Following comments from the leaders of the opposition parties in parliament yesterday, that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s proposals for summits and conferences to address challenges faced by the country showed that the state leader does not have a comprehensive plan, he, during his response to the Sona debate, said he does have a plan.
“We have a plan. I have a plan and it is the National Development Plan. That is our plan,” Ramaphosa said.
EFF leader, Julius Malema was one of the critics of Ramaphosa’s proposals for summits and conferences to address social challenges, seek ways to create jobs and address unemployment and deal with tax collection, to name a few.
“And I come before, yes, calling for summits, calling for all those consultative processes because our people want to be involved, they want to participate,” he said.
The president said the country has a history of using collaboration and partnerships between all sectors of society to overcome difficulties and come to resolutions that the nation has faced.
He added that the trade union movement in the country called for a jobs summit because the federation movement that represents workers wants a platform where it can engage with government, business and communities to “chart a way forward on how we can create jobs”.
“Now a clever government will heed that call and say yes, that is what we want to do,” Ramaphosa said.
The president said a social sector summit will bring together all the skilled, insightful, experienced and capable citizens to address critical challenges that beleaguer the country.
“What we are about is to build consensus. We want to invite all South Africans to participate, but more than that, we want South Africans to lend a hand,” Ramaphosa said.
Emphasising his point on a collaborative and joint effort between all sectors within the country, the president said it is important to remember how the Freedom Charter had been written in yesteryear.
“How volunteers through the length and the breadth of our country spread out throughout the country to collect the demands of the people of our country for discussion at the Congress of the People. We should remember how we wrote the Constitution that we now today call the best Constitution in the world. We had and received 1.7 million submissions from ordinary South Africans, no wonder South Africans regard this Constitution as their very own,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the meeting of people who are clear on the objectives they seek to achieve should never be dismissed or discouraged.
“What do we want from an investment conference? I would like to have the best companies in the country, the best companies in the continent, as Minister Naledi Pandor said, and I would want to have the best companies in the world to get together to make commitments on investments that are going to create jobs for our people,” Ramaphosa said.