WATCH | Politicians slam 'same old' Sona speech by Ramaphosa

09 February 2024 - 10:38 By ANTHONY MOLYNEAUX
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Politicians from opposition parties were not impressed with President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday. ANC politicians, however, saw the address as a way forward for the country.

Here's what they had to say:

John Steenhuisen — leader of the DA

“It was underwhelming. It's of the most underwhelming Sona I've seen. I don't think the president's conception of South Africa is grounded in the reality of what's happening on the ground. Communities going without water. Parents are unable to put food on the table to feed their children. These are all serious matters. And I don't think we heard much confidence about how are we going to get on top of these things.

“Until we get a government in place that's serious about service delivery, we're going to continue to struggle.”

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams — minister of small business development

“The most important thing is giving an account of the work we have done in the [past] 30 years and also this administration, but most importantly, other commitments that have been made to the nation to build from what we've started and improve where we've been weak. That's what [we owe] the people of South Africa.

“Anybody who doesn't see that has a wrong dictionary of what this speech was about.”

Narend Singh — IFP chief whip

"[The] ANC has been in government for the past 30 years and many of the things the president told us [is what] any government will do, but any other political party in government would have done much better.

“It was a lacklustre speech. I don't think it inspired any confidence in the people of this country because he said many of these things before and little of what he has said has happened. Each time the president realises his cabinet and executive have let him down in ensuring what he wants done for the country.”

Kenneth Meshoe — ACDP leader

“Nothing exciting and a repetition of what he has always been saying. And he has not touched on issues critical to the hearts of the people. He did say, justly, people must feel safe in their country, but he didn't tell them what they are going to do to ensure the safety of the people, because we know the conviction rate of most crimes in South Africa is less than 10%.




“As long as we have a rape every minute, as long as we have dozens of people dying every day, then you realise we are in trouble.”

Ronald Lamola — minister of justice and correctional services

“It was factual with data and also with some of the lived experiences of South Africans and he did not shy away to acknowledge we have challenges. It takes us forward in the context of our portfolio.

“He has spoken about the resources that have been clawed back into the state, the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund and those resources are already being deployed to the police, to the Border Management Authority for state-of-the-art technology they need to fight crime and for vehicles and so forth.”

Mandla Galo — leader of African Independent Congress

“I wasn't expecting anything from the state of the nation [address] delivered by the president because the president is always recycling the old stories and comes to parliament as a president to give us one and the same thing.”


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