The African National Congress wishes its public representatives well as they begin with post-SONA debates this afternoon.
The much anticipated post-SONA debates from the benches of the majority party – the ANC – in the National Assembly – will be located within the context of the key undertakings made by President Cyril Ramaphosa to stimulate the economy, consolidate a forward looking social compact and inclusive growth.
The ANC expects its Members of Parliament who will be participating in the debate to assist the nation to further engage with the specific plans and interventions aimed at moving South Africa further forward.
The President made a bold and honest acknowledgement that the country is confronted by the stark reality of an economy that has not grown in over a decade. As a result the stubborn triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality still persist. Despite the harsh impact of the current economic conditions, especially on poor South Africans, the President provided the nation with hope and reason for optimism arising from the concrete achievements registered by the country.
There is general agreement that the state of the economy as elaborated by the President – no meaningful growth, deepening unemployment, state owned enterprises in distress and public finances under severe pressure – is having a profound impact on the lives of all South Africans, but especially the poor.
At the same time, the President reminded us of what is going right – improvements in education outcomes, more children with access to early childhood education, more young people having access to state funding in universities and TVET colleges; the successes of our national HIV and AIDS programmes; – as well as the boundless opportunities of a young population with their energy and innovation; our extensive infrastructure as a country, and our robust laws and institutions.
If we accept this as fact, then as a nation we must engage on the next steps outlined by SONA to address both the challenges and opportunities, working together. This includes engaging and becoming part of such initiatives as the district development model, the building of a new university for information technology; the industry master plans to create growth, economic opportunities and jobs; large scale projects to tackle youth unemployment; improving energy security; building infrastructure and basic services; fixing public finances and building an ethical and capable state, to mention but a few.
These and other initiatives mentioned by the President should occupy the conversations of all sectors of society, and as post SONA debates begins today in Parliament, we must all prepare to put shoulder to the wheel to get South Africa working.
We wish all our MP’s well and the best of luck – through them in Parliament the ANC Lives and the ANC Leads.
As South Africans, we must acknowledge that the challenges confronting us are immense, but certainly not insurmountable. Working together, all these challenges can be overcome.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
071 623 4975