Hon House Chair, the executive summary of the ruling party's 2014 election manifesto reads as follows, and I quote:
South Africa has begun a new and far-reaching phase of its democratic transition. This calls for bold and decisive steps to place the economy on a qualitatively different path. The National Development Plan, NDP, aims to eradicate poverty, increase employment, create sustainable livelihoods and reduce inequality by 2030.
The question is: Has this country seen anything bold or decisively different since that statement? The answer must be a resounding no, because there is nothing bold or decisive, save the ruling party's repackaging of worn-out rhetoric.
Every year, it's the same old song. We are developing infrastructure, creating millions of jobs, stamping out corruption, reducing crime, improving health care and promoting local procurement of goods and services.
I would think that, if we were serious about being bold and decisive about qualitatively improving our economy, we would start by actually providing basic service delivery and infrastructure. And what about stopping the haemorrhaging of our gross domestic product, GDP, through incessant power outages and shortages and scrapping e-tolls altogether? The above would be bold and decisive and would immediately and qualitatively improve our economy.
To tighten up in terms of fiscal revenue collected by Sars would also help. How many hundreds of millions of rand have we lost through theft or corruption?
Hon House Chair, being bold and decisive infers that one admits that one has been timid and indecisive for too long. In the ruling party's case, this has been for the last 21 years. It's high time that the ruling party took the high road and actually walked its talk.
Hon House Chair, the IFP agrees with the sentiment of this topic, but fears that it is just that - a topic. No matter how great the rhetoric or plans put on paper are, the evidence of failure is etched in the faces of people as they struggle even to meet their basic needs. I thank you.