9 February 2008

Reactions to SoNA

Here are five early responses to President Thabo Mbeki’s (pictured) State of the Nation Address (SoNA) of yesterday, in approximately the order in which they were released.

FAWU’s was the first to arrive. It welcomes some specific aspects of the SoNA that relate to questions of land, agriculture, and rural workers, and regrets the absence of measures to deal with food prices.

The SACP’s response gives a qualified welcome, saying that the SoNA is good in parts, and turning this into a more fundamental critique of the eclecticism of the entire exercise. Of the “apex projects” it says that they “lack a clearly transformative agenda”. In other words, like typical communists, the Party comrades are saying that there is much of the abstract, but little of the concrete, in this address. The Party concludes with some sharp words about the unfinished business, a diplomatic job not completed, in the case of the Zimbabwe elections scheduled for next month. See the second link below.

COSATU, mass movement that it is, has its own checklist of abstract concerns against which to measure the ANC-generated SoNA. Like the SACP, COSATU comes down heavily on the expansion of aluminium smelting, and mentions Zimbabwe, and also Swaziland, as well as its core concerns on job retention and job creation in the present circumstances. Click on the third item below.

NEHAWU’s several points are well made. Both FAWU’s and NEHAWU’s contributions demonstrate that the working-class movement has strength in depth when it comes to the ability to critique any documentation in real time. See the fourth item.

The DA’s critique, signed by Helen Zille, is well worth reading. It is short but it hits hard. It is a good example of how a small party, in a weak position, can optimise its advantages and produce a contribution that could make significant problems for its opponents, including its rivals in the opposition benches. The DA is correctly (from its own point of view) not interested in any vote of no confidence. What it wants is a dissolution, and the earliest possible opportunity to contest a general election with the Jacob Zuma-led ANC.

Click on these links:

On State of the Nation Address, FAWU Media Release (349 words)

Main thrust of Mbeki SONA welcome, SACP Media Release (795 words)

State of the Nation Address, COSATU Media Release (1362 words)

Response to the 2008 SONA, NEHAWU Media Release (796 words)

Mbeki speech a failure, now people must decide, Zille, DA, Politicsweb (725 words)

Coming Events


Post a Comment

Post a Comment