There is no better example for South Africa than China, EFF member of the National Council Of Provinces Brenda Tirhani Mathevula said on Tuesday.
She took part in the debates in Parliament on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In Mathevula’s view, China set an example by uplifting millions of people, doing this through a key role played by the state. She would like to see the state play a greater role in SA and believes this would contribute to creating jobs.
“If government were to build more than 3 million homes, state-owned companies would be needed for that,” said Mathevula.
“Under the EFF there will be a state cement company and a state construction company, which could employ millions of South Africans.”
According to Mathevula, an EFF government will also employ more doctors, teachers and engineers, which would be needed if quality services are to be provided to people. “The only way to improve SA is to increase the state’s capacity,” she argued.
DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone, for her part, said state-owned enterprises in SA are broken.
“We are at the cliff’s edge. The dream has faded. The reality is a horror,” she said. She called on Ramaphosa to “put SA first”. “Now is the time to steel your resolve. You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul,” she said to him.
To some loud heckling, Mazzone objected to certain people with dubious credentials who were nevertheless appointed by Ramaphosa as parliamentary sub committee chairs.
Mazzone said she found some inspiration from the legacy of Nelson Mandela when she visited Robben Island. To this, Minister of Police Bheki Cele quipped that “some of us do not have to visit Robben Island” (with reference to his own incarceration there during apartheid).
According to Cele, the country has to work hard to deal with what he calls “economic sabotage”.
“The fight against corruption has intensified,” said Cele.