President Jacob Zuma has responded to FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald who asked Zuma why he continually “blamed white people” for the problems in the country.
Speaking at the official State of the Nation Debate in parliament on Wednesday (16 February) Groenewald asked the following of Zuma:
“President Zuma: what have you got against white people in South Africa?”
“You are using white people as a scapegoat to hide your inability as a government. If you want economic growth, put a moratorium on all black economic empowerment policies and affirmative action.”
Groenewald’s main gripe was with the portion of Zuma’s SONA, where he addressed the need for land reform, noting that most of the land in South Africa – especially that which can be used commercially – is in the hands of the few, pointing to the white minority.
In his SONA reply on Thursday, Zuma gave an official response to Groenewald, saying “we (the ANC) don’t hate whites, we’re just stating facts.”
“We’re not pointing at the colour, we’re describing the situation. If this is not resolved, it could explode one day,” he said.
“It will be wise to disabuse yourself from the tendency that when we talk about land and those who own land; you think it’s because of hatred.”
“Saying we hate whites won’t make us stop talking about the land issue,” he said. Unlike other countries, South Africa would use the constitution to address the issue.
“Let’s just find a formula to rectify the problem. We all need enough space to live together. This is not racialism.”
The president went on to say that radical economic transformation, of which affirmative action and BEE form a part, are part of healing the divisions of the past.
“White compatriots will be part of this process as it will assist us to achieve a truly united, non-racial and prosperous society,” he said.