SACP denounces Ramaphosa's 'nine lost years' comment

FILE IMAGE: SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
FILE IMAGE: SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Image: Mabuti Kali © Sowetan/Sunday World

The South African Communist Party has rubbished claims that former president Jacob Zuma’s years in government were wasted years, arguing that a lot was achieved.

The party says, however, a lot more could have been done if it weren’t for state capture.

“The SACP is of the view that it would be incorrect to describe the past nine years as the ‘nine lost years’. A lot of achievements were made by the ANC-led government over the past decade,” said SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande was speaking to the media on Sunday following the party’s three-day central committee meeting which was held in Johannesburg.

Without mentioning Zuma by name, Nzimande said some of the achievements the former head of state had done was to improve the standard of living of ordinary citizens.

“These included huge investments into infrastructure, increased life expectancy largely because of the rolling out of HIV treatment and increased investments into education and skills developments,” said Nzimande.

His remarks follow President Cyril Ramaphosa, on a number of platforms, referring to the period from 2009-2018 as a lost decade.

During a trip to Davos, Switzerland, last month, Ramaphosa and finance minister Tito Mboweni made similar comments that under Zuma’s tenure, those years were wasted.

However, Zuma, through an open letter on Twitter just days after those comments, took a swipe at his successor and Mboweni, saying that the reference to his time in government as “nine lost years” was political dishonesty.

Nzimande said although Zuma achieved many things under his administration, a lot more could have been done.

“However, there have been wasted opportunities over the past nine years as a result of the corporate state capture agenda that crept in and gained increased precedence, and the governance decay, mismanagement and looting of public resources and national wealth associated with the agenda."

Nzimande said state capture brought a number of state-owned enterprises to their knees and the SACP’s central committee reaffirmed that those responsible for such looting should be held accountable.

 

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