BY NATHI OLIFANT
President Jacob Zuma has decried the ANC’s loss of its two-thirds majority in parliament, saying this was the reason the party could not move in promulgating laws that would make the lives of black people better.
Speaking at eZakheni township outside Ladysmith during the ANC Youth League’s 73rd birthday celebrations, a bullish Zuma reiterated that political power was not enough and would not sustain the ANC.
“With the majority we have right now we cannot make or change certain laws. To do that you need a two-thirds majority, something we no longer have,” said Zuma.
“We have decreased the two-thirds majority hegemony we once wielded in 1994 … we only have political power but we want economic power.”
Zuma steered clear of this week’s controversies, including presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma being sent to the National Assembly as an MP. He was also surprisingly silent on political killings currently ravaging the province.
He said that, with the majority the ANC currently holds, every law it tried to create was scrutinised and often taken to court.
“We have vast tracts of land that the government cannot expropriate because we do not even know who the owner of that land is. Maybe he does not even live in South Africa,” he said.
Zuma, who arrived before 3pm after his flight from the Congo, urged the ANCYL to emulate the youth of 1944, which comprised the likes of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.
On leadership issues, Zuma slammed the scramble for positions. If he had his way, the ANC would discuss leadership last and occupy itself with policies and programmes of the party, he said.
“The ANC should emerge from the conference smooth and shiny like a snake after shedding its skin. It shouldn’t come out with rogues and oskhwini phambana [square pegs in a round hole].
“For you, as young people, it’s OK to be radical, be militant and to be reprimanded. We once were all like that.”