President Jacob Zuma has on Wednesday reinforced government’s message that there needs to be radical economic transformation.
He has been answering questions in the National Assembly.
“As we mentioned in the State of the Nation Address, income inequality and economic exclusion of majority of our people from the mainstream of the economy, cannot be sustained and has to be attended to seriously.”
Zuma was asked about unemployment and why job creation is slow.
He answered by saying there had been major progress since 1994.
“The country has moved forward and, yes, we have a good story to tell. I think if you make a comparison between South Africa and any other country on the continent, you are not going to find a country that could identify the progress we have made in 20 years.”
Earlier, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu appealed for President Zuma to be allowed to answer questions without disruption in the house.
Mthembu’s appeal follows the chaos that erupted during Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in February, when the Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were manhandled out of the chamber after making multiple objections.
Mthembu said it’s a requirement of the Constitution that the President come and answer MPs’ questions.
“Indeed we have acted as Parliament to give effect to that constitutional injunction of holding the executive and the head of the executive accountable. I just hope there’ll be no party in the house today that will try and block the President from answering questions – because it will then make a mockery of what we do here”
The EFF’s position is that Zuma is an illegitimate president as the Constitutional Court found he broke his oath of office over the Nkandla scandal.
Leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane wants Zuma to spell out what action he’s taking to ensure members of his executive display accountability, integrity and respect for the public and the law.
Building on this theme, the Inkatha Freedom Party wants to know what steps Zuma plans to take against Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini in light of the social grants saga.
The National Freedom Party is set to ask what Zuma's plans are for former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe and whether he will be made a Cabinet minister given the findings of the Public Protector's report on state capture.
ANC MPs will give Zuma an easier ride, with questions to be asked about the role of industry and organised labour in growing the economy and the national infrastructure programme.