SA needs warrior spirit - Lekota
Cape town - Unless the government and the nation inculcate a fierce warrior spirit to defeat South Africa's "most dangerous enemies", the country's hopes and dreams will lie in tatters, Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said on Tuesday.
"What is needed from government is a display of a fierce warrior spirit," he told the National Assembly during debate on President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address.
"No nation can achieve progress without a steely determination to defeat its enemies. Tragically, these enemies are growing stronger and stronger all the time. Left unconquered, they will quickly overwhelm us and utterly destroy our democracy."
The four "enemies" needing attention were poor education impacting negatively on skills development and self reliance; high joblessness; corruption by self-seeking cadres; and absent, poor, or inadequately maintained infrastructure.
If South Africa was to emerge from the economic crisis, it would have to invest heavily in infrastructure development.
More importantly, the government would have to urgently and massively transform the nation's human resource element.
Eradicating poverty, inequality, and unemployment required focused and concentrated attention on education and training, he said.
Lekota said Zuma had not devoted sufficient attention to education and training in his address.
"In fact, he praised educators for observing working time instead of addressing himself to the disappointing state of education and poor teaching standards.
"Quality education is pivotal to our growth and therefore to job creation and labour absorption," said the Congress of the People leader.
The question of employability was a matter of national significance.
Workers from abroad found work more readily because they were more employable on account of their education and training.
"The president should have indicated to the nation how the 10 million people who cannot find a job will receive training to make them readily employable.
"If this matter is not urgently addressed, unemployment will escalate and social unrest will inevitably follow.
"The president must clearly answer the question of how his government intends to provide education and skills to the millions who need it to enhance their opportunities for finding sustainable jobs," Lekota said.