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Mbeki to speak with KZN businesses ahead of elections

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. File Image.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. File Image.

Published Oct 28, 2021

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With the local government elections just three days away and political parties across the country reaching the final leg of their campaigns, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will host a dialogue with former president Thabo Mbeki and various sector professionals on Thursday evening at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC).

Mbeki appeared in a similar event last week in Johannesburg that was attended by business professionals, where he made several comments regarding the future of South Africa and the ANC post elections, one of which being: "If the ANC fails, South Africa will fail".

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As citizens across the country prepare to take to the polls and choose from the 94 000 candidates available, the tactical veteran statesman has been active during the ANC's 2021 campaign and last week, called on businesses to form a pact with the government in order to deliver services to South Africans.

He said the need for a relationship between state and business was contained in the ANC's manifesto plan as the only measure that could address the lack of roads, sewerage infrastructure and housing.

The 79-year-old veteran statesman said local governments were unable to efficiently deliver services to its people and therefore warranted the need for big players to come to the party.

Mbeki, who holds a masters degree in Economics from the University of Sussex in U.K, touched on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to create 3.4 million jobs over the next 10 years, which he said was unlikely to drastically reduce the rate of unemployment in SA.

“This is based on the projections of the National Development Plan (NDP) which says the country’s economy grew at a rate of 5.4%. So something needs to be done to deliver things such as jobs, roads and housing.

“Therefore the ANC manifesto is emphasising that all these social partners must form a social compact to deliver on the needs of the people. They must work together and it is only through that social compact that houses, roads and jobs will be created,” Mbeki said.

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The ANC has been challenged by other political parties, particularly the IFP, DA, EFF and in recent times, ActionSA, over the failure to provide basic services like water and sanitation to its people.

Following the release of an independent report that showed the financial state of the province’s local municipalities in May this year, KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka revealed that around nine municipalities were in distress, with issues of governance and financial instability.

Later on, in June, Hlomuka said that progress had been made on the front of dysfunctional municipalities. He said some of the key reasons behind municipalities being under administration were political instability, unfunded budgets and irregular expenditure in councils.

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Political Bureau

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