By ZINE GEORGE and ZINGISA MVUMVU
The South African Communist Party in the Eastern Cape has rejected President Jacob Zuma’s political report, delivered at the ANC elective conference in Nasrec on Saturday, as manipulative and economical with the truth”.
Recently re-elected SACP EC secretary Xolile Nqatha said Zuma continued to blame everyone but himself and portray himself as the victim.
In his final political report Zuma took swipes at the judiciary, the SACP, private sector and the veterans league without a single mention of the Gupta family.
“For some strange reason he does not see anything wrong with his friends [the Guptas] who have long captured the state,” said Nqatha.
Nqatha said the “uninspiring speech” proved once again that Zuma was unwilling to repent and take responsibility.
To this end, Nqatha called on the people of South Africa to demand change and heighten pressure on Zuma to vacate the Union Buildings.
Said Nqatha: “Whatever President Zuma said should mobilise the people of South Africa to unite more and bring about change that can benefit the majority of the people instead of an elite clique.
“Zuma’s presidency is living proof that whoever becomes the new president should never be placed above the organisation.”
Nqatha said they were unfazed by the attacks Zuma unleashed on the SACP and Cosatu for barring him from speaking at their gatherings and calling for his head.
The SACP in the Eastern Cape still hold the view that Zuma should step aside as head of state.
According to Nqatha, the ANC and the alliance is in the state it is in today, as is the country, because of Zuma who refuses to take responsibility hence they believe he has overstayed his welcome.
“The alliance was dysfunctional under his leadership like never before. I cannot even begin with the blunders he has committed over the years which have not only affected the alliance but the country as well and that is something he appears not to grasp,” he said.
Zuma, in delivering his political report, highlighted what he believed were government’s achievements during his reign.
Among these, he said, was a stronger focus on the fight against HIV-Aids. During his time as president he said the government became the largest distributor of ARVs in the world and there was a decrease in new HIV infections. A decline in the child mortality rate was another highlight, he said.
Also, he praised his administration for delivering free basic education, an increased matric pass rate and he referred to his announcement at the start of day that there is to be free education at tertiary level starting from next year.
According to a TimesLive report he announced on Saturday that as from the start of 2018 children of the unemployed‚ social grant recipients‚ parents earning below minimum wage‚ domestic workers‚ farm workers‚ mine workers and entry level civil servants will be able to access public universities and TVET colleges for free. The president said students from households with a combined annual income of R350000 or less will have their TVET college or university studies fully subsidised for first-years in 2018 and fully phased in over five years. There will also be “no tuition fee increment for students from households earning up to R600000 a year during the 2018 academic year”.
According to Zuma, these achievements were proof that the ANC was still the government of the poor, adding that he was leaving the organisation in good state, albeit with challenges.