Zuma rubbishes opposition

2011-05-16 17:39

President Jacob Zuma has again laid into the opposition ahead of Wednesday’s local government poll, accusing them of wanting power for its own sake and having no programmes to meet communities’ developmental needs.

Zuma used the last day of campaigning before the ban on canvassing kicked in – a meeting with ANC supporters and community members at the Riverlea empowerment centre – to again question their credentials and their ability to govern. None, he said, had real vision for the future or policies which could improve the lives of voters.

“They want your vote. What are they going to do with it? If you ask them what for they will say they want a strong opposition. Some will say we want to just be there. They can’t tell you what they’re going to do. If I was your child I’d ask you why you voted for that party,’’ Zuma said.

“Ask them what they have done in the past for us. Nothing.’’

None, including the party which had “changed its name so many times’’ – a reference to the DA – had the history the ANC had, or the ability to bring about changes to the quality of life of South Africans, he said.

Zuma said the ANC’s show of strength on Sunday in its Siyanqoba rallies in three provinces where it had packed stadia was something the other parties could not do, even if they joined forces. Opposition parties, he said, must be having “nightmares” because of the ANC’s campaign. He also questioned predictions of a stay away by ANC supporters disillusioned with government.

Zuma again committed his government to introducing performance management and evaluation to local government and promised that any councillor who “does not do what we want them to do’’ would be replaced.

He said the ANC candidate selection process had been more transparent and democratic than that of any other party and that problems would be addressed after the elections.

People who were dissatisfied should exercise their right to vote and change things rather than stay away from the polls, he said.

The president will vote in his hometown, Nkandla, on Wednesday. The leader of the IFP, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, will vote close to his home at Nkonjeni near Ulundi, while the National Freedom Party leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi will cast her ballot at Ulundi.

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