Why Minister Lindiwe Zulu must GO, ASAP

2015-02-10 08:52

It’s been approximately 9 months since Jacob Zuma announced his cabinet. Like most young people, I was particularly excited by the introduction of a new ministry in the form of Small Business Development. To us, this meant that focus will now be on SMMEs which are mostly owned by young people. This meant that an incubatory platform and a developmental portal were now availed to see young businesses being assisted into growth, development and sustainability. To us this inception came with far reaching benefits as small businesses are a backbone of our economy especially at this conjuncture where our economy is near stagnancy. According to Adcorp the number of SMMEs in South Africa has stagnated from 2001 to 2011 (2 million), while in the same period the number of people trying to start their own business has fallen from 250,000 in 2001 to 58,000 in 2011 - a decline of 76%. It’s pretty obvious that a revival in a form of a new ministry was needed to bring about change. At 30%, our Small business contribution to the GDP is too low compared to most developing countries and this ministry is very key in seeing to it that this is improved.

Over and above this, I was particularly excited over the person who was granted the responsibility to steer this boat. This is because of a number of things. Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s energy and tough, no-nonsense approach couldn’t have been more relevant. This I suppose are key qualities in a ministry focusing mostly on young people, especially when we need to improve youth involvement in economic resuscitation. Having been an advisor to the president, I reckoned her proximity to the nation’s highest office would allow for prioritization of youth matters, from attention, urgency to budget issues. Her vast skills and exposure to different world economies such as Tanzania, Uganda and Angola also came as an advantage.

Little did I know that all these would give no good. Little did I know that we were in for a complete disaster. I never knew that despondency and gloom were to further haunt us as a nation. A week passed, a month did, and so did two, three until now. 9 months into her job, clueless is an understatement to describe her state. She hasn’t been completely missing though. She is frequently in the limelight for different reasons though. Every single time when she is in the media it’s never on her ministerial task but on party politics. Every single time she gets a chance she is always in black, green and gold and there is nothing wrong with this, the only problem is that she has a critical ministry to run and revive. Her energy seems to be reserved for parliament fights and xenophobic statements. If the minister wants to go to Luthuli house, she must be released; her heart seems to be there. The ministry cannot be on hold while she is attending to party politics. We don’t need a part time minister, not for this ministry. We don’t need half her effort, we need complete dedication.

Its time she takes us seriously as young people and vacate her office to focus on what she undoubtedly loves and understands, party politics. We need a person with dedication and not only that but insight as well. We are tired of being treated like a joke, we need to revamp our economy and her dilly-dallying is not going to assist.

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