Opposition MPs are tearing into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) for being long on dreams and short on practical steps how to turn the country into the one he imagines possible.
Ramaphosa’s address last Thursday saw him urging South Africans to think big, even to the extent of building a new smart city and bullet trains to cross the country. But opposition party members are sceptical.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald claimed Ramaphosa was essentially a hostage of the ANC.
“Honourable president, you are a prisoner of the ANC. Break away from that. Then you can save South Africa and then you can save the economy.”
IFP leader Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the country needed more than the hope Ramaphosa tried to inspire.
“There’s a gap, a very gaping chasm between what has been done and what the government intends to still do. Two things were sorely lacking last Thursday, the ‘now’ and the ‘how’.”
Buthelezi applauded Ramaphosa’s “bold dream” of getting everyone to work together, but pointed to the problems he had experienced within his own party.
“Unfortunately, even in the senior leadership of the ruling party, there’s a failure to work together. The result is conflicting statements on crucial issues, such as the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank.”
The DA and EFF also had words for Ramaphosa. They called for answers from Ramaphosa on Bosasa.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was probing allegations of money laundering in relation to the R500,000 donation paid to Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane was the first one to call for the matter to be investigated by a parliamentary committee.
“Let’s allow the president to do his job and table the report into allegations into Bosasa. Let’s set up a parliamentary ad hoc committee, where you can come to give your version of the story and let’s stop delaying.”
EFF leader Julius Malema issued a warning to Ramaphosa, saying the Bosasa issue could end his Presidency should he not come clean.
“Your people have elected you democratically, but if you’re going to come across as being a constitutional delinquent, we’d be left with no option but to engage in an impeachment process against you.”