Speaking Notes for Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on the motion of No Confidence debate in National Assembly

10 November 2016

Fellow South Africans,

We are here again to bear witness to the desperate attempts of the DA and its allies to undermine the will of the people and attempt to distort what the constitution dictates.

Just three months ago on 03 August, the people of South Africa expressed their will without fear or favor. This they did through a free and fair democratic process wherein all parties were afforded an opportunity to contest an election.

The ANC is amongst the many in South Africa that accepted the will of the people and to date the DA and its allies are presiding over municipalities previously led by the ANC.

As true democrats and pioneers of constitutional democracy in South Africa we have listened and we have heard our people and are self-correcting and repositioning the ANC as a development driven opposition in such municipalities. It will never be our intention to undermine the letter and spirit of our constitution and the will of the people as expressed through the ballot, despite there being no outright majority winner. We have moved on!

In 2014, more than 11 million South Africans gave the ANC, under the leadership of His Excellency President Jacob Zuma, a mandate to constitute the 5th democratically elected administration in South Africa with President Zuma serving his second term in office.

We as the ANC are sitting here in this august house to again witness the continued attempt by the DA and its allies to undermine section 1 of the Constitution, that provides that the rule of law is a founding value of our democracy, especially, section 35(3)(h) that entrenches the right of the President to be presumed innocent and section 8(1) which entrenches equality before the law.

Madam Speaker, it is because of the aforesaid, that we as the ANC have accepted the continued presence and participation of the Honorable Glynis Breytenbach in this House. As the ANC we have never cast aspersions or doubts on the integrity of the NPA even with the serious allegations that have led to the fraud charges that the honorable Breytenbach faces today.

This is because the conduct of the individual cannot bring us to undermine the integrity of the institution.

The motion we are here debating today is really a phantom to masquerade the essence and nature of opposition politics in our country and their quest to gain power by other means other than the ballot box.

Continuously the DA and its allies present before this house motions and issues that seek to undermine our commitment to realize radical economic transformation and the creation of a social order that would benefit the majority of our
people and not a politically connected elite few, masquerading as representatives of our people.

They are trying hard to distract the ANC and the government led by President Zuma from dealing with the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

This motion against the President Zuma, in which ever way it may be put, seeks to have us ignore the fact the majority remains without access to land and remain spectators in an economy largely controlled by a minority elite that is opposed to transformation.

These elitist forces emerge, as led by the DA, to advance a protracted onslaught against the President and government on speculations and unfounded sentiments that have no factual standing in law and reality.

This is manifested in the DA's ideological drive that aims to keep in-tact the apartheid economic patterns. This it does by creating the impression that the problems of this country start and end with President Jacob Zuma.

This is a glaring misrepresentation of facts and a total disregard of reality.

Since coming into office, President Zuma, amongst others, appointed the former Public Protector, following due processes as per the Constitution.

Secondly, during his tenure President Zuma appointed Commissions whose recommendations he has taken into consideration. The Seriti, the Farlam and Heher Commissions are the prominent amongst these.

President Zuma also signed 69 proclamations authorizing the Special Investigative Unit to undertake investigations intended to rid the state of corruption where it exists and to verify allegations of such where they arise.

In the last financial year alone the value of the 307 matters that have been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution and the Assets Forfeiture Unit for forfeiture orders is R6.8 billion.

Insinuations purported in the DA's motion of institutions of state being captured by private interests, is a matter to be engaged and contested on the basis of facts.

The state in its very nature engages, lobbies and is lobbied by civil-society, business and non-governmental organizations in the course of its daily functions. However, it is precisely because the ANC under the leadership of President Zuma has taken the battle for economic emancipation of our people to higher levels, both locally and globally, that we are under such attack.

Our relationships in the international arena cannot and can never make those who are managed and handled by the owners of the regime change agenda globally to appreciate the economic trajectory adopted by this government.

Our radical economic transformation agenda has struck a nerve with the majority of those who have come to benefit from creations of the apartheid economic system and global economic domination of those who have continued to exploit the resources of our country, our region and the continent.

Any reference to state capture must have reference to the historical promotion of monopoly capital, enrichment of individuals and a few established companies who to date unashamedly continue to be the dominant beneficiaries of state investments and economic opportunities.

Any insinuation of state capture without reference to the ownership of the means of production in our country as they obtain is nothing else but throwing mud at our efforts of transforming our economy for the benefit of the historically disadvantaged.

For an example, ESKOM spends R40bn on coal annually largely on four companies that have owned these companies for between 20 to 40 years. These contracts will come to an end only in 2020. Many of the owners of these contracts do not live in South Africa.

Those who have been benefiting and who continue to do so, are defending their ill-gotten gains at all cost and using their ownership of the means or production and some sections of the media to sow confusion to the citizenry.

Any reference or insinuation on state capture must be said and done objectively across all racial and class lines of our society and it must start from time immemorial when this country was run by our oppressors so that everybody can see who are the real capturers of the state and who has looted the state pre and post the democratic epoch and how they feed to undermine the state under President Zuma.

The DA as an unsatisfied complainant through its ill-conceived motion seeks not only to undermine the binding effect of the remedial action proposed by the Public Protector but also the Rule of Law.

It is on those basis that as the ANC our view is to support those who are taking the report on Judicial Review including the President. This is in line with the constitution and defending its principles on separation of powers.

In our quest to realize the objectives of radical socio-economic transformation agenda under the leadership of President Zuma this country has entered into bi-national and multi-national agreements in our endeavor to grow the economy, create jobs and close the gap of inequality.

Through his leadership, President Zuma established an Inter-Ministerial Committee that works hand in hand with the private sector to promote investment in SA.

This initiative, Invest SA, led by government, the private sector and organized labour, continues to promote our economic fortunes aimed steering the country out of the troubled global economic waters.

It should also be mentioned that our fiscal imperatives are in full swing. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has over the past two financial years collected above the target despite the prevailing difficult economic climate.

Actual collections in 2014/15 were R986.3bn. This surpassed the target by R7bn. And in 2015/16, the actual collection, brought in historic revenue of R1.07 trillion; thus helping reduce the national deficit under extreme economic challenges.

The 2016/17 Printed Estimates as announced by Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, during his Mid-Term Budget Statement (MTBS) is R1.152 trillion and all projections are that SARS will collect and meet this target despite the real GDP growth set at 0,5%. And for SARS to achieve this milestone it must perform above 7% GDP growth!

Through all these engagements, the focus has been to stabilize our economic outlook, prevent a ratings downgrade, attract investment and promote conditions for job creation and entrepreneurial development.

When we voted for President Zuma in this house in 2014, the ANC came with a mandate that the president of the ANC shall be the president of the country as it was also reflected on the ballot paper. It has never been a secret.

Secondly, that the country would require a long term plan and vision of where we want to take South Africa. Under President Zuma and together with people of South Africa we now have a National Development Plan.

In his tenure, the ANC had to make drastic interventions in the areas of HIV/AIDS, particularly the availability and access to treatment.

We are rolling out comprehensive social security programmes that have reduced the mortality rate in our country and mitigated the vulnerability of the poor, marginalized and indigent.

Through the interventions of the ANC government, drastic interventions are now being made to promote access to quality education including investment in and transformation of higher education.

Over a trillion rand has been invested by government on social and economic infrastructure to promote economic opportunities and facilitate economic growth and social progression.

Madam Speaker and Honorable Members,

Allowing this motion to be adopted will be tantamount to promoting arbitrariness, breach of the rule of law and that will amount to flagrant and manifest denial of justice to Honorable President Zuma and to the millions who have voted for the ANC and its President.

What is unfortunate, though, is that the DA and its allies know very well that this motion is ill conceived and bound to fail and have only raised it to denigrate and undermine the person and dignity of the President.

The Honorable Maimane and the DA are abusing this parliament and its programme to launch a cumulative election campaign towards the 2019 general elections. They know well as we do, that this attempt to hijack power through such motions will not succeed as previous attempts have proved.

Contrary to the opinion of those who are opposed to the ANC, we are convinced as Thomas Carlyle, British historian and essayist said that "Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.' Despite all the pantomimes and side-shows by the DA and its allies, the Honourable President Zuma is focused on accomplishments that can only help grow the economy of this country.

To President Zuma we say: "The world will never appreciate the good you do a million times, but will criticize the one wrong you do. Don't get discouraged. Always rise above all the laughter and criticism."

We are not an organization that claims to be pure but it is through our continuous efforts to remain true to the values and principles of the ANC that we remain.

As President Nelson Mandela said: "I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."