EFF, DA ready to tackle South Africa's 2020 challenges

2019-12-31 19:13
EFF Leader Julius Malema.

EFF Leader Julius Malema.

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The leaders of the country's opposition parties - the DA and EFF - have wished South Africans a Happy New Year, reflecting on 2019 and the year ahead. 

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen, who was elected this year after Mmusi Maimane resigned from the party, said 2020 had to be the year in which the country tackled Eskom's ailing power supply head-on and make the tough decisions.  

"As we prepare for the year ahead, it is crucial that we reflect honestly on the path our country is on. We can do so much better.

READ: Gender-based violence a 'national shame' - Ramaphosa 's New Year's message on SA's highs and low

"It is well within our reach to turn our struggling economy around and play to our strengths as a country, but only if we are prepared to face the tough questions and make the big calls. Let us commit to making 2020 the year in which we do just this," Steenhuisen wrote in a statement. 

Load shedding increased to an unprecedented schedule 6 this year with the embattled power supplier plunging more and more into debt becoming the biggest drain to the country's fiscus.

The government has allocated R230bn to Eskom over 10 years. While the National Treasury initially allocated Eskom R69bn over the next three years, additional funding had to be brought forward to help Eskom maintain its going concern status.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a special appropriation bill which would see Eskom receive an additional R59bn over the next two years.

EFF leader Julius Malema thanked South Africans for ensuring the party almost doubled its vote from 6.3 to 10.7% during the 2019 general elections. 

He said 2019 also demonstrated that the country was at war with itself particularly around issues of gender-based violence. 

"We must make sure that in 2020, we find solutions against women and child abuse because this solution must come from men. It is a problem that is created by men and it’s a problem that can be resolved by men," Malema added. 

He encouraged those indulging in alcohol to not to drink and drive, calling on the police to deal with offenders decisively. 

Malema paid special mention to those working during the festive season, especially those in essential services. 

"We are saying please continue to provide these services because if you do not do so no one else will provide that type of service. You are highly appreciated because you have refused to get involved in the festivities so that you can look after South Africans."

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  eskom  |  john steenhuisen  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  mmusi maimane  |  politics  |  sa economy  |  load shedding
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