Govt, SA must work together to achieve goals

Monday, February 9, 2009

Parliament - Deputy President Baleka Mbete says government can not achieve all of its goals alone and that South Africans and government must work together.

"We are in the trenches, through many of our programmes, combating poverty, inequality and unemployment; promoting shared economic growth; and closing the gap between our First and Second economies.

"But there is just so much we can achieve on our own, but more when we work together," said Ms Mbete, addressing the National Assembly during a Parliamentary debate on President Kgalema Motlanthe's State of the Nation Address on Friday.

She said Mr Motlanthe's address had challenged South Africans to have hope for the future and as a country.

"We know from our struggle against apartheid and the last 15 years of freedom that the source of resilience is our collective strength as a nation working together for a better life for all.

"We should be able to claim what we have achieved as a nation on the basis that our success is the result of the actions of each one of us, working towards the same goals," she said.

She said government would not sit back and put the fate of the country in the invisible hand of the markets. "We are a developmental state - we lead where we ought to, facilitate where we must, and even regulate where necessary."

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi told Parliament the economic meltdown had made the road ahead harsh and difficult for many South Africans, particularly the poor.

The education system of the country also needs to be reconstructed, he said, adding that a recent World Bank report highlighted that 50 percent of school leavers were applying for jobs that did not yet exist.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa, in response to the President Motlanthe's SONA, expressed the idea that an Economic Indaba needs to be called at which a macro-economic policy can be discussed drawing out a plan for how much government intervention is required during this time of economic turbulence.

Leader of the Independent Democrats (ID), Patricia De Lille, highlighted that what is necessary is not government privatisation of sectors, but rather greater competition.

"We need to open up key sectors to greater competition, like the telecommunications sector. It is not privatisation that is necessary, but competition," the ID leader said.