As the 8th May comes closer leading up to South Africa’s sixth democratic election, political parties are making the most of these last few hours.
State capture inquiries and the passing of transparency legislation requiring both donors and parties to disclose donations has had a chilling effect on the flow of cash. Resulting in some of the most revered and controversial quotes from the country’s top leaders making headlines.
EFF leader Julius Malema at the launch of the party’s 2019 elections manifesto on the 2nd February gave a speech addressing the revelations of the state capture inquiry.
ANC leaders implicated in Bosasa corruption:
“That thief called [Jacob] Zuma must be arrested and taken to jail. Thereafter we’re going to go to [Gwede] Mantashe. Thereafter we will go for Nomvula Mokonyane, who was eating stolen frozen chicken. We are going for them one by one.”
Education by force:
“Our education is going to be free and compulsory. Compulsory means that you’re going to go to school by force. Whether you like it or not, you will go to school. If we find you in the streets of Soshanguve during school hours, ‘Tsotsi, what do you want in the streets during school hours?’ We will put you in a van because education is free.
Data costs in South Africa:
“Data is expensive in South Africa. You buy MTN data now and when you wake up tomorrow it has grown legs.”
Nationalization of mines:
“They came into the country, took the diamonds and left us a big hole. What are we to do with a big hole? We want the world’s greatest diamond cutting institution in the Northern Cape”.
ANC whilst delivering the state of the nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa focused on the topics and issues most prevalent to date.
“Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device. We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multi-grade, multi-phase, farm and rural schools. Already, 90% of textbooks in high enrollment subjects across all grades and all workbooks have been digitized”.
“As government, we have decided that the requirement for work experience at entry-level in state institutions will be done away with. Our young people need to be given a real head start in the world of work. They should not face barriers and hindrances as they seek to find work”.
“The action we take now to end corruption and hold those responsible to account will determine the pace and trajectory of the radical social and economic transformation we seek. Evidence of criminal activity that emerges [from the commissions of inquiry] must be evaluated by the criminal justice system. Where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently.
“Security of energy supply is an absolute imperative. Eskom is in crisis and the risks it poses to South Africa are great. It could severely damage our economic and social development ambitions. We need to take bold decisions and decisive action. The consequences may be painful, but they will be even more devastating if we delay. To bring credibility to the turnaround and to position South Africa’s power sector for the future, we shall immediately embark on a process of establishing three separate entities – Generation, Transmission and Distribution – under Eskom Holdings.”
DA during its elections manifesto, Maimane Mmusi criticized the ANC for major corruption scandals, he mentioned allegations that came from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture and commented on the VBS Mutual Bank heist.
The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture:
“Our country was sold out by those who swore an oath to serve us. And, as we have just learnt in the Zondo Commission, they betrayed our struggle for a braai pack, some beers and a handbag.”
In march Maimane addressed how the Eskom and load shedding was handled. “President Ramaphosa’s apology for load-shedding is not good enough. He played a central role in the systematic collapse of Eskom, which has led to this crisis. He must take immediate and decisive action to transform our energy sector to help stabilize the economy”.
COPE Mosiuoa Lekota focused on the prospect of changing South Africa’s electoral laws and pointed to recent scandals — namely Bosasa – and endorsed the social grants system.
Changing the electoral laws:
“The government of the Congress of the People will make sure that our electoral laws are aligned more closely to the Constitution in order for the direct election of the president, premieres and mayors of towns and cities to take place.
To allow for individuals to contest national and provincial elections. In other words, we are saying that political power will be put back in your own hands – that you choose who you want to send to parliament. If they do not perform as you want, you may recall them and elect others.”
The energy crisis:
“The fire of tomorrow you will get from the sun, and ayou will cook from it, you will eat, and you will live much better – easier. Leave the coal – get [energy] from the sun.”