Premier calls for KZN focus as opposition parties blame Zuma for SA’s junk status

2017-04-19 14:41
Premier Willies Mchunu arrives at the KZN Legislature to deliver his department’s budget vote on Tuesday.

Premier Willies Mchunu arrives at the KZN Legislature to deliver his department’s budget vote on Tuesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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2017-04-07 11:57

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KZN Premier Willies Mchunu, who tabled his department’s budget vote in the provincial legislature on Tuesday amid calls for his boss, President Jacob Zuma, to step down, attempted to take the heat off the ANC president by appealing to opposition MPs to focus on regional issues.

With opposition MPLs making it clear that Zuma was to blame for the recent rating agency decisions to downgrade the country to junk status, causing the rand to take a nosedive, Mchunu reminded opposition parties of their obligation to the province.

“I urge members of this house to set aside party political differences and to work tirelessly together to achieving the vision of our province, namely to be a prosperous province, with a healthy, secure and skilled population, living in dignity and harmony ...” he said.

Mchunu, who himself assumed the provincial government’s top position following a controversial provincial reshuffle that saw his predecessor Senzo Mchunu axed, said the current economic climate called for sober minds as opposed to mud-slinging.

“It is in challenging times like this that a clear and sound vision is of critical importance. We need to keep our eye firmly on the proverbial ball and avoid the temptation to play the man.

“We need to set personal differences aside and focus on what is in the best interest of the communities who elected us to serve them in this house,” he said.

Despite the many scandals, Zuma still enjoys overwhelming support in his home province.

A week ago Zuma supporters, angered by negative statements former Finance minister Pravin Gordhan had been making about the reshuffle, booed him as he spoke in Durban at a memorial service for Ahmed Kathrada.

Mchunu told MPLs it was important to acknowledge the fact that Zuma was now working on stabilising the economy following the storm caused by the reshuffle.

“The president of the republic must be commended for meeting with the new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and other role-players to look into these economic challenges and to mitigate any further negative impact,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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