Zuma still studying Marikana report

2015-05-27 18:40
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

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Johannesburg -  President Jacob Zuma has to study the recommendations in the Marikana report and decide what to do about them before the document can be made public, he said in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“We cannot just give the report for the sake of it without clear instruction on what must be done with the recommendations. The president has to say what must be done about the recommendations,” he said to applause, referring to himself in the third person.

He was responding to debate on the presidency’s budget vote speech.

“Therefore the issue of ‘give the report, give the report’ as a slogan is being done as if we don’t care about this matter, as if this very commission was not appointed by us,” he said, referring to the inquiry into the August 2012 shooting of 34 striking mineworkers by police in Marikana, North West. The commission was chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam.

Opposition parties have been calling for the report to be made public. On Tuesday EFF MPs displayed posters in the National Assembly with the words “#releasemarikanareport”.

Responding to concerns about power cuts, he said demand would exceed supply for the next 24 to 36 months.

“To increase supply, Eskom is implementing a structured maintenance plan, which is a programme to ensure the availability of power stations is improved.”

He said the Sere Wind Farm in the Western Cape would add 100MW to the grid, and 827MW of co-generation contracts had been signed.

“Eskom added 16 000 households to the electricity grid in the past financial year,” he said to applause.

“These were the people who were excluded by apartheid, by the way.”

'We cannot fix it overnight'

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had asked Eskom to speed up the construction of new power stations and asked it to improve its project management and dealings with contractors.

The country was making progress, but the legacy of apartheid would take decades to reverse, Zuma cautioned.

“The damage was extensive, the damage of centuries. We cannot fix it overnight. The structure of the apartheid economy will also take longer to transform. It’s a reality.”

He blamed apartheid for problems with the education system and unemployment.

The economic growth target of 5% by 2019 was announced in February, “knowing full well it is not going to be easy to achieve”, he said.

DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said Zuma’s speech was full of jokes, but had few solutions.

“Every time the president steps up to the National Assembly podium, the country is left with even less hope and an image of a jester, rather than a leader who has solutions to solving the country’s problems,” he said in a statement. 

He said Zuma showed a poor grasp of the seriousness of issues affecting South Africans, including another three years of power cuts and the fact that the employment rate had increased to 36% since he took office.  

Read more on:    parliament  |  jacob zuma  |  marikana  |  parliament 2015

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