- Accuses opposition of championing white interests
- No going back on radical economic transformation
Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) MEC Makalo Mohale had no time for ‘jokes’ from opposition political parties benches at the Free State Legislature in Bloemfontein as he refused to take questions during his maiden budget speech vote on Wednesday morning.
Mohale – who also wears the ANC youth league provincial chairman cap – said this literally when asked by the speaker of the legislature if he would like to take questions from DA leader Roy Jankielsohn.
“We are hard at work to liberate our people, and do not have time for jokes,” he said in reply to the speaker.
The MEC said he was not surprised by the DA’s opposition to the budget vote speech programmes he had just outlined, including empowering small, emerging and black run enterprises, as the party was only concerned with preserving white privilege.
He lambasted the DA for championing white interest ‘political twerking,’ a remark he was later on asked to withdraw.
Mohale said the opposition seek to drive a narrative that the ANC-led government had not done anything in the 25 years of their stay in power, challenging those who hold this view to juxtapose it against the decades of injustices of legalised racial discrimination in the country.
He noted part of his departmental budget will go towards the revitalisation of industrial parks, where structural renovations are currently underway, with the hope of creating employment for job seekers on completion.
Mohale said in a move to bolster efforts to create employment, his department had compiled an Investment Book which it will tabled at an investment summit to be held later in the year.
“Investments are going to need proper infrastructure to be in place, and this is going to need labour meaning our people will have jobs. The DA doesn’t want us to bring this sweet melody of news to our people; it doesn’t want us to tell them that this economy is going to change so that they benefit too.”
Destea would also act as surety for those wishing to access financial assistance from institutions such as banks.
The department will not sit and fold its arms while companies and farms remain in largely white hands in the province, he added,
Mohale also announced it’s the intention of the government to let black people, Africans in particular, own land.
He called on the mining sector in the province to come on board and ensure they play their part in empowering communities where they do business.
He added the department would never abandon radical economic transformation until such time that the marginalised also live in harmony and prosperity, free from want.
“If you do not join us you will surely die of heart attack because we are not retreating.” Mohale also spoke of the automation and modernisation of government services, cleaning and conserving the environment, alleviating poverty through EPWP programmes, enforcing compliance with the laws, working to mitigate climate change, improving human resources, and transformation as key necessities for growing the province’s economy.