Lifestyle audits for govt leaders

2018-02-21 13:26
President Cyril Ramaphosa was out walking from the Gugulethu sports ground to the Athlone Stadium early on Tuesday as part of his daily fitness routine and to meet and talk to local people. He said he plans regular walks in different areas. ‘I’ll be walking maybe three times a week, walking with our people,’ he told eNCA.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was out walking from the Gugulethu sports ground to the Athlone Stadium early on Tuesday as part of his daily fitness routine and to meet and talk to local people. He said he plans regular walks in different areas. ‘I’ll be walking maybe three times a week, walking with our people,’ he told eNCA. (Jaco Marais)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa wants members of his Cabinet to be the first ones to be subjected to lifestyle audits to help identify senior government leaders involved in corruption.

Addressing Members of Parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly on Tuesday on responses to his State of the Nation Address (Sona), Ramaphosa said lifestyle audits on senior government leaders will demonstrate government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

“This is something we have to do, starting with the executive of the country,” he said.

Ramaphosa, who last week announced bold measures to fight corruption and grow the economy, used Tuesday’s sitting to respond to opposition parties’ criticism of his Sona.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema had used Ramaphosa’s call for summits to find solutions to unemployment and slow economic growth, as evidence that the newly-elected president lacked a plan of his own.

However, Ramaphosa told MPs that he has a plan for the country. “Of course I have a plan — the National Development Plan (NDP); that is the plan. I called for a summit because people want to be involved, they want to participate,” he said.

Unions had called for a summit where government, labour and business will share ideas on how to grow the economy and create more jobs.

“A clever government will heed that call. We want South Africans to lend a hand, our people want to get involved, they are saying ‘nothing about us without us’.

“Never pour cold water on the need to come together to discuss issues as long as we are clear on what we want,” he said.

On arguments that members of the white community, particularly the community’s youth, were victims of government’s affirmative action policies, Ramaphosa responded that while the concerns needed to be attended to, the argument was not supported by facts. “We must not ignore such concerns, we must not dismiss them wily nillly”.

However, Ramaphosa said the concerns were not supported by data from Stats South Africa, which shows that young whites, particularly males, had better education and job opportunities in comparison to their black counterparts.

“While we have made progress in addressing racial disparities … we still have a long way to go,” he said.

Ramaphosa, who was sworn in as president last week amid messages of goodwill from citizens, urged opposition parties to rally behind government programmes such as land redistribution as those were instruments meant to ensure peace and stability in the country.

“It is not a task of the ANC alone, it is everybody’s task.

“Let’s engage each other on matters of national importance, let’s forge a new social compact. What will unite us is the need to advance the interests of our people,” he said.

Ramaphosa urged MPs and citizens at large to acknowledge the fact that people who were forcibly removed from their land during the apartheid period were still bitter about what happened to them. “This has caused hurt and pain amongst our people. The return of land to people from whom it was taken can’t be the task of the ANC alone,” he said.

Ramaphosa, who met ordinary citizens around Cape Town shortly before Tuesday’s sitting, said the population had continued to express high levels of confidence in the new government leadership.

“People are enthusiastic about the prospects of our country, they want to lend a hand,” he said.

On the impeding cabinet reshuffle where he is expected to replace non-performing ministers, Ramaphosa declined to provide timeframes. “An announcement will be made ... at the appropriate time,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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