We’ve lost faith in you, President Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his state of the nation address tonight. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his state of the nation address tonight. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Published Feb 8, 2024


Durban — EThekwini residents say they will not be watching the State of the Nation Address tonight because they have lost confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government.

The president would deliver his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) as the sixth administration president since the fifth term was ending this year.

In various interviews conducted by the Daily News with ratepayer associations across Durban about their expectations of Sona, most said they would not be watching since they were not expecting anything positive from the president’s speech.

Defiant Westville Ratepayers Association’s Asad Gaffer said he would rather watch Disney movies than waste his time listening to something that would not benefit him.

He said that for him Ramaphosa had failed dismally and was not capable of doing anything good for the country.

“To be honest, I am not expecting anything from the president because I know whatever he would say won’t happen, so I would not even watch him because I will be wasting my time.

“I would rather watch Disneyland movies which are more entertaining than listen to the president’s lies,” said Gaffer.

Gaffer made headlines last year when he led a residents’ rates boycott in protest at poor service delivery. The eThekwini Municipality responded by taking the residents to court which ruled in favour of the municipality.

Echoing Gaffer’s words was the chairperson of Reservoir Hills Ratepayers Association, Ish Praladh, who said he was not expecting anything because he had lost faith in the president, the government and eThekwini Municipality since there was no improvement in service delivery, especially water and electricity. He said the president had made promises but failed to fulfil them.

“Much is expected from President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address as he will attempt to reduce the despondency that pervades South Africa. However, I do not see much in terms of radical changes or actions that might be contemplated because it is the same rigmarole year in, year out.”

Praladh said he knew that programmes for the reduction of unemployment and crime – more funding for healthcare, education, infrastructure, social grants and the like will be on the menu, but with no realisable solutions.

“We lacked in the past and I see no difference in another pipedream speech.

“The event is an absolute waste of taxpayer money and more akin to a ‘cattle parade’ and a fancy dress party.

“Our economy is teetering on the brink of near collapse and if the president does not address the matters of high priority, we will have yet another bleak year in a country so desperate for change,” said Praladh.

Currently, residents from the northern areas of Durban, which include Phoenix, Verulam and Tongaat, are up in arms after having no water for more than three months.

Meanwhile, the EFF has vowed to hold the president accountable for his failures when he addresses the nation tonight.

In an interview with the media after a walkabout at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday, party secretary-general Marshall Dlamini said they were not disturbed by the court’s decision which barred senior leaders of the party, including Julius Malema, from attending. He said their MPs would hold the president accountable for the mess he has put the country in.

The EFF said blocking them was a ploy to allow Ramaphosa to deliver his last address without being held accountable.

In another political development, the EFF said it was all systems go for its election manifesto launch on Saturday. The party clarified that the event was only for its activists from all over the province, adding no buses have been hired to ferry people from other provinces.

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