Mantashe says DA call for dissolution of cabinet is ‘racist divide and rule’
ANC national chairperson and energy and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has hit back at the DA’s motion for the dissolution of the cabinet.
According to Mantashe, the DA manoeuvre was an old tactic to make some black people feel as though they are superior.
Mantashe said this on Tuesday during the debate on the state of the nation address (Sona) after a motion of no confidence moved by DA leader John Steenhuisen on Monday.
Steenhuisen’s motion called for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet to be dissolved, with only the president himself staying put.
With the DA saying it does not have confidence in an ANC government but does have confidence in the ANC president, Mantashe said this was “divide and conquer 101”.
Mantashe said the move would not succeed.
“Yesterday we were honoured by the right-wing blue party [the DA] asking for our heads instead of focusing on our ability to execute,” said Mantashe.
“This reminded [one] of an event that took place in 1975 when I started as a mine worker. There were people called shift bosses and when they saw you as a team leader, they would say, ‘You are the better black, the rest are fools.’
“The DA took us to divide and rule 101 yesterday with the president is theirs, the ANC is not theirs. When you get racism emboldened, it calls on us as revolutionaries to recollect our energy and appreciate we are swimming against the stream.”
Mantashe also took shots at the DA for being engaged in a “polarised energy debate”, particularly on the question of transition from high carbon emission to green energy.
The minister came under heavy criticism late last year after he said SA cannot be bullied by developed nations to abandon new coal power projects in favour of renewable energy.
The DA has been among those leading the charge in the offensive against Mantashe.
There is nothing called instant energy. It is not coffee you just mix with water and drink.Energy minister Gwede Mantashe
The energy and mineral resources minister said the DA had no clue what they were talking about and had limited knowledge on the subject matter.
He said the transition from carbon emissions would take time.
“Economist Chris Hart advised the DA that if you close coal immediately, it will mean fewer jobs and the country would be relegated into a fourth world economy. They cannot listen to that because they cannot read,” he said.
“There is nothing called instant energy. It is not coffee you just mix with water and drink. You build the infrastructure and it takes years and you connect to the transmission.
“The 2,600 megawatts from renewable energy was announced in October and we are hoping they will start connecting. It does not mean there will be 2,600 megawatts next week. It means building the infrastructure to connect the 2,600 megawatts has started.”
Mantashe said the DA's involvement in the debate was ill-informed.
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