South African Students Congress

SASCO statement on the 5th Democratic Administration

27 May 2014

None dare contest the reality of our maturing democracy and her adversity notwithstanding the dark past and persistent challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The success of our 5th democratic National and Provincial Elections is true testament of a country destined to succeed and an indication of the progress of our NDR that aims to create a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. SASCO joins South Africans and the rest of the African continent in celebrating the peaceful ushering of a new democratic administration in our country. This is a befitting tribute to those who died during the wars of resistance. Those who began the important task of forming a liberation movement. Those who died at the hands of an illegitimate Apartheid order. Those young people who joined the arms struggle. Those who waged internal resistance against Apartheid and those who spend decades in prison cells in order for us to never experience racial discrimination and exclusion from the wealth of our nation.

SASCO wishes the 5th Administration led by President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma all the best in its mammoth task of serving the people of South Africa and making both quantitative and qualitative interventions in their lives. Theirs is an enormous task of driving fundamental change that will accelerate job creation, eradicate poverty and inequality. We have full confidence in the individual and collective abilities of the collective that has been appointed by the President. We commit to support this leadership and true to our strategic outlook on the state we shall compliment them and contradict them where it is appropriate to do so. Our caution however to all those that have been appointed is that they should not view their positions of privilege as a means to derive self-glory and enrichment, but to appreciate that they are but chief servants of our people and nothing more.

We are encouraged by the retention of youthful cadres who served diligently in the previous administration. These are cadres who are products of the student and youth movement such as Malusi Knowledge Gigaba, Fikile April Mbalula, Andries Nel to name a few. SASCO is particularly pleased with the appointment of our former Deputy President and the current National Secretary of the YCLSA comrade Buti Manamela as the Deputy Minister in the Presidency. We believe this is an expression of confidence in the student movement particularly SASCO. We join our ally, the ANCYL in celebrating the appointment of its National Convenor comrade Mzwandile Masina as the Deputy Minister of Trade Nd Industry, we wish him well in this important portfolio. SASCO convocants have been tasked with strategic portfolios such as State Security and we therefor wish comrade David Mahlobo well as the Minister. We are also glad that comrade Madala Masuku, Our Mpumalanga honorary Provincial Chair is tasked with leading as Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

We also welcome the retention of experience Ministers who will bring institutional memory and continuity in the current administration. We wish to take this opportunity to welcome the appointment of the chair of MKMVA comrade Kebby Maphatsoe who has always supported SASCO and wish him well as he leaves 7th floor Luthuli House to become Deputy Minister of Defense & Military Veterans.

SASCO welcome the appointment of comrade Nhlanhla Nene as the Minister of Finance the first African to take up this great responsibility. We believe this will also serve to negate the myth popular amongst liberals that Africans cannot be trusted with managing the fiscus because they are inherently corrupt. We have noted the racist undertones that have characterized public commentary by some economists, journalist and columnists. This we believe exposed the road we are still to travel as an nation to truly realize a non-racial South Africa. The nonsense about market and investor reactions to this appointment as has been raised by some leaders of the opposition and economist is nothing but racist propaganda that must be dismissed with contempt. We assure President Zuma and Minister Nene of our support and confidence in their ability to run the affair of our nation.

We wish to also welcome the appointment of many products of SASCO across the country in various capacities. In particular we wish to mention our former Presidents, comrades David Makhura and Jacob Mamabolo who are Premier and MEC of Human Settlements & Local Government in Gauteng respectively. This proves that the student movement remains true to its task of producing future leaders for our country. We wish them strength, courage and resilience as they take up these very important responsibilities.

SASCO is however highly disappointed in the poor representation of women in Premiership positions across the country. We view this as a major setback for our country in advancing struggle for gender equality which is envisaged in our constitution and the National Democratic Revolution. We expected President Zuma to appoint a cabinet consistent with the ANC's 50% gender representation policy. This would have gone a long way to reverse patriarchal thinking in our society more especially since the movement has a pool of very capable female cadres.

SASCO is angry and highly agitated by the insult that our country continues to receive from the dictatorial Helen Zille. She has again appointed a cabinet if old white males, this she does in keeping with the true intentions of Apartheid. This cabinet is a painful reminder of our Apartheid past, and exposes what the real DA stands for. The appointment of only two women is an insult to the cadre of women activists of our country who fought against gender oppression and defeated Apartheid, the likes of Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Ruth First, Bertha Gxowa and many more. The very claim by Helen Zille that she has increased gender representation by 200% in her new cabinet starting from a base of Zero is true to her extra ordinary arrogance and her consistent undermining of our people and their intelligence. SASCO will heighten its mobilization against the reactionary DA government in the Western Cape, we will work tirelessly to expose its true character to the people of that province.

Notwithstanding our discontent on the gender composition of the 5th administration and the reactionary Western Cape set up, we believe the that our fallen heroes such as Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Chris Hani, Ruth First, Lilian Ngoyi, Joe Slovo and Albert Luthuli would be proud of the progress our country is making and they would encourage us to work harder and faster to change the lives if the working class and the poor. We encourage our government to work unashamedly to serve the downtrodden of our country and accelerate economic transformation.

Issued by the NEC of SASCO

For more information contact

Ntuthuko Makhombothi (President) on 071 875 2209
Luzuko Buku (Secretary General) on 0718793258