Parties want national plan, not second transition

2012-08-15 12:02

Opposition MPs have begged President Jacob Zuma to make sure that the national development plan (NDP) – which they all welcomed – isn’t dead in the water.

During a joint parliamentary debate following the handover of the plan to Zuma by the National Planning Commission this morning, MPs said:

Congress of the People MP Mosiuoa Lekota said he was worried that the ANC wasn’t fully behind the plan.

Lekota, who was severely heckled by ANC MPs and who later had the House, including Zuma, in stitches, said: “I thought we would hear this plan tabled in front of the main player in our politics (at the ANC’s policy conference in July). Instead I heard about the second transition.”

He also said he wished government could deliver school books as well as companies delivered beer, every weekend, to thousands of taverns across the country.

» IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said under former president Thabo Mbeki the government’s growth and development plan, Gear, as well as the one that followed, Asgisa, was widely welcomed by opposition parties, but they weren’t implemented because the ANC’s allies opposed them as neo-liberal.

“Even Mandela embraced the free enterprise system. Even just allowing space for a debate on nationalisation is bad for investment,” he said.

“I hope nationalisation won’t be debated at (the ANC’s conference in December) in Mangaung. I hope we are gathered here today to say ‘ta-ta’ to nationalisation.”

» Mentioning examples of similar plans that boosted the development of countries like Brazil and post-war Germany, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said “the DA is not convinced that the ANC subscribes to this plan with their hearts and minds” because it didn’t feature at the party’s policy conference.

“We believe that the plan’s success or failure will entirely depend on if the president will rise to the challenge of aligning his policies with the goals and objectives of the NDP,” she said.

» Leader of the FF Plus, Pieter Mulder, said the success of the plan would depend on how the ANC handled it. “If the ANC will ignore this report again in December in Mangaung, it will be a serious mistake to the disadvantage of South Africa,” he said.

He added that he would make the same speech again in Parliament in five years’ time, and if his prediction of the plan failing were wrong, he would admit to it.

» ANC MP CJ de Beer hit back during his speaking time, saying the NDP resulted from a resolution taken by the ANC, and this meant that the ANC wanted to see the plan work.

Zuma said “the ANC supported the plan in its policy conference”. He joked that he was happy that opposition leaders paid so much attention to ANC policy conferences.

“I hope there could be some lessons drawn out of it,” he said before giggling.

The joint sitting of Parliament was attended by the members of the National Planning Commission, the Speaker of the British House of Commons, John Bercow, as well as Absa CEO Maria Ramos.

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