Stop bickering and start serving the people, David Mabuza tells politicians
Instead of bickering, elected leaders should work together to resolve the country’s challenges, said Deputy President David Mabuza on Thursday.
Echoing sentiments expressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he delivered his budget vote earlier, Mabuza said: “South Africans are not interested in our political disputes, in our political divisions and slogans. We are at a crossroads of difficult socioeconomic challenges that can only be resolved through our collective commitment, shared national interests and purposeful cohesion.
“Now is the time for leadership to rise above petty political differences and schemes to pave the way for national progress and inclusive development.”
Mabuza was among many politicians who were debating Ramaphosa's budget vote which was held virtually and in the National Assembly sitting in parliament's Good Hope Chamber.
He said the budget took place at a time when the country faced many intersecting challenges including the pandemic, sluggish economic growth and the rise in the cost of necessities.
“The fractures and discords in our social fabric call for new compacts of peace, compassion, inclusivity and social solidarity so that we face one direction as we tackle all the challenges facing our nation.”
Mabuza said ordinary citizens want and deserve a government whose chief interest is the development and prosperity of its people.
“The nation has lost patience with government officials who are out of touch with their plight and expectations of the quality of service that they deserve.”
Mabuza said the government must lead the charge against corruption and inefficiency in society. “We cannot grow the capabilities of our people and generate decent jobs without a cadre of disciplined, committed, professional and ethical public officials who are really driven by the moral imperative of transformation.”
He said it will also be impossible to build an economy that will allow job creation without the provision of dependable electricity supply.
The government is aware of the detrimental effects load-shedding has on the economy as well as the inconveniences and hardships caused for the country, its citizens and businesses, he said.
“As the presidential political task team on Eskom we have begun implementing solutions to ensure energy security and the long-term viability of Eskom.”
He said the government would continue to support Eskom’s implementation of a credible and transparent national maintenance [plan] which will ensure power generation plants operate at optimal levels to reduce electricity supply interruptions.
“Alternative energy generation is being explored and implemented within the framework of the 2019 integrated resource plan to augment electricity supply and improve grid stability.”
Mabuza said the object is to enhance the country’s ability to provide uninterrupted electricity for economic growth and development.
On land reform, he said the government will release land parcels in the hands of state-owned companies and municipalities for integrated human settlements and socioeconomic development.
Mabuza said the presidential task team on military veterans has finalised the rollout of the pension policy on the matter.
“To fully implement this policy, a process is under way to conclude the beneficiary verification thereby allowing for a quicker turnaround time and aiding government in managing military veterans’ records.”
Mabuza expressed concern over the state of local municipalities, saying they are struggling to maintain key infrastructure for water and sanitation, resulting in sewer spillages and interrupted water supply.
“Notwithstanding objective weaknesses and gaps in infrastructure delivery, we are concerned about acts of criminality targeting strategic economic and social infrastructure in our communities.
“Theft and vandalism of our core network infrastructure threatens to roll back whatever progress the country has made over the past few years. This cannot be allowed to continue. We call upon communities to work with local authorities and the police in guarding and protecting economic and public infrastructure from theft and destruction,” said Mabuza.
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