The veteran politician said on Tuesday the government should be prioritising growing the country’s industrial basis, work economy, and its own citizens to stem the tide of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“The pie is just not big enough for everyone to eat,” he said.
“Inequality is increasing because of the redirecting of resources. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Even though he thanked President Jacob Zuma for clarifying what he meant by radical economic transformation during his Sona speech, Buthelezi said the notion of “white monopoly capital” is now the only scapegoat for failed leadership on economic policy by the ANC.
Zuma’s speech last week Thursday largely focused on land reform, radical economic transformation, corruption and higher education.
The debate took place during the joint sitting of MPs from the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
The EFF was not in parliament on Tuesday as they were automatically suspended for five working days following the brawls and heckling in the house that defiled the formal opening of the national legislature.
Here are the highlights from the first day of the debate on the president’s State of the Nation Address debate.
- The time has come to restore the dignity of Parliament. – Radebe
- South Africa needs leadership that is devoted and dedicated, capable and committed, and not self-serving. – Radebe
- Two weeks ago, we heard how 94 patients died of starvation, dehydration, diarrhea, pneumonia. This ANC government under this president, did that. – Maimane
- The ANC has turned from liberator of the people to the enemy of the people. – Maimane
- The ANC government is ‘murderous’, cares about power only – Maimane
- Black South Africans must be brought to the centre of wealth-creation and wealth distribution. – ANC MP Elsie Mmathulare Coleman
- White monopoly capital is now the only scapegoat for failed leadership on economic policy. – IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi
- We must reignite hope. We are fast reaching a point where nothing we do in the future will be able to undo the damage. – Buthelezi
- The UDM acknowledges the great strides South Africa has made since 1994 but we see an increase in politics of patronage, corruption, widening inequality, chronic poverty, and an ineffective provincial government. – Holomisa
- The burden of economic challenges fall hardest on women especially in rural areas. – ANC MP Simphiwe George Mthimunye
- This government does not govern. It is paralysed, it is dysfunctional & uncaring. It mops up instead of preventing. – DA MP Wilmot James
- Economic transformation is not for itself, but to transform the social conditions of our people. – Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti
16: 15 Now on the podium Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.
16: 16 Nkwinti: “The road is long and full of difficulties. At times we wander from the path and must turn back. At other times we go too fast and separate ourselves from the masses. On occasions we go too slow and feel the hot breath of those treading on our heels.
16:17 Nkwinti: “In our zeal as revolutionists we try to move ahead as fast as possible, clearing the way but knowing we must draw our sustenance from the mass and that it can advance more rapidly only if we inspire it by our example.”
16:18 Nkwinti: The President isn’t frightened by the EFF but he is leading a revolutionary movement. Ours is a constitutional revolution.
16: 19 Nkwinti: Economic transformation is not for itself, but to transform the social conditions of our people.
16:20 Nkwinti: Radical socio-economic transformation denotes a fundamental change in the structure, systems and patterns of ownership.
16:31 Nkwinti says a bill dealing with reducing the costs for the ‘small person buying land’ will be going to Cabinet tomorrow.
16: 32 Nkwinti: “I was a worker on this farm. Now I am a co-owner on this farm” Qouting guest in the audience who has benefitted from restitution.
16: 33 Nkwinti: That is not happening in the DA run Western Cape. The DA sells government land to the people.
16: 39 MPs go on 15 minutes break, proceedings now suspended by NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise.
16: 07 Now speaking DA MP Wilmot James.
16: 08 James says Speaker Mbete acted like a “small minded partisan person” last week. during the Sona.
16: 09 James: This government does not govern. It is paralysed, it is dysfunctional & uncaring. It mops up instead of preventing.
16:10 James: The DA offers a simpler, more practical health care model that requires no additional taxes.
16: 11 James: Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi talks a lot, but is incapable of deep structural reform.
16: 12 James: I am hopeful that change is coming. Change that will help address our country’s quadruple burden of disease.
16: 13 James: Zuma simply acts to keep the lid on a stagnating country imperiled by his corruption and cunning militarism.
16: 14 James critiques health system’s management of internship placement for graduates; he cites the Wits University Occupational Health as an example.
16: 15 James states Nelson Mandela refused to see Jacob Zuma when he first returned from exile.
15: 50 On the pdium ANC MP Simphiwe George Mthimunye – member of the NCOP.
15: 51 Mthimunye outlines how rural development is informed by land transformation which ensures food security & productivity.
15: 52 He also outlined how infrastructure plans will help micro-producers, from transport to storage & fencing, education, etc…
15: 56 Mkhongi: We must develop a concrete strategy to incentivize undergraduate students to study until they reach their PHD levels.
15: 57 Mthimunye: The burden of economic challenges fall hardest on women especially in rural areas.
15: 59 Mthimunye: Municipalities and private sector must partner on establishing centres for skills development in rural areas.
15: 03 Now presiding over the debate is NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise.
15: 44 Now speaking UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.
15: 45 Holomisa: The UDM acknowledges the great strides South Africa has made since 1994 but we see an increase in politics of patronage, corruption, widening inequality, chronic poverty, and an ineffective provincial government.
15: 46 Holomisa: It would be interesting to know OR Tambo’s thoughts on the so-called leaders who have dumped the masses and fend for themselves.
15: 47 Holomisa wonders about Oliver Tambo’s view of the current ANC leaders; suggests policy conference won’t solve problems.
15: 48 Holomisa: We cannot be led by people who are spending government’s money by force, thieves. We cannot.
15: 40 Now on the podium National Freedom Party (NFP) MP Sibusiso Christopher Mncwabe.
15: 41 Mncwabe: government must understand that our students have committed themselves to the cause of free education.
15: 42 Mncwabe: We call on president today to impress on fee commission the urgent need to speed up their inquiry.
15: 43 Mncwabe: NFP is concerned that nothing much was said about cooperatives.
15: 23 On the podium ANC MP Bongani Mkongi.
15: 24 Mkongi: He says he is not surprised that apartheid tactics were coming back. They [DA] called us a lost generation because we were on the verge of victory .
15: 25 Mkongisays he fought for this freedom, he was in the trenches of the revolution.
15: 26 Mkongi: youth of this country must refuse to allow a white man in black skin to stand here and demonise them.
15: 27 DA raises a point of order on racial stereotyping of Maimane. DA’s Chief Whip in Parliament John Steenhuisen asks Mkongi to withdraw calling Maimane a white man in black skin.
15: 27 Mkongi: It is not surprising that in the year of OR Tambo, the DA will stand here and grandstand.
15: 28 Mkhongi: political freedom will be meaningless without economic freedom which found articulation in 1969 strategy and tactics of the ANC.
15: 29 Mkhongi: It is imperative for any society and government that made the strategic fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment.
15: 09 Now on the podium IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
15: 11 Buthelezi also starts by paying tribute to OR Tambo.
15: 12 Buthelezi says that he was warned by the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to move during the Sona “because things are about to get rough.”
15: 12 Buthelezi thanks President Zuma for explaining what the ANC means by radical economic transformation.
15: 13 Buthelezi: I have survived numerous assassination attempts. I am not afraid.
15: 14 Buthelezi: Our people know it’s about to get rough, and they don’t know where to go.
15: 14 Buthelezi: We needed to grow our industrial basis, work economy, citizens. The pie is just not big enough for everyone to eat.
15: 15 Buthelezi: White monopoly capital is now the only scapegoat for failed leadership on economic policy.
15: 16 Buthelezi: inequality is increasing because of the redirecting of resources. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
15: 17 Buthelezi: I must applaud the reprioritizing of R32 billion to support education.
15: 18 Buthelezi: SA is facing a water crisis and we need the president’s direction on what is being done regarding this.
15: 19 Buthelezi: We must reignite hope. We are fast reaching a point where nothing we do in the future will be able to undo the damage.
14: 56 Now on the podium ANC MP Elsie Mmathulare Coleman.
14: 57 Coleman: Oliver Tambo’s spirit resonates with the hearts and souls of the many South Africans who remain yearnful for socio-economic transformation.
14: 58 Coleman: Let me in the same vain, define what the ANC means by Radical Socio-economic transformation.
14: 59 Coleman: In the economy, we refer to ownership, control and management of large and small companies.
15: 00 Coleman: Black South Africans must be brought to the centre of wealth-creation and wealth distribution.
15: 01 Coleman: Our people’s capacity to use innovation in business, to run competitive enterprises, to satisfy consumer needs, must be encouraged.
15: 02 Coleman: Major hindrance to socio-economic justice in this country are the high levels of concentration and anti-competitive behaviour.
15: 03 Coleman: Despite the excellent work of our Competition authorities, this situation makes the economy a haven for persistent collusion.
15: 03 Coleman: The Competition Authorities & the criminal justice fraternity will work hand-in-hand to effect the criminal provisions of the Act.
15: 04 Coleman: That should send a warning to those involved or are planning to, desist from this harmful behaviour.
15: 04 Coleman: Parliament welcomes the call to strengthen the competition act in order to deal with high level of concentration.
15: o6 Coleman: Investing in infrastructure is crucial to achieving the sustainable development and the empowerment of our communities.
14: 37 Maimane: This wasn’t the State of the Nation. It was the State AGAINST the Nation.
ANC one side; the people on the other.
— ALETTAHA☺♥☀ (@ALETTAHA) February 14, 2017
14: 38 Maimane: SA will never forget what happened on Thursday & never forget the reaction of the man at the centre of it all.
We will never forget how he laughed.
14: 38 Maimane: How he laughed at the violence visited upon Members of this House.
14: 39 Maimane: While the connected few gorge on caviar & champagne, the youth of SA are yet to taste the fruits of freedom.
14: 39 Maimane: They are the ‘born-frees’, but they are everywhere in chains, forgotten by the ANC.
14: 40 Maimane: The #LostGeneration is the 3 million South Africans under 25 who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.
14: 41 Maimane: R130m of public money went to enriching two ANC cronies while 31 farm workers went unpaid & a productive farm fell into disrepair.
14: 41 Maimane: The youth in SA want a future they have a say in. They don’t want to be dependent on govt in a shrinking economy.
14: 42 Maimane: We have started mapping out a Rescue Plan for the future we believe in – a Rescue Plan for our #LostGeneration.
14: 43 Maimane: We will build a lean, efficient state tasked with creating opportunities for people.
14: 44 Maimane: We will invest in training existing teachers & recruit more teachers with excellent skills, particularly in maths and science.
14: 45 Maimane: We’ll explore the feasibility of bringing back teacher training colleges.
14: 46 Maimane: We will look at ways to give parents a greater say over education by exploring the feasibility of a school voucher system.
14: 47 Maimane: We will aim to give matriculants who don’t qualify for university a free year of technical & vocational training.
14: 48 Maimane: One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to employing young people is lack of experience in the workplace.
14: 49 Maimane: We will look to partly privatise SOEs by offering shares to employees & excluded SAns, as well as to the private sector.
14: 50 Maimane: We will start a Jobs & Justice fund to give entrepreneurs access to the capital they need.
14: 32 Leader of the opposition – DA leader Mmusi Maimane now speaking.
14: 33 Maimane: As we reflect on the state of our nation, we must ask: How many enjoy the freedom Madiba spoke of 27 years ago?
14: 33 Maimane: 2 weeks ago, we heard how 94 patients died of starvation, dehydration, diarrhoea, pneumonia.
14: 34 Maimane: This ANC government – under this president – did that.
14: 35 Maimane: From the Marikana 34 to the Esidemeni 94, this government has turned against the people of this country.
Tomorrow the Health Ombudsman will brief Parliament's health committee on his report about the deaths of 94 mentally-ill compatriots.
— Scapegoat (@AndiMakinana) February 14, 2017
14: 36 Maimane: The only thing the ANC cares about is power. It cares about getting rich.
14: 37 Maimane: The ANC has turned from liberator of the people to the enemy of the people.
14: 24 Radebe: It is only fair that we allow the official processes to unfold and give space to the families to begin the process of healing.
14: 24 Radebe: President Zuma’s SONA is underpinned by the NDP as a bedrock for building a better and more prosperous South Africa by 2030.
14: 24 Radebe: The NDP is an overarching plan that is aimed at ensuring that all South Africans attain a decent standard of living.
14: 25 Radebe: Parliamentarians must put the needs of the people first and not advance their personal aspirations at the expense of the public.
14: 26 Radebe: They must be compatriots who want to efficiently deliver the much-needed services to the nation.
14: 27 Radebe: The NDP is very emphatic on accountable leadership.
14: 28 Radebe: South Africa needs leadership that is devoted and dedicated, capable and committed, and not self-serving.
14: 28 Radebe: Let us put South Africa first. Let us put our people first.
14: 28 Radebe: It is clear that freedom is not always synonymous with equality and this disjuncture is quite prevalent in our society.
14: 29 Radebe: The gross inequalities in our socio-economic condition stifle growth in various sectors of our society.
14: 30 Radebe: This is an unacceptable disparity especially twenty-three years after the dawn of freedom and democracy.
14: 30 Radebe: Most black people are still economically deprived and dissatisfied with the economic gains of our freedom and democracy.
14: 31 Radebe: Despite more than R600bn of BEE transactions from 1995 to 2015 amongst the top 40 JSE shares, this has not benefitted black people.
14:00 MPs making their way into the National Assembly for the, first up is the Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
14:07 The Citizen has reliably learnt that the Congress of the people will not be participating in the two-day debate. The party says the president has broken his oath of office. Its MP Willie Madisha was the first person to removed from parliament during last week’s Sona.
14: 09 Speaker Baleka Mbete is presiding over the debate.
14: 10 MPs observed a moment of silence for the Life Esidimeni patients who died while in ill-equipped NGOs. The DA fought for the moment of silence during the Sona.
14: 14 Speaker Mbete addresses the following issues:
- The Speaker says the gas or a powdery substance released in the gallery during the Sona was sent for testing and the results are still outstanding.
- She says the powdery substance was dropped in a small packet and it was not teargas nor was it pepper spray.
- She says Parliament has referred the matter of the “cable ties” raised by the EF to the police for investigation.
- On use of unparliamentary and unacceptable language in the house – Mbete says the presiding officers didn’t hear it. She called on MPs to behave like leaders.
14:15 Minister Radebe now on the podium.
14: 16 Radebe: A young boy who had the glorious opportunity of ushering in our Head of State with a poetic rendition, was drowned out.
14: 17 Radebe: The President of the Republic, His Excellency J.G. Zuma, had to wait for more than an hour to articulate his plans for our country.
14: 18 Radebe: We must find our moral compass and remember that we are all here because we are mandated by the voting public.
14: 19 Radebe: We are accountable to the people of South Africa who have entrusted us with the responsibility of leading them in our democracy.
14: 19 Radebe: The members of this house must pride themselves in their excellent service to the people of this country.
14: 20 Radebe: The time has come for all of us to restore the dignity and the decorum of this prestigious house.
14: 21 Radebe: Our parliament must return to its former glory as a dignified space for honourable members to have candid debates.
14:22 Radebe: We are deeply saddened by the senseless deaths of 94 patients at Esidimeni Mental Hospital.
14: 23 Radebe: The Minister of Health will pronounce on the position of government regarding this matter.