Wed Oct 26 00:49:53 SAST 2016
Mkhwebane leaves Zuma‚ Van Rooyen interdicts

The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.

Political party leaders are optimistic about the future. They tell Waghied Misbach about their major concerns

By unknown | Apr 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Political party leaders areconfident about the future of South Africa, but have pointed out what they believe are serious problems that could derail the country's young democracy.

Political party leaders areconfident about the future of South Africa, but have pointed out what they believe are serious problems that could derail the country's young democracy.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) president Bantu Holomisa said there was "no doubt" that progress had been made in this country.

"Our freedom has made an impact internationally. As a result our model has been used and emulated in a number of areas. People are talking about 'governments of national unity' and making peace deals. At home we no longer live in fear of being detained if we criticise the government in power. People are free. On the social side, a lot has to be done. We have a long way to go, especially in creating jobs. We also lag behind the rest of the world in terms of technology. That area needs attention."

Holomisa said poverty, unemployment and discipline were the major challenges that lay ahead.

"There is a culture of disrespect for one another. But South Africa has a bright future. All we need are the right leaders," said Holomisa.

Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo) deputy president Pandelani Nefolovhodwe said South Africa needed policies that would uplift the rural poor.

"Women in general, not only black women, need to be helped to get ahead. This issue has been made the responsibility of political parties, to have women represented in parliament and other spheres of government. But the liberation of women doesn't mean a woman becoming the country's president. It means a change in society's attitudes towards women."

Azapo is also concerned about the appalling quality of houses being built which "dehumanise our people".

He said more integration was needed between blacks and whites.

"Only those associated with a member of the ruling party are being empowered.

"It is creating a layer of capitalists with white males at the centre.

"But I am happy that our people are still being given a chance to choose a government. There has also been a great improvement in taking care of the destitute. There have been strides made to give grants to women with children who don't have anything. It brings some happiness into their lives.

"I have mixed feelings about the future because I haven't seen enough progress in dealing with the poor and workers in this country," said Nefolovhodwe.

African National Congress Youth League president Fikile Mbalula, said one of the biggest challenges concerned race and the economy.

"The big challenge ahead is to deracialise the economy for the benefit of the previously disadvantaged. Redistribution has to take place for the poorest of the poor. We have to reach out to the unemployed, including graduates."

Mbalula said a big challenge was how to translate the democracy into benefiting young people.

"We need an integrated youth development strategy. What is happening now is that they are being given handouts. They are being patronised."

On the positive side, he said, South Africans were moving closer to each other.

Citizens had a lot to celebrate including patriotism which was high on the list.

"We have a great future, but we have to make sure that policies work for us. We have the resources. We are not overspending, we are underspending. We have got to have policies that become workable to benefit all South Africans.''

Mbalula said South Africans were working well together particularly regarding Aids, though it had taken a long time. He said South Africans should not be "over-denialist" about issues affecting South Africa. Crime should be declared "public enemy number one" and people should be made aware that crime is a "reality in this country".

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, said President Thabo Mbeki had done well to grow the economy.

"But what worries me is the increasing polarisation in the country."

He said South Africa needed "wisdom and leadership" for South Africans to "cooperate and harmonise". After 13 years, there were still divisions between "black and brown", "black and white", "rich and poor" and the divisions in the ruling party between Mbeki and his party deputy Jacob Zuma.

Mulder said the ANC's overwhelming representation in parliament had changed the face of debates radically since the negotiations where Afrikaners had held talks with ANC members and formed friendships in the 1980s.

Eighty percent of those who had taken part in those talks had left to pursue other interests.

This was frustrating for him in parliament because he could not seem to have debates with ministers who were not part of those talks.

"There is no debate now, only shouting," said Mulder.

He was "positive about the future" because there were still people who could make a difference to bring South Africans together.

The alternative would mean further divisions which could lead to "a civil war".

PAC spokesman Mudini Maivha, said South Africans had done well by creating opportunities for people to support democracy.

"But it had exposed voracious greed and moral bankruptcy. It has shown that there is little regard for the masses because despite the country's wealth, our people have benefited very little."

Maivha said that housing was a big problem.

"Some of the houses have never been built, while hundreds of millions of rands in tenders having been handed out with disastrous results.

"Most of our people have no sanitation, no clean drinking water and our children learn under trees despite a budget surplus of R5billion.

"There has to be a fundamental transformation in society where public service means making resources available to all.

"Our people are speaking up, and rightly so, in Evaton and Khutsong and other parts of the country.

"The government is risking a lot in ignoring the wishes of the people," he added.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT