UDM calls for national dialogue with land and property at the centre

UDM president Bantu Holomisa calls for an inclusive national dialogue. Picture: Masi Losi Independent Newspapers

UDM president Bantu Holomisa calls for an inclusive national dialogue. Picture: Masi Losi Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 27, 2024


The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has called for an inclusive national dialogue which should prioritise the country’s economy, with land and property at the apex of that debate.

The party’s leader, Bantu Holomisa, said among other things that should be discussed at the national dialogue are the role of the state in the economy, national security, and national interest in foreign policy, adding that were also other burning issues that needed the country’s attention.

“The country has just spent over R1 billion on the Zondo Commission and the country should also spend some time talking about how we capture the lost ground where corruption is concerned.

“The UDM is also of the view that there should be a committee of stakeholders that should agree on a secretariat that would organise the national dialogue together with an independent facilitator, ensuring that no single party takes sole responsibility for compiling the agenda and preparing for the sessions.

“This collective approach will help maintain fairness and inclusivity in the process and that the agreed agenda should be gazetted for public consumption and input,” Holomisa said.

He said the UDM envisioned the national dialogue not as a two-day affair but as a continuation of matters left unattended to at Codesa.

According to the party, there should be at least 12 months of intensive discussion between political parties, civil society, traditional leaders, business, labour, faith-based leaders, and other stakeholders on these matters

“All stakeholders should agree on a team of facilitators for the national dialogue, with the government footing the bill. Where there is a need to be change or enact legislation, such decisions should go to Parliament for actioning. Time frames for implementation should be associated with the decisions taken at the national dialogue to ensure it is not a mere talk shop.”

Furthermore, Holomisa said he was thrilled that the government and other stakeholders were keen on holding a national dialogue, an idea that the UDM had always been advocating for years, akin to Codesa.

Meanwhile, civil society has also called for a national dialogue to forge a way forward for a united South Africa.

They include the Thabo Mbeki and Ahmed Kathrada foundations.

Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation said South Africa was in a political crisis after no political party won an outright majority in this year’s elections.

Fraser-Moleketi said this called for reflection on South Africa’s future.

“We have never been people that have looked at ourselves in times of crisis and said, this is it, there’s just despondency. I think it’s quite clear that South Africa is in a political crisis at this moment.

“For the first time in 30 years, the electorates has decided not give any political party a majority vote. This has presented an opportunity for citizens to review the past years and focus on what has gone wrong and how that can be addressed,” she added.

Fraser-Moleketi said the results announced called on all South Africans to reflect on the South African they want and its future.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a dialogue during his inauguration speech last week.

The president is yet to announce his new Cabinet after power-sharing talks with political parties.

The Star

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