As Zuma continues to deliver

2011-02-12 00:00

A FRIEND of mine recently said to me that perhaps one of the reasons why a lot of our prayers and wishes do not come true is because we are so quick to criticise and point fingers, without first taking the time to appreciate what we have and be thankful for what we have been given.

The approach of "shoot now and ask questions later" is especially true where opposition parties are concerned, but then again, they are trying to get mileage at any cost. After all, if all the opposition parties sang the praises of the African National Congress, the voters would not see the difference between all the parties.

Despite the many challenges that the government faces in delivering the basic needs that people so desperately require, we must take a moment and acknowledge the work that has gone into delivering so much that we enjoy today that we did not enjoy, say three years ago.

Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are available to more and more people who are HIV-positive; visible and other forms of policing are at a peak; state-owned enterprises, such as South African Airways, are returning to profitability even though their performance was previously marred by chaos and the economic meltdown; and the government has made a concerted effort not only to create jobs, but to make the conditions more conducive for private businesses to do so.

These are just a few of the many things that the government is getting right.

As Benjamin Disraeli (British prime minister in the 19th century) put it so nicely: "The secret to success is consistency of purpose. The government does not only need to be consistent with what it is getting right, but also to deal decisively with where it has failed so that the gaps which exist are bridged in our abnormally unequal and varied population."

While Joe Black from Chase Valley wants a tax break on his third house in the south of France, Joe White from Smero wants that low-cost, one-roomed house in France, off Reggie Hadebe Road, along with lights, water and sanitation. The list is endless.

Putting together a State of the Nation address or a budget is always a juggling act and if either is going to work, a perfect balance needs to be created.

President Jacob Zuma has succeeded in this and it is now up to the ministers, premiers and MECs to unpack it and add flesh to the frame, as it were.

Opposition parties should stop acting like spoilt children, demanding anything and everything at once. They act like children who have not been brought up well and when in the supermarket, they demand all sorts of things. When they are not afforded their demands, however unreasonable, they throw their toys out the cot and scream. As Zuma gives more state addresses, the more opposition parties have fewer scathing things to say. I am not sure this is what they want as if Zuma continues to deliver, the less likely the opposition parties will ever get into power.

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