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No more slogans, no more history: we want answers now

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2012-02-08 00:23:54.0

The Times Editorial: President Jacob Zuma will have to up his game tomorrow and give the nation hope that his administration will make 2012 a better year for all.

As he steps up to the podium in parliament at 7pm, he will know that the nation and its contesting constituencies will pay close attention to every word he utters.

The general secretary of trade union federation Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi, yesterday reminded the ruling party of the promises it had made to the people.

He told the Cosatu Gauteng shop stewards' council meeting in Soweto that the ANC will have to do more in the coming months and years than wave flags and tell the masses to remember Chris Hani, Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo.

He said voters will ask difficult questions about the present, not the past - and they will demand answers.

Though Vavi says he is optimistic about the future and the ANC, his warning is backed by the rising frustrations at all levels of our society.

The reality today is that South Africans, though passionate about their freedom, expect more from their elected leaders.

It cannot be business as usual when voters see their taxes abused by their leaders, who have turned the state into a battleground for settling political scores.

Tomorrow, President Zuma will have to rise above it all. He must give hope to the nation that all is not lost under his watch.

He must inspire the masses to believe that, in him, we will have a better tomorrow.

If he fails to capture the moment and address the needs facing this country today, Zuma and his cabinet will have more problems on their hands.

The talk among the working class and the down-trodden who are the majority in this country is about why they must wait for a better tomorrow when those in power already live like kings. If nothing changes for the better soon, something will have to give.

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