ID: Zuma silent on controversial issues

2011-02-16 20:46

Cape Town - Independent Democrats Chief Whip Lance Greyling on Wednesday accused President Jacob Zuma of remaining silent on all the controversial issues requiring strong political leadership.

Speaking in the National Assembly during a debate on Zuma's state of the nation address, Greyling referred to the president's statement that South Africa had the most valuable mineral resources of any country in the world.

"This is something we can take pride in, but it just makes it even more shocking that we are currently one of the greatest underperformers in attracting investment into our mining sector.

"The reasons for this are well known but yet you have chosen to remain silent on all the controversial issues that require strong political leadership," he said.

Instead of putting the "destructive" nationalisation debate to bed and giving assurances that political patronage would have no bearing on the allocation of mining licences, Zuma instead "offered up a state-owned mining company as the panacea for this sector".

This would merely exacerbate the problems in this sector and divert government investment away from the badly needed infrastructural build programme.

According to the public enterprise department's own figures, the state had built up a R1.5 trillion backlog in infrastructural investment over the past 10 years and this was manifesting itself across all areas of the economy.

Arguably the most urgent infrastructural needs were in the water sector where over R100bn was required to fix the failing water and sewerage treatment plants.

"The R2.6bn you earmarked for this sector in your address is welcome, but it represents a drop in a leaking bucket.

"It will also be wasted unless we deal with the serious governance problems in this sector," Greyling said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    id  |  jacob zuma  |  lance greyling  |  state of the nation
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