Mulder: Conflicting messages from govt
Cape Town - Government's comments and actions send out conflicting messages, Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a debate on President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address in the National Assembly, the Deputy Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister said Zuma had emphasised how important it was to create more job opportunities in South Africa.
"In the same breath he announces that new labour legislation will be introduced which without a doubt would stifle job-creation," Mulder said.
Zuma had emphasised how important mining was and that it produced more than 30% of the country's income.
"In the same breath he confuses foreign investors when he uses [ANC youth league leader Julius] Malema's language about mineral wealth which 'belongs to all South Africans with the state as custodian'."
Zuma had also emphasised that corruption and misapplication of taxes would not be tolerated.
Mulder said the FF Plus applauded the Special Investigative Unit which was investigating maladministration and had already recovered R44m from public servants who had illegally received housing subsidies.
"But then we have to read in the newspapers that R100m had been wasted on the youth festival.
"These comments and actions send out conflicting messages to voters, to the private sector, to the agricultural community and investors," he said.
Mulder said there were similarities between the ANC and the old National Party, with the ANC now facing the same dilemma the NP had during its reign.
The hard realities of South Africa resulted in many NP policy views having had to be adapted from 1948 when it started governing.
"At Polokwane and other ANC conferences various populist decisions were made by ANC members.
"Decisions based on the propaganda on which ANC members had been schooled over many years.
"Because many of these decisions did not take the South African realities into account, it can not be applied in practice," he said.
What made it even more difficult was that the ANC was made up of many factions.
Its leadership had to try and keep its wide ideological church together.
"How does one keep the nationalists, traditionalists, populists, capitalists, the communists and the social democrats in the ANC together?"
To do nothing was paralysing, but to try to satisfy everyone was as paralysing.
It led to every faction pretending in public that their policy was not only the official ANC policy, but that it also enjoyed Zuma's support. Thus the conflicting messages.
"The only comfort that I have for President Zuma is that the ANC is not the only party with these problems."
The old NP struggled with it, the Democratic Alliance was struggling with it and the FF Plus was struggling with it.
There was only one solution. Do not put ordinary party members on a political hunger diet with populist propaganda.
"If I listen to the comments of the ANC youth league, the 'young lions' are in need of political education in the realities of South Africa - they are clearly on a reality hunger diet."
The only solution was that members of the party were confronted with the realities of South Africa through honest discussions.
"And remember: Every person is entitled to his/her own opinion, but not to his/her own facts.
"Thereafter leaders have to be prepared to take the right decisions, regardless of the consequences," Mulder said.