One of the parliamentary opposition parties, the Congress of the People (COPE)  has called for the changes in the Electoral Act to allow for a President to be elected directly by voters. The National Assembly on Monday night debated the state of the nation.

They have looked at what went wrong in South Africa and what must be done to fix it. The debate was sponsored by COPE. COPE President, Mosioua Lekota was first on the podium.

He says the current Electoral Act must be amended to give more power to the voters, so that wrongdoers can face consequences and the full might of the law.

“The Freedom Charter declared power must be in the hands of the people, let’s return power to the people by amending the Electoral Act and enable the people of this country to elect men and women those of parties inside and outside but men and women who will not be held ransom by any political party.”

The African National Congress (ANC) says things have improved under their government. “Our major concerns right now are the municipalities which are becoming distressed or dysfunctional including those regressing in audit outcomes,” says ANC MP Grace Tseke.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and National Freedom Party (NFP) put emphasis on governance issues at State Owned Entities (SOEs).

DA Public Enterprises spokesperson, Natasha Mazzone says appointments at these parastatals must not be politically-connected people.

“Often SOE boards and top management lack commercial expertise and requisites skills to create an environment in which decisions are made with profitability or sustainability and this can be attributed to the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment and absence of young graduates at SOEs.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Agang requested voters to exercise their power and change government if they are not satisfied with the current one. IFP Chief Whip, Narend Singh says; “If this government is not working for you vote it out, we need more transparency and more interaction with opposition political parties.”

Agang leader, Andries Tlouamma says; “There is no consequence to thieves and incompetency.”

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Thilivhali Mulaudzi and Cynthia Majeke of the United Democratic Movement also blamed the ANC for the situation that is prevalent in the country. “Our people remain landless, live in apartheid designed townships, continue to be exploited and discriminated against, expropriate and nationalise all banks,” says Mulaudzi.

Freedom Front Plus Chief Whip, Corne Mulder and African Christian Democratic Party leader, Kenneth Moshoe concur. “The problem being since 1999 the presidents of ANC and the president of the country has been advancing the unity of the ANC and not the unity of the country,” says Mulder.

Responding to the opposition the ANC says it is addressing some of the issues raised by the opposition.