Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SACP statement on the State of the Nation Address

The SACP welcomes the broad thrust of the State of the Nation address delivered by the President of the Republic, Cde Jacob Zuma last night. The address details achievements and tables new proposals as government continues to be seized with the task of fighting the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The SACP however wishes to caution that the challenges we are experiencing should never push us to a point of nostalgia on the economic policy front. Chasing growth rates as a panacea to our problems has and will never be an appropriate response to our challenges. Similarly the myth that there are legislative and other bottlenecks to be unlocked in favour of business must be carefully examined. It seems to us that all business wants are concessions without any commitments on its part to realise our goals of tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality. The SACP will strongly resist all attempts by business to try and blackmail us into succumbing to their narrow concerns about profits without telling us about their own contributions.

The SACP notes and welcomes progress being made in the infrastructure roll out programme. Specifically we appreciate the intensification at the level of school infrastructure and the work that will commence in September on the two sites of the new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

The SACP welcomes the implementation of the NHI pilot sides and the specific announcement around the launching of the NHI fund this year. The SACP will watch this development with keen interest in order to ascertain that the fund is kept free of private sector interest including the tendency to flirt with a PPP`s model which we regard as problematic.

We share the idea that indeed where government has intervened it has been able to turn around key industries and thus saved many jobs that could have been lost in the system. The SACP is of the view that in order to deal effectively with our triple challenges our government must deepen its industrialization programme in order to build the productive capacity of our economy. Skills, innovation, technology and research capacity are crucial if we are to succeed in this front of industrialization and we must therefore invest more in that line.

We hope the tax review to be undertaken will once and for all make sure that the people of our country share in the countries mineral wealth. The SACP calls for the process to be inclusive and communities in the mining areas must be accorded an opportunity to explain the exploitative practices of the mining houses. If this is kept as a technical tax review process it may not ultimately address the social ills created by the mining houses.

The SACP applauds the tough stance that government has adopted in the fight against corruption. We cannot allow the few to continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority of our people and at the helm of the fiscus. In order for our corruption combatting measures to be seen as effective it is crucial that successful prosecutions of those involved is achieved. Sentences must be befitting of the treasonous act committed by those involved regardless of their perceived standing in society.

We are energised to continue with the SACP`s struggles with the people of Cuba, Western Sahara and Palestine after the remarks of the President. This commitment by government is indeed welcomed. The SACP will continue to struggle to highlight the plight of the people of Swaziland and elevate the significance of the struggle of the Kurds including the campaign for the release of Abdullah Ocalan.

The SACP on its part will continue to actively mobilise our people to be critical players in partnership with government to drive forward the programme to better the lives of our people.

Issued by the SACP

Malesela Maleka

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