Jacob Zuma: Only the rich might not notice change

2014-02-20 16:35

Callers to community radio stations are a lot more positive than the members of Parliament who profess to represent them, says President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing MPs in the National Assembly this afternoon, after a debate on last week’s state of the nation address, Zuma said he had been doing interviews on community radio stations lately.

Zuma, who was in full election mode in his reply, said the callers were happy with the progress that government had made in the past 20 years.

He mocked the DA by saying only rich people might not have noticed that lives had changed for the better.

He kept repeating that government and the ANC had a good story to tell, especially over the past five years.

He also rubbished criticism against him, but did not refer to DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko’s call for his possible impeachment.

Replying to FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder, who called for affirmative action to be scrapped, Zuma said such talks would open the kind of debate that South Africa should rather not have at this point.

Zuma said affirmative action was necessary to redress racial imbalances.

He said Mulder “decried affirmative action, but looking at the statistics, we need to do more”.

Mulder yesterday said affirmative action was to blame for the skills gaps in government and the lack of delivery.

But Zuma said: “The number of black people and women in senior management has increased from less than 10% in the 1990s to over 40% today, which is a good achievement for the country.

“But it is not enough. Each year, the employment equity report releases statistics which indicate that the economy is still controlled by white South Africans in terms of senior and top management positions.”

Instead, he called for affirmative action policies to be intensified “to deepen reconciliation and social cohesion in our country”.

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