Zuma’s answers on pressing issues awaited

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: President Jacob Zuma addresses the National Assembly -
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: President Jacob Zuma addresses the National Assembly –

While all eyes will be firmly on President Jacob Zuma when he addresses the nation tomorrow amid EFF threats of disruption, opposition parties in the Eastern Cape are expecting the president to detail how the government plans to deal with the Eskom crisis, corruption and unemployment.

Julius Malema’s EFF has vowed to disrupt Zuma if he does not say when he will pay back money spent on his Nkandla homestead non-security upgrades as public protector Thuli Madonsela recommended.

But Zuma has previously said he was not responsible for the upgrades and would not pay any money back.

The DA, UDM and COPE have also raised the need to address the country’s education, healthcare and crime crises, while the EFF only wants Zuma to heed Madonsela’s recommendations.

DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said the party was interested in hearing measures the government would employ to deal with the energy crisis.

The party also wanted to know why Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan wanted to amalgamate municipalities.

“South Africans are not interested in hearing about democracy in 1994 or what happened before. [We want] to know what [the government is] going to do about the energy crisis and the looming water crisis. Education is still one of our main concerns because our results are still poor.

“We would like to hear what he will do about the chaos in our security service. The ANC never does anything about crime – everybody’s enemy in South Africa – except fire people who are trying to combat it,” Trollip said.

UDM provincial chairman Mongameli Bobani was doubtful that Zuma would say anything new, but was hoping he would address the issues of load-shedding and corruption.

“They must not blame apartheid for load-shedding. I expect the president to tell the nation how they will address load-shedding. It is crippling businesses and the economy.

“We would like to hear how he would address corruption, and that includes Nkandla, but he never says anything new and makes the same promises.”

COPE acting provincial secretary Sipho Mkwayi said: “We want him to talk about the electricity crisis. Businesses are already closing down.”

EFF MPL Dingezweni Peter said that until Zuma said when he would pay back the money, his party was not interested in anything else he had to say.

Late yesterday, EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed that the EFF would attempt to question Zuma.

He said a proposed peace deal with the ANC had been scuppered by what Ndlozi called ANC arrogance.

-Mkhululi Ndamase

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