Zuma out of touch with reality - Mazibuko

2012-10-22 20:20
Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Die Burger

Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Die Burger

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma lacks both the leadership and determination to turn South Africa into a high-growth economy, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Monday.

The presidency’s response to the cover story in the latest issue of The Economist - titled Cry the beloved country - South Africa's sad decline - had revealed a president who was "clearly out of touch with reality", she said in a statement.

"Instead of responding with a comprehensive plan which would tackle the underlying cause of our current economic woes, the president opted to bury his head in the sand and accuse The Economist of being misleading."

Mazibuko said this was "the most revealing example yet of a president who lacks both the leadership and determination to build a high growth economy which will lift millions of South Africans out of poverty".

In a response to last week's article in the influential business publication, the presidency said on Sunday that it was "grossly incorrect to suggest that South Africa is on a downhill slide".

In a statement, it described the article as "misleading".

Mazibuko called on Zuma to announce steps on how he was going to tackle the current economic downturn.

These should include, among other things, providing a clear commitment that he put the country's economy above his own re-election campaign.

"The president should acknowledge publicly the very serious impact that infighting in the ANC and its tripartite alliance is having on the economy in terms of policy uncertainty, and put forward a plan to prevent this negative impact."

He should also announce "wide-ranging changes to the current labour regime to ensure that wildcat strikes are ended, and that stability is returned to the economy".

Mazibuko said South Africa needed a president with vision, the political determination to implement far-reaching reforms, and bold leadership to lead the way in doing so.

"To date, President Zuma has shown himself incapable of satisfying these conditions. If he does not want to be remembered as the president who broke our economy, then he must get his head out of the sand and get on with the job of leading," she said.

- SAPA
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