The United Democratic Movement welcomes the comment made by the President in response to our call for an All-Inclusive National Economic Transformation Indaba. Notwithstanding his fears, we remain convinced that South Africans from all political and socio-economic persuasions are prepared to do everything possible for the growth and development of our economy.

As South Africans did with the political transition, decided to embrace each other irrespective of different ideological positions and a painful experience, surely there is a possibility that they can find each other on the economic ground.

The fact that captains of industry are not only prepared but ready to engage with labour movements, all parties confirmed the need for something drastic to be done in the economic front, should be a positive indicator. In any event, South Africa has been able to find each other on the National Development Plan.

Indeed and as we have proposed, the process towards the Indaba should be preceded by a National Summit which shall agree on the national framework that will guide the Indaba and reduce areas of disagreement. Such will address his fears.

However, the fact the President elected not to consider the following, has appalled UDM.

1. Whilst the President has re-iterated government’s commitment to fight corruption, we thought that he would specifically provide leadership on the questionable transactions taking place in the Public Investment Corporation, where pension monies of the poor working people are flowing into the back pockets of the cronies of the ruling elite. These include the deals done to benefit amongst others, the consortiums called Kilimanjaro Sakhumnotho and a not-for-profit organisations, “Global Fund for Christ”. These include provided funds of many of the ex-mine workers who have been marching between the Union Buildings and Parliament with no answer.

2. This also includes the crisis in the Construction Education and Training Authority, where corruption whistle blowers are reported to SACP leaders for reprimand. The levies paid by poor workers are being abused just under the nose of the Minister of Higher Education and Training who is an SACP chief.

3. The abuse of public funds through the so-called ‘War on Leaks Project’ launched by the President in Port Elizabeth, where only those young people associated with the ruling party gets jobs. Effectively, this projects funds campaign activities of the ruling party’s volunteers. We thought that the President would condemn the usage of public money by government leaders of the ruling party assisted by government officials.

We also thought that the President would take the nation into his confidence and explain why after such painful experience the country has gone through due to his actions, he remains in office. This is so important given the fact that some of these actions have compromised the national legislature and members of the cabinet. In this regard, UDM shall continue to make a call for the revolutionary consciousness of Mr Zuma to prevail and for him to vacate the Office of the President with dignity.

Statement issued by:
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President