Clive Ndou
2 minute read
11 Apr 2014
7:30 am

Constitution not cast in stone: ANC

Clive Ndou

The ANC has defended Zuma's call for certain provisions of the Constitution to be amended to speed up service delivery, saying the document was not "cast in stone".

President Jacob Zuma arriving in Hammersdale, KwaZulu-Natal yesterday. He was warmly received by residents. Picture: Supplied.

“The Constitution has already been amended several times – it is a living document and where it is felt that it is an impediment to service delivery, then it should certainly be looked at,” ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said yesterday.

Addressing thousands of ANC supporters in Mariannhill outside Durban on Wednesday, Zuma called on ANC supporters to vote for the ruling party in large numbers to enable the organisation to get a two-thirds majority at the polls so that it could change those provisions of the Constitution that made it difficult for the ANC-led government to meet the needs of citizens.

“Persuade your friends and neighbours, even those that belong to other political parties, to vote for the ANC so that we can get an overwhelming majority that will enable us to change parts of the Constitution delaying the delivery of services,” he said.

While Khoza was not aware which provisions of the Constitution Zuma was referring to, he said it was strange that people were turning the president’s pronouncement into a controversy.

“For example, the DA is on record as saying it was not happy with the current party list proportional representation system forming part of our Constitution, and yet there were no headlines on the opposition’s pronouncements.

“Our belief is that the Constitution is there to serve the needs of our people and there is nothing wrong in proposing changes in order to ensure the needs of our people were best served,” he said.

Zuma has hinted on several occasions that the ANC would change the country’s Constitution, but had not spelt out clauses of the document his party wanted amended.

However, a senior member of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, who did not want his name revealed, however, said that Zuma’s message was consistent with the ruling party’s thinking in its second transition documents. “There is a dominant view within the party that the second transition should also be about revisiting the so-called sunset clauses.

“There were compromises made in 1994 around the issues of private property rights, mines and banks. The ruling party’s position is that these clauses were now outdated and needed to be scrapped.” – cliven@citizen.co.za