ID President Patricia de Lille says the Independent Democrats ‘welcomes the President's honesty on the challenges we are facing as a nation.
‘As usual, however, the question is whether we have the skills and the will within Government and the public service to implement these plans,' Ms De Lille says.
‘While the President announced some measures to deal with job losses arising from the global economic crisis, we believe that he should have provided more details and introduced bolder measures, for example the introduction of a Minimum Income Grant.
‘Job creation and the eradication of poverty remain the ID's number one priorities,' says De Lille.
‘The ID has been calling for years for the extension of the Child Support Grant and the equalisation of the pension age for men and women, and we were hoping the Government would do this immediately.
‘The President also said his Government has made the fight against corruption "one of the core areas of focus,' but we in the Independent Democrats disagree with this,' De Lille says.
‘All of our people will know that the ANC as a party and as a Government has covered up and very often rewarded those accused and found guilty of corruption.
‘The President said the most important benefit of growth should be job creation, but we are concerned about the high import intensity of our current infrastructure build,' says De Lille.
‘We cannot spend billions of rand on improving our infrastructure while these projects create very few jobs for South Africans.
‘The global economic crisis is an opportunity for massive investments in renewable energy, which will also create hundreds of thousands of jobs,' De Lille says.
‘Service delivery needs to be sped up and we need to create a more humane government, which is based on the principles of ubuntu.'
Patricia de Lille, President of the Independent Democrats.