ANC has concrete plan in place - Zuma

2016-04-16 16:47


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'The people are solidly behind the ANC' - Cyril Ramaphosa on Nkandla ruling

2016-04-16 13:30

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Johannesburg - The ANC has not diverted from its plan of providing service delivery to all South Africans.

This was ANC President Jacob Zuma's message at the launch of the party's local government election manifesto at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Elsewhere in the country opposition parties and civil society groups were also flexing their muscles - to convince people that the ANC, and Zuma, should no longer be leading the country.

Zuma highlighted issues such as access to health access, education, water and sanitation, and said electricity supply remained a priority for the ruling party. He also highlighted the progress the party had made in delivering these services to thousands of South Africans. 

Zuma added that employment for the youth was also one of their top priorities. 

"It is of concern to the ANC that many of our people, especially the youth, are sitting at home doing nothing because the economy is not growing fast enough to create much needed jobs."

'ANC has a concrete plan in place'

The ANC, however, was working on resolving this. 

"The ANC has a concrete plan in place to respond to the slow growth and create jobs. Our municipalities, guided by the National Development Plan, will place job creation and sustainable livelihoods at the centre of their local economic programmes," Zuma said. 

He warned all the party's councilors to serve their communities, otherwise they would be removed from their positions.

The party was also serious about rooting out corruption, with 234 government officials arrested and convicted for corruption since 2014.

Zuma made further promises that communities would be properly consulted included in the development of their areas  

The ANC had anticipated that around 100 000 people would attend the manifesto launch on Saturday. Shortly before Zuma delivered his speech, however, party chairperson Baleka Mbete said they had recorded that around 42 000 people had made their way into the stadium, "with more buses" still streaming in.

Scores of supporters had slept outside the stadium on Friday night, with hundreds more descending on the stadium since the early hours of the morning. 

'Our silence makes them think we are stupid'

Meanwhile, in Soweto, calls by the youth for Zuma to step down escalated at a meeting convened by the People's Consultative Assembly for Democracy. 

A University of Witwatersrand student called on the youth to step away from social media activism and to literally stand up and join the call for Zuma to step down.

The student, who identified herself as Naledi, told the hall she was worried about the example that Zuma had set by violating the Constitution, referring to the Constitutional Court ruling surrounding upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead. 

"This is our time as the South African youth to do the right thing. The problem with us youth is we are silent, and our silence makes them think we are stupid."

She said young people needed to move away from the trend of only speaking out on their cellphones and through trendy social media hashtags, such as the day's #RiseSouthAfrica.

"We literally need to be rising for South Africa," she said.

'The old ANC is dead'

Meanwhile, DA leader Mmusi Maimane visited Mangaung, the birthplace of the ANC, to "to bid farewell to the ANC which they once knew". 

"Earlier this year, the party celebrated its 104th birthday, but for all intents and purposes it has ceased to exist. Because beyond the logo, the colours and the slogans, the ANC of 2016 bears no resemblance to the movement that played such an important role in liberating black South Africans from the illegitimate and cruel apartheid government," Maimane said. 

He claimed that the ruling party, which had been built over a century, had been destroyed in just a few years by Zuma and his leadership. 

Maimane called on the nation not to be fooled by the ANC's grand show as it delivered its election manifesto.

"They will undoubtedly put on an impressive show, filling out the stadium with thousands of supporters in the party colours. But don’t let this fool you into thinking they’re a healthy organisation. The old ANC is dead, and the new one is something entirely different. This is South Africa’s loss," he said. 

"The DA remains the only political party which can advance the Constitution and bring change to the people of South Africa," he said. 

'Zuma is standing between us and our enemy'

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema, who has been calling for Zuma's removal from office, on Saturday said there was no bad blood between Zuma and his party. 

Malema told a large gathering at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus, where the Economic Freedom Fighters had a memorial lecture on the life of Solomon Mahlangu, that Zuma was not their enemy.

"Don’t think that Zuma is our enemy. Zuma is not our enemy, it’s just that he is standing in the way, and we must remove him to get our land back," he said.

"Zuma is standing between us and our enemy. Move out of the way. Zuma must pave the way because they [whites] are the one who stole our land."

He stressed that people should never think the party had taken a detour on their fight for land. He said the land would be returned, just like Zuma would pay back the money for the Nkandla upgrades. 

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma

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