'They sang for their supper' — Floyd Shivambu slams ANC MPs in Sona debate

Fikile Mbalula hits back at opposition who 'sit idle'

18 February 2021 - 11:00
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says the ANC has
Image: Fikile Mbalula/Twitter Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says the ANC has "a responsibility to govern while the opposition sits idle”.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu says ANC MPs sang for their supper in parliament during the debate on the state of the nation address, rather than give contextual clarity on President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula was among MPs who addressed parliament on Wednesday during the final leg of the debate.

“It's so sad that all of you are going to sing for supper and will not give any contextual clarity to the neoliberal drivel hyped by your president last week Thursday,” said Shivambu, before adding that the EFF would expose the ANC's lack of direction even though they have less speaking time.

“We still have 17 minutes and will combine all of you to expose the directionlessness.”

Mbalula came out in defence of Ramaphosa, who received scathing criticism from leaders of the opposition on Tuesday and Wednesday.

DA leader John Steenhuisen on Tuesday called Ramaphosa a “nowhere man with a nowhere plan”. He said his recent speech was more or less a repetition of what he had said in previous years.

EFF leader Julius Malema questioned whether Ramaphosa had a long-term plan to address the unemployment crisis. This as over two million South Africans lost jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before detailing the plan to fix public transport, Mbalula said Ramaphosa claimed no easy victories on Thursday.

“The president's speech was not claiming easy victories. It was about how we get out of the gutter. It was not about slogans and empty rhetoric. We have a responsibility to govern while the opposition sits idle,” he said.

Mbalula said the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the ANCs “forward momentum”.  He said SA and its economy would recover.

On fixing transport, he said the department wants to scrap 63,000 taxis by 2024 and implement a new public transport funding model that includes the taxi industry from the next financial year. He said this was discussed in the lekgotla last year.

On railway transportation, Mbalula said the department is putting together long-term interventions that will ensure that it is reformed and is effective.