The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says in a statement it simply cannot be that the South African public must pay for an elaborate “farewell” for Zuma via the upcoming State of the Nation Address.
The DA’s chief whip, John Steenhuisen, says within the context of South Africa’s stagnant economy, where millions remain unemployed, the DA cannot abide Zuma delivering the State of the Nation Address when he will not be around to implement any of the plans or policies that he announces on the day. “The ANC must therefore confirm whether or not Zuma is to remain on until 2019. It cannot be that South Africans should be subjected to an address by a lame-duck president, a figurehead in title only, with no political power to execute any meaningful change for South Africans.”
Steenhuisen says should the ANC provide this clarity, the DA will continue to engage constructively with his administration. However, uncertainty around whether or not he stays has a direct financial impact for South Africans. “A State of the Nation Address by a lame-duck president will amount to a gratuitous waste of tax-payers’ money. These funds could have been directed into a host of critical projects, such as addressing the country’s water infrastructure deficit, which has placed portions of the country’s water security at risk, or higher education funding which remains in a state of crisis following the President’s reckless ‘free fees’ announcement late last year.”
According to the DA the fact that the ANC still hasn’t provided any certainty to South Africans on Zuma’s presidency points to an abject failure of political leadership. Evidently, this is not a “renewed” organisation which has self-corrected. Instead, it is the exact same organisation which, over the last two terms of Zuma’s presidency, has revelled in wasting tax-payer’s money through corruption, poor leadership and shameless wasteful expenditure.