David Mabuza on SA's most urgent problems - and how to fix them
ANC deputy president David Mabuza shared his views on what he regards as the most urgent problems facing the country.
Mabuza was speaking on Wednesday to the community of Paballelo, Upington, in the Northern Cape, in the buildup to the party’s looming birthday celebrations on Saturday in Kimberley.
He visited the memorial site of the Upington 26, a monument commemorating a anti-apartheid activists sentenced to death in 1985.
They were convicted of murder and attempted murder under the "common purpose" doctrine after the killing of a black policeman at the height of political tensions between the apartheid government and anti-apartheid activists.
Mabuza spoke on a number of subjects, including:
• Eskom and the economy
"The ANC must deal with certain things to avoid South Africa regressing, like our economy. People are talking to the ANC, saying, 'Our children have passed [matric] but in this economy they can’t get jobs.'
"People are talking today that our economy is not growing and will never grow because Eskom is failing. Yes, we can’t talk of economic growth if we don’t have stability because of issues of energy generation. That is a matter that we can attend to because we are capable. We are a hard-working nation. We have demonstrated to the world that we are a nation with zeal."
• Gender-based violence
"We should not be arrogant. We need to be humble among our own. There are certain things that are starting to creep in that are wrong in this nation ... of Nelson Mandela. We are witnessing gender-based violence - men killing women - and that must stop.
"Some are raping young children. Those are things that are emerging in our societies. But it is the responsibility of men and women, fellow South Africans, to stand up and defend this society. We are going to defend our women, the girl child. We want you to feel free in your homes and in your country. We want to reassure you of your freedom."
"Something else that I don’t understand [is that] we used to stay with people from Namibia [and] Angola. You never had issues with your neighbour [then]. What is wrong now? Today you have problems with your neighbours.
"Please, South Africans, correct that thing. We can only grow as a country together with the continent. Let’s work together with our brothers and sisters from the continent to build a stronger Africa."
Mabuza highlighted access to quality education, housing and roads as urgent service-delivery issues that the ANC government must prioritise.