Mr Lennox Gaehler, MPAddress by Mr LB Gaehler, MP (NCOP) in the National Assembly

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members

Mr President, we welcome your commitment to make the public service work. We therefore call on you, to professionalise service delivery as a function of public servants. They are employed to serve the people and not to be served by the people. Your administration, must put South Africa First.

We must, as you have promised, make sure that public service is not a dumping site of unqualified, incompetent and lazy people, who are a product of your party’s deployment policy. This must come to an end now.

Secondly, we welcome your commitment towards the Small Business Development. Accordingly, we suggest, that there must be consequences for failing to pay service providers within the specified time.

There must be consequences for those who fail to implement government policy. For example, if a service provider is not paid within 30 days, there must be an interest accrued and such must be taken from the salary of the defaulting government official.

As you establish your advisory streams, we call on you, to ensure that, this good initiative is not merely a payback for loyalty to you or your party. Therefore, you must, tap into the rich knowledge, expertise and wisdom of the society at large beyond party political confines.

Mr President, industrialisation must not fly above the head of the majority of our people. It must originate and be driven from below. Your administration must invest in local economic development and prioritise rural economy.

We are in this morass, as a consequence of poor management of state affairs by the governing party. However, you must be able to acknowledge this in order to steer the country on the correct course. It should be said that charity begins at home, cleansing must begin at home too. You must take the lead and deal decisively with those who commit crime against the people of South Africa. South Africans must be shifted from greed and corruption in which they have been accustomed to by previous leadership, and now focus on creating a society that we can all identify with and be proud to promote.

If I judged correctly I would say approximately 80% of your speech was concentrated on economic matters and need for entrepreneurial revitalisation. We welcome your message of charting a new path for our country and imprinting footprints for what you call our future greatness. The idea of concentrating on JOBS, especially to tackle youth unemployment is well advised.
I become concerned when politicians mention Extended Public Works jobs as part of tackling unemployment, as if they were sustainable jobs. These are dig a hole and fill it kind of jobs, they are great as emergency bailouts but are not real sustainable jobs. If we going to create real low skill jobs we must, as you have emphasized, you need to look deeper at construction and agriculture. We must couple it with the agenda of modernising our schools, building new community medical clinics that would expand access to quality low-cost care. We must include them on plans to upgrade broken-down electrical substations, localising the building of trains and buses and public housing to mention a few.

The Job summit and investment conference are good ideas – provided it is not a white-wash in the manner in which government currently conducts its public consultations without effecting any suggestions from the public. You need to take seriously other people’s views, especially when they conflict with yours, because that is the only way you will also test and strengthen yours. Do not come with the dismissive attitude of thinking that the voice of experts on the field carries more weight. Often it is people on the ground, who know where it pinches and how to solve it. I am also sure opposition parties, like the UDM, who’ve been calling for an Economic Indaba will support you on this.

Thank you