Hon Speaker and Members
The United Democratic Movement supports this budget vote.
Mr President, during the State of the Nation Address you declared the year 2015 as the “… year of unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom”.
However, what is not clear, is a common and simple programme that binds the entire society behind this vision. For instance, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee’s work is not known by all citizens. We need a clearer road map of infrastructure development with more achievable targets, timelines and clear monitoring tools.
To make matters worse, even the most celebrated National Development Plan does not enjoy the support of the ruling party’s main ally Cosatu. This sometimes causes unnecessary tensions between Labour and Business.
Mr President, there is a growing culture of lawlessness that is increasingly characterising us as an unruly Nation that lacks discipline. Every day we witness citizens building homes in places not designed for human settlement, thus leading to multiple social and economic crises.
Spatial development for both urban and rural areas requires proper coordination with the involvement of citizens to avoid cost of correcting uncoordinated development post effect.
The UDM suggest that a Presidential Council on Sustainable Development with direct participation of the broader civil society be created. This approach will place citizens of the country at the centre of their own development as they seek to realise the vision of the country and promote a culture of ownership of its development direction. Central to the task of the council would be to consolidate and deploy the resources of the country towards an agreed to, development path.
Many countries that have practiced this model have benefited significantly. It may be helpful to look again at the experiences of those countries like Canada. The current IDP system lacks aggressive people’s participation.
Mr President, we have noted your response in this House about the release of the Marikana report. However, the UDM notes the pressure you find yourself in, given that your highest officials, right from the Deputy President and some Ministers were subject of the work of the commission. It is in the interest of all citizens of this country that you release the report without further delay. Its publication will not deter you from considering its findings.
I thank you