Dear Mr President

2013-01-22 20:35

I write to you with a warm heart and I would also like to congratulate you on winning the second term in Mangaung, It really shows that we as South Africans and loyalists of the ANC have faith in you to govern, we trust you our votes.  The opposition is unhappy, the media is unhappy, a few citizens are unhappy but we rejoice with you Mr President.

Insults have been thrown in, paintings have been done, you’ve been in and out of courts but our faith in you remains. It’s not because you have done bad as a President but hatred has driven them to spite you, but that’s not important they can hate or get a passport.

Every time I read about you being bad mouthed by the media and certain citizens, I always go back to your speech quoting Shakespeare. You Mr President said, “Unfortunately, some members on the opposition benches reminded me of my favourite passage in Shakespeare’s Macbeth – their inputs were simply ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ ”. This was brilliant, I laughed so hard as you were chuckling heartily.

But on a more serious note Mr President it is good to see that you have made plans to grow the grow economy. I remember you saying that decisive action was required to thoroughly and urgently transform the economic patterns of the present in order to realise "our vision for the future". But I still think that maybe, just maybe, you Mr president can slightly change our current economic policies, let us hear what the opposition has to say and maybe just come up with a workable solution from there. Not that our current economic policies are not working but let’s engage more and get new ideas.

I pray that South Africans heard your call to unite behind the national development plan (NDP), which sets out various measures to tackle unemployment, poverty and inequality. Mr President it pleases me to see your plans for the future development of our country with the new growth path and the infrastructure development plan.

Mr President, I admire your dedication to improve our education but let’s face it; we have a crisis that needs your attention urgently. In spite of the significant improvement of access to education, the quality of education remains very poor. The education system is in a crisis;

* Rampant teacher vacancies, 64 752 of them in the Eastern Cape.

* Lack of basic education infrastructure, as 22 938 schools did not have stocked libraries, 21 021 did not have laboratories and 19 037 lacked computer centres.

* The dismal quality of education, with SA ranked 140 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report for 2012/13.

* The high repeat rate – 1 231 083 pupils had to repeat grades last year.

I therefore ask Mr President what is the governments plan in this regard?

Mr President, a third of South Africans are living below the poverty line, inequality has increased and the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow.  Over and above the historical disadvantages which continue to dominate, one of the most pressing challenges facing the country is employment.  According to you Mr President, in 2011 365 000 people were employed but you still failed to fulfil the 500 000 jobs that you promised due the country due to slow growth and declining employment in gold mining and agriculture.

On the issue of land reform, the government has lacked support and proper training of land beneficiaries which is derailing the success of land reform. The high cost of acquiring land for land reform purposes has rendered the restitution process very expensive for the state. So how is the government planning to overcome this and come to a reasonable agreement with the farmers?  It is know that many farms are not productive because no assistance and proper guidance is given to these new farmers, Mr. President, a proper plan as to how the government is going to tackle this issue is therefore needed immediately otherwise the whole reform plan will be a complete fail. You are right when you that the issue needs to be re-visited because the current system is a clear fail. What is the department going to do with failed projects? Job creation is one of the priorities of government, how is recapitalisation going to assist in curbing unemployment?  It is recommended that stronger policy links be developed between the Department of Land Affairs and both national and provincial land reform offices. If and when provincial land reform offices develop ‘district-based’ offices, this link can possibly be made very strong and mutually beneficial.

As you are aware Mr President that our health system is in shambles and needs your attention, the health ministers in all provinces have been all talk and mostly no action, Mc Cord in Durban is set to close its doors and forced to go private, Addington Hospital has been having endless problems and health MEC Dhlomo has failed South Africans, King Edward Hospital, R K Khan, Prince Mshiyeni, Chris Hani Baragwana have for years been faced with similar problems but little has been done. A large majority of South Africans relies on government health system, if that very same system fails them where do they turn to? Private health care is not an option for them.

It is in fact pleasing to see the goals of the National Development Plan, which aims for health a more integrated health system, equal standards of care regardless of income, and an increased capacity to train health professionals by 2030.

HIV/AIDS in South Africa is a prominent health concern; South Africa is believed to have more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world. On that note Mr President thank you for the effort that our government put into the HIV/AIDS issue which saw a decline in infections.  New findings indicate that HIV incidence is declining and that the impact of antiretroviral treatment is having an effect on the South African epidemic this has seen life expectancy to have risen to 60 years, up from 56.5 as fewer people died of AIDS. Keep up the good work Mr President.

Mr president by investing in people, we enable growth and empower people to pursue many different life paths, thus developing human capabilities by linking growth to human development, therefore rural communities need both the resources and the ability to use them in order to pursue their capabilities.

Citizen of South Africa would agree that;

It is recommended that the resources allocated to Adult Basic Education and Early

Childhood Development be increased and both should become a permanent line function of Department of Education;

It is recommended that in planning for District Health Authorities (DHAs) provincial health departments retain certain decision-making powers in relation to inter-district resource allocation to ensure that decentralisation is not accompanied by increasing geographic inequities;

It is recommended that specific crime prevention strategies be developed for the poor, who are largely dependent on the public provision of security and risk management services;

It is recommended that a component of police training should provide the skills and attitudes necessary to meet the security needs of the poor.

It is recommended that government, labour and business co-operate to identify measures to reinforce those sectors of the economy which can provide labour intensive employment. However, government should not be expected to act as the financier of such measures;

It is recommended that government policies concerning the quality of labour force through improved access to basic service, education and training be incorporated as key elements of the strategy for the reduction of poverty and inequality.

Mr President the challenges facing your government are immense and from the perspective of policy formulation the government has responded in a credible fashion. From the perspective of implementation, however, current progress does not appear to have met either the expectations of policy makers or the poor. The time to act is now Mr President, the time is now.

Thank You ANC.

Follow me on Twitter: @ThembaRadebeer

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