ANC hits back at opposition

2014-03-07 00:00

THE ANC went on the offensive yesterday lambasting the opposition for daring to criticise Premier Senzo Mchunu’s State of The Province Address during a legislature debate.

The ruling party hit back at the IFP, telling members to “come back home” or face the consequence of a being in a “sinking ship”.

The ANC also questioned the DA’s parliamentary political style, saying it was going all out to personalise political issues.

The party lined up senior MECs to counter criticism from opposition party leaders, but the opposition parties didn’t take matters lying down.

IFP’s Blessed Gwala dismissed Mchunu’s assertion that the province was stable when informal communities engaged in service delivery protests and there was unemployment.

“You cannot therefore speak of the province being ‘stable’ in the face of all these threats,” he said.

Gwala also said traditional leadership was now a forgotten sector in the province. “The premier deliberately forgot to present an analysis of the state of traditional governance in our province; even to mention how much has been spent on traditional governance.”

He further charged that the ruling party had sponsored a decision to destroy Ulundi, which used to be an economic hub, by relocating the legislature to Pietermaritzburg.

Gwala also lashed out at Mchunu for seeking to erase and trivialise the gains of the IFP-led government in the fight against HIV-Aids in his speech.

The DA’s Sizwe Mchunu said the premier’s speech presented a “wish list” with no clear plans to achieve objectives.

“Many of the promises and commitments made are in fact ‘old news’ having been said many times in recent years,” he said.

While accepting much has been done to eradicate inequalities, Mchunu said the hope that the people of the province shared 20 years ago was fading fast.

“From job creation to service delivery, the ANC-led government has broken promises and stolen this hope for a better future.”

Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said the province had a “breath-taking, spellbinding” story to tell, and listed a number of successes, including the daily flight between Durban and Dubai.

In an apparent reference to the IFP, he said they lived in the past and advised them to jump out of the “sinking ship” because a handful from the opposition benches were unlikely to return to the legislature.

While Transport MEC Willies Mchunu produced figures to dismiss some of the criticisms, he said the people would not be fooled by the claims made by the opposition. “They [people] will continue to come to the ANC.”

The premier fired back at the DA, saying it has developed the politics of personalising issues and used insults when it campaigned, and referred to the ANC as scoundrels in Phoenix.

He dismissed Gwala’s claim that traditional leaders were forgotten, and that there had been a number of improvements including a raise in their salaries.

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