President Jacob Zuma has pleaded with political parties in Parliament to behave in a way that is respectful to each other. Zuma was replying to two days of debates on his State of the Nation Address in Parliament.
Zuma has referred to recent disruptive behaviour in the National Assembly where Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were ordered to leave the house due to disruptive behaviour.
Zuma appealed to MPs to be respectful at all times.
“We know the rules, laws. If the Presiding Officer and all agree, (you) can’t speak when not recognised by the Presiding Officer, and you continue disrespecting the Presiding Officer. If you do so, it is an indirect undermining of honourable members,” said the President.
It was a smooth sailing address in Parliament with a confident President Zuma slowly going through his prepared speech without interruptions. The President kept his focus on the economy reaffirming the National Development Plan (NDP) and pledging that government would be more efficient in the implementation of the NDP, strengthening State-owned enterprises, fighting corruption and crime and putting energies into job creation.
“The NDP remains foremost blueprint to fight triple challenge of poverty, inequality, unemployment which still persist.”
The President says government has already met with business four times in 2016 and is optimistic that the results will profit the whole country. This as business commended his State of the Nation Address saying that most of their input had been reflected.
The corporation with business comes at a time when the country is facing the possibility of a downgrade to junk status which has hit other developing countries such as Brazil.
State Owned Entreprises (SOEs) have received particular attention in the State of the Nation Address with the President hinting at privatising some of them. This has elicited mixed reactions from different quotas with some worried about job security, while others welcomed the proposal particularly now when government needs additional revenue streams.
Zuma has, meanwhile, announced two new police units to fight drugs and illegal firearms. He says the will operate under the Hawks “to deal with drugs and related transgressions, transnational crimes as well as violence and proliferation of firearms in our society.”
“The two units are the South African Acoustic Enforcement Bureau and the National Bureau for Illegal Firearms Control, and priority violent crime.”
President Jacob Zuma says preventing a downgrade to South Africa’s credit rating to junk is a top priority.
Zuma says a downgrade will have an adverse effect on all South Africans.
The President says while government cannot alter global factors hampering economic growth, it will work to address circumstances at home contributing to this.
In a surprise move, the President also announced that the government will no longer be advertising in newspapers for tenders.
Instead there will be an online portal to save costs.
Following disruptions in Parliament in the last few days the President pleaded with Parliamentarians to be respectful.