Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation of Address (SONA) has received mixed reviews from opposition parties, with some welcoming his efforts to deal with corruption and reducing the size of government departments.
Ramaphosa gave his first SONA without any interruptions from opposition benches on Friday night.
Some of the parts of his speech that impressed opposition parties was the issue of corruption and the cleaning-up of state-owned enterprises (SOE).
EFF leader Julius Malema welcomed the prospects of government departments being down-sized and implementation of land without expropriation.
LIVE: Post SONA 2018 Reaction
“We welcome that part of government departments being reduced, the cabinet is too blotted. We want him to implement the removal of incompetent people, no one who is involved in corruption deserves to be in cabinet,” said Malema.
Malema also called for the removal of Malusi Gigaba as the Minister of Finance ahead of the budget speech next week Wednesday.
“The first thing he needs to do is fire Malusi Gigaba we can't have a delinquent as minister.”
The EFF leader was also critical of most of Ramaphosa’s speech saying it lacked key elements such as dealing with job creation.
The DA’s Mmusi Maimane also criticised the substance of the speech saying the plans were a repetition of what has been heard before.
“I look forward to the debate we welcome the speech. The speech came across of more of the same. It announced a lot of summits, what SA needs now is implementation. What SA wants is how we use tax to influence manufacturing. People want schools to be built and less influence from unions,” said Maimane.
WATCH: DA Leader @MmusiMaimane reacts to President Ramaphosa's #SONA2018.— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) February 16, 2018
We welcome the call to work together, & we look forward to the reforms, but Ramaphosa spoke a lot about talks, summits & conferences. South Africans are desperate for change and decisive action now. pic.twitter.com/a8YUOoSlkW
The UDM’s Bantu Holomisa said he was happy with Ramaphosa’s promise of dealing with issues at the National Prosecuting Authority.
“We should appreciate the intentions of new President. We caution that we have heard this before. We hope that he has the muscle to implement these measures,” said Holomisa.
The ACDP said it welcomed the promise to deal with corruption.
“He hit the right notes and what he said about corruption gives us hope that all those corrupt officials will be arrested,” said ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe.
The FF-Plus said it would oppose any attempt to expropriate land without compensation.
“The principal in itself is negative and we will try our best that we stop that land without compensation,” said Pieter Groenewald from the FF-Plus.
ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said he hopes that once the budget speech is announced government departments will start implementing the plans outlined by the President.