We need you to talk to us, Mr Pres­i­dent

CityPress - - Voices -

Afew things are easy to pre­dict about next week­end’s ANC state­ment. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will re­flect on the achieve­ments and chal­lenges of lo­cal gov­ern­ment in the past 20 years. He will then talk about dis­ci­pline – his favourite sub­ject – as well as unity in the ANC and the al­liance.

Next will be a gov­ern­ment re­port on ser­vice de­liv­ery since 1994. And then a re­cy­cling of old pol­icy pro­pos­als that failed to take off. It will be a long and dry speech, and by the time he is done, no one will really re­mem­ber what Zuma said.

Al­ter­na­tively, Zuma could sur­prise us and de­liver a speech filled with refreshing ideas and pol­icy pro­pos­als to re­spond to the cur­rent eco­nomic cri­sis and in­creas­ing un­em­ploy­ment. He could re­store con­fi­dence in his and the ANC’s lead­er­ship, and af­firm that the coun­try is in good hands.

He could as­sure us that the in­ter­ests of the coun­try come be­fore those of the ANC and its lead­ers. He could tell those who last month marched for his res­ig­na­tion that he has heard their cry and will try to be­come a bet­ter leader for the re­main­der of his pres­i­den­tial term.

He could ac­knowl­edge that he made a mis­take by ap­point­ing Des van Rooyen as fi­nance min­is­ter, that he has learnt from this mis­take and that such ques­tion­able ap­point­ments in pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions are a thing of the past.

He could draw a line in the sand in the bat­tle against cor­rup­tion in all three spheres of gov­ern­ment and de­clare con­se­quences against gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials who waste pub­lic re­sources.

He could give a com­mit­ment that gov­ern­ment will not spend money it does not have, whether on nu­clear power or lux­ury travel.

Here’s hop­ing that Satur­day will de­liver a speech that speaks to us. Here’s hop­ing hard.

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