'He should have just sent us a voice note': 9 reactions to Cyril Ramaphosa's Sona

12 February 2021 - 07:00
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation from parliament on Thursday.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation from parliament on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's fifth State of the Nation Address did not meet the expectations of opposition leaders.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday from Cape Town where he was joined by no more than 50 MPs, with others joining the address virtually. Parliament elected to go for a low-key Sona this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The economy, Covid-19, unemployment and Eskom were top of the agenda.

“Government will soon be initiating the procurement of an additional 11,800 megawatts of power from renewable energy, natural gas, battery storage and coal, in line with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019,” said Ramaphosa.

“We will in the coming weeks issue a request for proposals for 2,600 megawatts from wind and solar energy ... Recent analysis suggests that easing the licensing requirements for new embedded generation projects could unlock up to 5,000 megawatts of additional capacity and help to ease the impact of load-shedding.

“We will therefore amend schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act within the next three months to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation,” said Ramaphosa.

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu expressed concerns about privatisation of energy generation and said there was “nothing new” about Ramaphosa's address.

On a positive note, Ramaphosa announced the extension of the R350 special Covid-19 grant and the Ters benefit until March 15 2021. The Ters benefit will be open to industries that have not been able to operate due to the lockdown.

On Covid-19, the president said SA should channel its efforts towards ending the pandemic. This could be done through, in part, strengthening the health system, he said.

SA has secured nine million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Eighty thousand of these will arrive in the country next week. Ramaphosa said further consignments would arrive over the next four weeks.

The DA said SA getting its vaccines in “small batches” is a result of its delay in procuring the life-saving jabs.

A paltry 80,000 J&J vaccines, with more being drip-fed in similar small batches, means SA is on our hands and knees picking up the scraps because we didn’t bother to get in the vaccine queue,” said the party.

UDM (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa and One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane were concerned about incomplete infrastructure projects and unemployment.

On social media, users shared their thoughts on the address, with some suggesting it was "just vibes" and empty promises.