No economic freedom for our people - Cope

2015-04-27 17:17
(File, Yunus Mohamed)

(File, Yunus Mohamed)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - While South Africa attained its political freedom 21 years ago, it still had not attained economic freedom, the Congress of the People said on Monday.

"Cope is deeply saddened that we are still very far from obtaining that freedom for all our citizens," leader Mosiuoa Lekota said in a statement.

"Economic freedom is the cornerstone of real freedom. President [Nelson] Mandela reminded us that there was no such a thing as 'being partly free'. We were either free or not so."

The plight of millions struggling to survive economically was even more saddening.

"That is why Cope is urging government to ensure that brown bread is priced 20% to 30% lower than white bread. Our people must have bread and basic foods on the table," Lekota said.

However, the road ahead looked bleak, as unemployment remained unresolved while poverty and inequality were deepening. Service delivery was deteriorating while administered prices rose.

"People take to the streets in increasing numbers to protest violently. Race relations have worsened and xenophobia destroyed our good image in the world. African countries are becoming estranged from us," Lekota said.

"Corruption is the vilest manifestation of our failures. It is robbing the poor and destroying our dream of economic freedom. Corruption grows worse and with corruption social cohesion becomes impossible to achieve."

Deliver on promises

He said the ruling party, the African National Congress, came into power with the promise of a "better life for all".

"It must keep its trust with the people and deliver on its promise," Lekota, a former ANC national executive committee member, minister and Free State premier, said.

"In spite of unemployment and having to defer their hopes endlessly, the majority of South Africans came out in their thousands to condemn the senseless and barbaric xenophobic attacks on our African brothers and sisters.

“The country has isolated the violent minority. Our challenge is to reclaim our respect in Africa and the world. Our further challenge is to create employment and stimulate the economy."

Private sector growth

Cope urged government to work closely with the private sector, so that needed economic growth would take place and improve socio-economic conditions in South Africa.

"We must grow the role of the private sector, not diminish that role further," he said.

Government had to take note of the rising discontentment with the youth of the country, since without realistic prospects of jobs, they would become strident in their demands for reform.

"We are sitting on a ticking time bomb. We are very apprehensive. Torpor and apathy on the part of the self-absorbed ruling party will trigger an explosion," Lekota said.

Read more on:    cope  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.