Madiba dedication, new dawn & criticism: wrap of Ramaphosa's budget speech

19 July 2019 - 15:02 By Unathi Nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa faced robust debate and criticism from opposition parties, including the DA and the EFF, when he delivered his budget vote speech on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa delivered the presidency budget vote speech in the National Assembly and dedicated parts of his speech to what the late former President Nelson Mandela stood for, to encourage reconciliation.

Here are four highlights from Ramaphosa's speech:

Dedication to Madiba

Ramaphosa's speech came a day before the world celebrated International Mandela Day, and the president encouraged citizens to follow in Madiba's footsteps.

"In this Mandela month, I would like to invite everyone to take a moment to commit themselves to keeping Madiba’s legacy alive in both word and deed.

"The legacy of humanism, of friendship, of fellowship, of decency, of partnership and tolerance. It is these universal and timeless values that will guide us along the path towards the South Africa that we want," he said.

New dawn

Ramaphosa told MPs that his government would be different from Zuma's, adding that the sixth administration of government would speak with one voice.

"It will not pursue pet projects that are disjointed and misaligned with national priorities. It will epitomise a caring state that is prudent with public finances and that derives its respect from masses through hard work and not outward shows of excess like bling and blue lights," he said.

DA calls for Ramaphosa to appear before state capture inquiry

DA leader Mmusi Maimane challenged Ramaphosa to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

“So, Mr President, you sat at number two to number one (Zuma) and you were silent then. Will you be silent now or will you take action and guarantee this house tomorrow, when you come to respond, that you will go to the commission and set the record straight for all South Africans?”

UPDATE: Ramaphosa has since indicated that he would be willing to appear before the commission.

Criticism from EFF

EFF leader Julius Malema criticised Ramaphosa, saying that he was sidelining talented young people.

"These tendencies that are coming from your side, in defiance of Chapter 9 institutions, in protecting corrupt individuals, in isolating young people with talent, it means you are canvassing the same grounds that Zuma canvassed.

"We did not fight Zuma because he was ugly, we fought with Zuma because, firstly, he outsourced his powers in the ANC to a family and, secondly, he undermined institutions of the state. You are doing the same," he said.

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