National 13.9.2016 07:01 am

Zuma faces his first post-election grilling

President Jacob Zuma. Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lerato Maduna

President Jacob Zuma. Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lerato Maduna

The sideshow called parliament is back in full swing and the president’s appearance is likely to lead to sparks again.

President Jacob Zuma will answer questions in the National Assembly today for the first time since the local government elections on August 3.

The last time Zuma was in the House was in May, when EFF MPs were forcibly ejected by protection officers. DA leader Mmusi Maimane will ask Zuma how the new presidential state-owned companies’ coordinating council will interact with the existing interministerial committee on state-owned enterprises.

The creation of the coordinating council, which will oversee the country’s state-owned enterprises with Zuma as the chairperson, was seen as an attempt to neutralise Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been the chairperson of an interministerial committee on state-owned entities since December 2014.

Maimane will also grill Zuma about the plans of action the government has in place to avoid a ratings downgrade and to ensure that the poor are not adversely affected, that jobs are created and that investors still see South Africa as a safe, desirable investment destination.

Maimane yesterday said he would ask Zuma to explain and clarify his questionable new role at the helm of crippled state-owned entities.

“President Zuma is known to evade accountability during parliamentary question-and-answer sessions,” Maimane said. “He should make a clear statement on the Cabinet wars and how he plans to end the impasse and get the government focused on avoiding the downgrade.

“Stability and policy coherence at the highest levels of government are necessary for building a growing and an inclusive economy.

“The time for laughing in the face of serious questions is over; the stakes for the country are far too high.”

ANC MP Humphrey Mmemezi will ask Zuma about the projects that will be implemented in the next two years by the interministerial committee on investment and how communities will benefit from the specified projects.

After the question-and-answer session with the president, the National Assembly is scheduled to debate the challenges facing SAA.

The EFF proposed the debate as an urgent matter and is expected to lead it.

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