From basic education to job creation: five key points raised by MPs during the Sona debate

26 June 2019 - 11:17 By Cebelihle Bhengu
'Giving our children tablets at school is not the fourth industrial revolution, but preparing them for jobs that don’t even exist yet is,' Mmusi Maimane told President Cyril Ramaphosa during the #SonaDebate.
'Giving our children tablets at school is not the fourth industrial revolution, but preparing them for jobs that don’t even exist yet is,' Mmusi Maimane told President Cyril Ramaphosa during the #SonaDebate.
Image: Parliament RSA via Twitter

Politicians from opposing parties on Tuesday took on President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona) which he delivered last week. Basic education, unemployment and economic transformation were among key points raised during the debate. 

Here are five of them:

Mmusi Maimane - Basic education

DA leader Mmusi Maimane proposed to parliament what he called seven reforms that would lead to the country's transformation. Among them was basic education. Maimane expressed concerns about the quality of education in public schools, but offered a solution which he believes will ensure that the public sector is on par with private education. 

"We have to introduce charter schools, a public-private partnership which will allow our children to walk to schools closer to them, and receive education which is private compared."

Julius Malema - State of public transportation

EFF leader Julius Malema slammed Ramaphosa's dismissal of complaints about the state of modes of public transport, particularly trains. He cited the president's experience with Metrorail trains in March, saying this should have been one of his main focus points during his Sona address, but he instead "ignored it". 

"We were excited when you were stuck on a Metrorail train because we thought, now the president knows the realities our people are subjected to," said Malema.

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Nqabayomzi Kwankwa - Job creation

UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa asked Ramaphosa to "think out of the box" if he was serious about tackling the scourge of unemployment. While Ramaphosa acknowledged the jobs crisis during his Sona address, in which he said he aims to create "no less than 2-million jobs", Kwankwa said the ANC needed to change its old ways if it was serious about creating jobs.

"You need to think outside the box and not try to use ANC policies that have failed in the past."

Natasha Mazzone - Corruption

DA MP Natasha Mazzone slammed Ramaphosa's decision to reward allegedly corrupt members of the ANC with parliamentary seats and positions. Without mentioning any names, Mazzone referred to these members as the "Zuma faction".

"This is proof that the Zuma faction is still well and truly in charge of the ANC."

Naledi Chirwa- Black people's plight

"The face of landlessness, poverty and poor health is still largely black." These are the words of new MP and student activist Naledi Chirwa, who expressed concerns on the overall plight of black South Africans. She also emphasised the injustice rape victims are subjected to.

"I am infuriated by your tone-deaf attitude to thousands of lesbian women subjected to corrective rape and facing their tormentors in the streets because our criminal justice system cannot protect those who sex differently."


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