Honourable Speaker, Honourable President and Members
The task of creating a developmental state where the primary mandate is to build an inclusive economy by fundamentally changing the status quo in favour of the poor majority, who find themselves in the rural hinterland, is now more urgent than ever before. Further and any unnecessary delay will have grave consequences for our hard-won freedom and the governability of state.
In this regard, South Africa must indeed review the many agreements entered into before, and at, the Codesa negotiations. Such an exercise will identify the bugbears which makes it difficult to ensure that all citizens enjoy equal economic freedom.
Whilst our welfare system has helped millions, who would have gone to bed with empty stomachs, the painful truth is that the super-exploitative economic system the new South Africa inherited, continues to produce structural inequality and remains enemy number one.
The United Democratic Movement suggests that radical economic transformation should not just be mere rhetoric and we believe that:
• Patronage and corruption must fall, and that prudence and good governance must rise;
• Free education must not be “free of quality”; but it must produce young adults, and especially black young adults, who are ready to operate new enterprises and be job-creators rather than being job-seekers;
• Whilst progress has been made with housing delivery; the minister should have clear, achievable timeframes for the correction of the defects in some of the existing buildings and act decisively against those found to be on the wrong side of the law;
• Recent reports on alleged maladministration, and possible corruption in the department of water affairs, is worrying. If true, it flies in the face of the spirit of the announced radical economic transformation. Speedy action must be taken, especially given the current drought.
• In agriculture, we need to train more agronomists with practical skills to utilise and manage the land once it is returned to the people.
Indeed, and in the words of OR Tambo whose centenary we are commemorating, liberation has no meaning without the return of the country’s wealth to the people and therefore the existing economic arrangement must be radically changed to the equal benefit of ALL South Africans.
I thank you