ANC delivers — Zuma

2014-04-07 00:00

THE ANC-led government yesterday resorted to using the blind to make those who can’t see development hear its “good story to tell” message.

This happened when President Jacob Zuma officially opened the R25 billion Cornubia housing development project in Durban.

Not only was a blind man, Sthembiso Shezi, requested to share his experience of receiving a government house, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube insisted that it was time for those who had eyes to “see” development.

Premier Senzo Mchunu charged that those who did not see development should be taken to where development took place.

Shezi, who took to the podium accompanied by two family members, showered the government with praises for making him a home owner after years of being a backyard dweller.

“This government does not tell lies. This government speaks only the truth. I want to thank Msholozi [Zuma’s clan name] because he fulfils what he promises,” he said.

“We are also thankful to the ANC, that will exist forever,” Shezi said to the delight of Zuma, who was sitting a few chairs from him.

Shezi was one of the three families handed two bed-roomed houses furnished with a stove, microwave, refrigerator, single bed and sofa.

The houses were handed over as part of the Cornubia development— a mixed-use and mixed-income development consisting of 1 200 hectares of land earmarked for industrial development, housing, commercial and other public amenities.

It is a joint venture between the eThekwini Metro Municipality, Tongaat Hulett and the Human Settlement Department.

When Zuma arrived for the hand-over of the three houses he drew resounding applause from a ANC

T-shirt-wearing crowd that had been dropped off earlier by bus.

When Zuma unveiled the project’s commemorative inscription, he was met with “Zuma” chants, and waved back with a smile to the jubilant crowd.

After planting a tree, Zuma left for a formal programme in a 10 000-seater marquee nearby filled with thousands of people sporting ANC regalia.

About 86 buses and 124 minibus taxis transported people to the event from around the municipality, a government official said.

Zuma told the crowd the launch of the project demonstrated that the government continued to fulfil the constitutional mandate of providing housing.

“And this democratic government does not just build houses, we also look at achieving other goals, such as building united, non-racial settlements, to reverse the apartheid legacy of divisions,” he said, adding that the ANC government and its agencies and partners sought to show the people that the days of racial segregation were history.

Zuma announced that apart from houses, the Cornubia settlement will eventually have schools, clinics and other amenities. He added that two Bus Rapid Transport routes linking Cornubia, Umhlanga and the nearby township of Phoenix were also planned.

Zuma said the government was working on similar projects around the country to improve the quality of life of all. “Some say we make promises that are never fulfilled, but we know we fulfil the promises we make.”

Zuma took a swipe at government critics after listing achievements made in the last 20 years such as the construction of 3,6 million houses; eight million pupils enrolled at no-fee schools and nine million pupils from poor backgrounds that benefit from school nutrition programme.

“If you do not like this government, there is really something wrong with you,” he said.

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