views regarding the disruption of events and the role the EFF and Nkandla will expectedly play in it?
On the eve of the SONA, these and other questions increasingly arise regarding president Zuma’s leadership. Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus leader, gives his opinion about these issues:
“For government to continue on its present course or with ‘business as usual’ will not lift us out of the economic problems the country is currently experiencing. That is why a repetition of all the old ANC views and policy approaches that will only be applied better this year, will not be of any help.
“The president should be prepared to announce that certain policy approaches do not work and will be amended to encourage job-creation and economic growth. It could, for example, be amendments to labour legislation or measures which would make foreign direct investments easier, rather than more difficult.”
“Because it is an election year this year, the president may choose to use popular themes such as racism and land in his speech, with the forthcoming elections in mind.
“Hopefully, he will be sensible about these themes and not try and be popular with irresponsible comments such as, that land was stolen or a generalisation about racism such as, that racism only comes from one side. Leaders should show leadership about these issues and can in so doing, change the climate of future debates about these issues.”
“To disrupt the SONA ensures publicity for the relevant political party which caries out these acts, but does not contribute to the general image of South Africa. Where such a political party may gain an advantage within South Africa from such disruptions, it causes great damage to the reputation of South Africa internationally.
“Investors in the international community are asking whether South Africa has become a ‘banana republic’ after Mandela. Disrupting parliament strengthens that image and does not contribute to building confidence in South Africa.”
“It is in the interest of South Africa that the Nkandla debacle is resolved. There is no doubt about it that the president had personally gained from certain of the Nkandla upgrades.
“Nkandla remains his personal homestead (it does not belong to the state), where he will be living following his retirement and where he would be enjoying the advantages of a swimming pool, chicken coup etc.. That he had not asked for it, is disputable, but it does not detract from the fact that he has personally gained from it.
“The amount he has to repay should be determined. In addition, the Constitutional Court should give clarity about the powers of the Public Protector, so that the recommendations of the office of the Public Protector will in future not be ignored by a minister or president, or whomever and end us up in an Nkandla mess.”
“Racism from both white and black groupings carries the germ that could destroy South Africa and all relations within our society. That is why all leaders should strongly express themselves against it. Leaders largely determine the style of and the vain in which such public debates take place.
“President Mandela had proven this in the past. We currently need such leadership from all sides. President Zuma and other leaders have in recent times done the exact opposite by giving all problems in South Africa a racial tinge and by placing all the blame for the problems on whites.
“The SONA is an opportunity for president Zuma to show leadership to do the opposite and stop polarising our society for short-term political gains,” Dr. Mulder says.
Issued by Pieter Mulder, FF Plus leader, 9 February 2016