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ANC statement on debate on the State of the Nation Address

14 February 2017

Last Thursday, delivering his State of the Nation Address under the theme "Radical Transformation of the Economy, the President focused on the delivery of the 12 urgent tasks put forward by the ANC during its Lekgotla. The ANC Lekgotla characterized the Radical socio-economic transformation as fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

The President made bold and exciting pronouncements that demonstrate beyond any shadow of doubt that the efforts to push back the frontiers of poverty are yielding results. Millions of people continue to benefit from the state interventions to extend and strengthen the social security net. Leveraging the state's buying power to advance this radical transformation and kickstart the township economy is laudable and must find expression across all our Provinces. These bold steps give further impetus to the ANC's policy positions which seek to give expression to the Freedom Charter declaration that "All shall share in the country's wealth"

We remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate poverty and build a society where every citizen is not only equal before the law, but is equally economically emancipated. The sideshows of the opposition parties, which at time degenerate into utter barbarism and criminality will never detract us from the mandate given to us by the electorate. Such conduct should similarly not be celebrated or glorified as we have seen some analysts and media houses do in recent days. These parties have shamelessly exposed their disdain for democracy through criminal acts that undermine the very constitution they claim to defend and uphold.

It is an open secret that the alliance of convenience of the EFF and the DA is desperately driving an orchestrated plan to weaken our democracy and promote anarchy. South Africans will not be fooled by hooliganism masked as defense of the constitution. We have no doubt that our people will see through the smoke and mirrors of the EFF/DA Alliance despite their many denials that they are not in alliance.

We call on Parliament's Presiding Officers to act firmly and without hesitation in protecting the interests of millions of South Africans who rely on the elected representatives to advance laws and policies aimed at improving their lives and delivering a better life for all. These South Africans expect of Parliament to provide an opportunity to the President to address the nation and account to the citizenry on how the government is responding to their plight. The ANC calls for an immediate ban of makarabas inside the chamber of Parliament as these have been used as weapons against fellow MPs. This thuggish behavior is rather unfortunate and expose the inability of the EFF to effectively engage on content by readily creating anarchy as a diversion.

The EFF has failed to garner sufficient support in the polls to govern and are now seized with the project of paralyzing the state and undermine the institutions of democracy. We have no doubt, that the EFF has nothing to offer South Africa and resorting to violence and propagating anarchy will not endear them to the voters.

We call on our Members of Parliament to rise above the petty insults and name calling of the EFF and engage in the debate on the President's State of the Nation Address with dignity, always focusing on service delivery and efforts to improve the lives of our people.

Issued by the African National Congress

Zizi Kodwa
082 330 4910
National Spokesperson