By: Lindokuhle Mnisi
|ACDP MP, Mrs Cheryllyn Dudley addresses students in parliament|
Journalism students from the Tshwane University of Technology convened in a news conference with representatives of different political parties in the parliament house. Students raised burning issues and questions which were answered by representatives.
Political parties’ representatives who participated in the news conference included MPs of parties like ACDP, UDM, IFP, COPE, DA and the ANC. As normal with all politicians, each of the speakers campaigned for their parties and took a swipe at the other political parties. “IFP is not a Zulu party even though the majority of our members come from KwaZulu Natal. Another MP was addressing you earlier saying Christianity is the only way in life. They represent Christians and careless about other beliefs.,” Mkhuleko Hlengwa of the IFP said in an attack to the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and MP member Mrs Cheryllyn Dudley who represented it.
The top six leadership of the ANC was criticised by opposition parties mostly about the situations at Marikana’s Lonmin mine. The critiques were based on the strike where mine workers demand R12 500 as their salary increase.
Former COPE MP, Faruq Qassim said in the 2014 government elections, issues that need to be considered include education for all the people. “Even after 20years of democracy, government can’t get education right. This is the party that doesn’t deserve to be in power again because millions of people’s lives will be sacrificed as a result of indifferent education,” Qassim said.
“We have a party where there is education for the rich and there is education for the poor. The education for the rich is super good education and the education for the poor, as offered by the state, is pathetic,” Qassim added.
|A logo of the South African Parliament.|
Jerry Tebedi, an MP at the National Assembly and Chairperson of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, went to the podium to defend the ANC on the critiques that were re-raised by students. He acknowledged that the ANC has challenges which he regards as “triple challenges”. “We have identified and are dealing with three challenges which are unemployment, inequality and poverty. Our society is divided by wealth in which the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poor,” Tebedi said.
He said the ANC have developed a National Development Plan which gives a 30year focus. NDP is the 30year vision of South Africa. Tebedi said all these challenges can be only defeated if government can merge and work with the people.