"We have the best and superior policies" - Jacob Zuma

Statement issued by the African National Congress November 4 2008

A vote for the ANC is a vote for certainty and stability - Zuma

Amid chants, ululating, dancing and clapping as he traveled the rural and urban areas of the North-West province ANC President Jacob Zuma was today (4 November 2008) emphatic in his message: "A vote for the ANC is a vote for certainty and stability."

Zuma is on a two-day visit to the province, part of the ANC's programme to engage with key stakeholders, who include communities, professionals, religious leaders, business and traditional leaders. The visit to Christiana and Rustenburg is part of the ANC's mobilization programme to motivate people to register to vote during this coming weekend's open registration period. Zuma who has so far visited the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng is gearing to go to the Western Cape, Northern Cape and other provinces, after rounding up his trip in the North-West tomorrow (5 November 2008).

Addressing a packed Rustenburg Civic Centre last night Zuma explained why, voters had to choose the ANC as the only party to govern South Africa post the 2009 elections.

Zuma: "We (ANC) adopted the Freedom Charter as one of our first policy documents to also be adopted by all races in the history of South Africa. This crystalised what type of Government we wanted. At (the constitutional talks) at Conference for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) the ANC influenced a political solution which came to be referred as a miracle.

"We have the best and superior policies compared to other parties. When the ANC discusses policy, we allow everyone to discuss it and this includes analysts, journalists and opposition political parties. I haven't heard of any organization that does that. No organization has come up with better policies than us, including those that are still in labour at the moment. They will not come up with anything new."

Rejecting assumptions that there was a crisis within the ANC following the resignations of some members, Zuma said: "There is no panic. It is not the first time that people leave the organization. Even when the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress) left the ANC there was no crisis. What we have are members who are concerned about certain things and deciding to leave the ANC. Each time you go to elections there are new parties cropping up. The test is on policy. They have nothing else to say. Their duty is just to talk about the ANC. Just continue building the organization. We're in a constitutional democracy which is maturing."

In line with the 52nd National Conference of the ANC, Zuma listed crime, education, health care, rural development and the criminal justice system as key priorities which required special attention by the ANC after 2009. "Let us be tough on crime so that citizens who pay tax can live peacefully," he said, adding: "Crime is ravaging the country. You cannot have a country that is besieged by criminals. SA has become very democratic, even to international criminals."

On rural development he said: "Let us take the economy to rural areas and create more employment to curb the flood of people to rural areas."

On healthcare, he said: "Reduce politics in health. Health services must reach the people. We need a healthy nation."

Turning to education, Zuma said during apartheid education was seen as "a critical instrument" to subjugate the majority of South Africans by "those who were in charge". Zuma: "This led to lack of skills and unemployment. Education is an instrument to liberate and empower our people. Only through education can you reduce the numbers of those dependent on grants and numbers of job seekers. We must reach a certain point where education can be free at a certain level. Invest in education if you want to cross from being regarded as a developing country to a developed country."

Statement issued by the African National Congress November 4 2008