President Jacob Zuma has been judged harshly by critics for his public speaking. But one thing’s for sure, JZ is much more comfortable giving informal interviews than reading from a scripted speech. Speaking to Morning Live’s Ayanda Allie-Paine on Sunday about the ANC’s January 8 statement, Zuma had a few choice words for his critics, including the DA and EFF.
On the Western Cape being the “best-run province”
According to the annual Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT), the Western Cape – the only province ruled by the opposition Democratic Alliance — has been ranked South Africa’s best-run province for two consecutive years. The DA likes to take credit for this achievement, but Zuma points out the nuances of the situation.
In reality, if you go through the Western Cape you will see a divided society. When people say that everything is fine in the Western Cape and is the best-run province, you would know that it is not true. If you were in Rondebosch, of course it is something else, but if you are in Gugulethu it is something else. The municipality laws have a tinge of the old…
On the EFF interrupting Parliament
After continuously disrupting Parliament to demanding that Zuma “pay back the money”, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) vowed to disrupt the president’s state of the nation address on 12 February. Zuma indicated that he had attempted to answer questions in Parliament, but was interrupted on a number of occasions. He added that the maturity of a political party can be measured by the manner in which its members behave in Parliament.
There are rules in Parliament that govern whatever session that comes about. I don’t believe in sloganeering.
Who is doing group copying now?
Still referring to the EFF, Zuma believes that the policies the EFF claims to champion have been part of the African Nation Congress’s vision for a long time – as far back as when Julius Malema was still part of the ruling party.
They [the EFF] moved with the ANC’s policies. They didn’t leave the ANC because we differed in policy, but for other reasons.
On Julius Malema
Zuma refused to take the blame for enabling behaviour by Malema that resulted in his expulsion from the ANC and the formation of the EFF. He also highlights that in the past he had publicly talked about how Malema has potential but is “rough around the edges”.
We were in the process of building up the leader [Malema], but he was out of control. He was expelled from the ANC because his behaviour was un-ANC.
On Eskom (and apartheid)
There was a public backlash after Zuma blamed apartheid for South Africa’s electricity woes – he blamed Eskom’s current problems on the inadequate planning during apartheid, stating that it is an historical problem.
In a mass of villages and there was a farm, electricity would go there and not to the people. [And] suddenly the electricity that was exclusively available in apartheid is now in abundance – electricity was not meant for the majority. People will tell you that load-shedding is a problem of this government as if there was ever enough electricity for all.
Watch the full interview below:
– Featured image: By Eric Miller for the World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons.