The African National Congress election manifesto was “long on promises and short on credibility”, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.
“Jacob Zuma’s address today was no different. As always, it was long on promises, but short on credibility. Every one of Zuma’s utterances is contradicted by the experience in reality,” said Zille of the manifesto launched in East London on Saturday.
She said Zuma’s promise to fight corruption would not happen.
“This comes from a man who faces a charge of 783 counts of alleged corruption totalling R4,2-million. If Zuma was serious about the fight against corruption, he would step down as the president of the ANC until his name was cleared in court,” she added.
Zille also said that it was not true that the ANC-led government had excelled in fighting poverty and creating jobs.
“About 38% of South Africans remain without a job at all, let alone a decent one. Two out of every five South Africans continue to live in poverty,” said Zille.
She said that Zuma’s promise to use state-owned enterprises to create a better life for all people would also not happen.
“Fifteen years after ANC rule, these institutions are unable to deliver on their basis mandates. The continuing threat of rolling blackouts by Eskom is just one example of how inefficient these institutions have become,” she said.
Zille also said her party had welcomed 70 ANC members to its Limpopo’s Namagkale branch.
‘Jobs for pals’
The ANC said on Saturday it planned to ensure that the practice of ‘jobs for pals” was something of the past and said it would review the government tendering system to ensure that it is not abused.
Zuma addressed an estimated 70 000 ANC supporters who gathered at the East London Absa stadium and the Jan Smuts stadium.
‘The ANC will step up measures in the fight against corruption within its ranks and the state. This will include measures to review the tendering system, to ensure that ANC members in business, public servants and elected representatives do not abuse the state for corrupt practices. It is imperative to ensure that politicians and civil servants do not tamper with the adjudication of tenders. Measures will be taken to ensure transparent process of the tendering system as well as ensuring much stronger accountability of the public servants involved in tendering process.”
He also said that public servants must be deployed in ‘correct positions” and if this is not the case the government must implement measures through training and redeployment.
‘This means we don’t deploy and redeploy our friends,” Zuma said.
Meanwhile, the Congress of the People (Cope) needs disciplined men and women and will not buy votes at election time like other political parties, its president Mosiuoa Lekota on Saturday.
“Our drive is to cultivate a united and disciplined nation of men and women to play a part every day to make South Africa better … we will not buy votes at election time.”
Lekota was addressing scores of supporters at Durban’s Umlazi area on Saturday.
He said members must not only help this generation but train others to help the generations to come.
Lekota said South Africa had only become free when former president Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
“All of us spent time in prison and this cannot be the badge to run the country. The time has come, the honeymoon is finished. Now we need to service the needs of our people.”