President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation at the national assembly.This is Ramaphosa's second state of the nation address. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address, saying that it was a more credible, believable and nation-building speech the country has heard over the last decade, but noted that it was ambitious.

Wayne Duvenage, Outa chief executive, said they welcomed Ramaphosa's promises to rebuild state institutions damaged by capture and corruption and his encouragement for prosecutions and the urgent recovery of stolen state funds. 

"South Africa is tired of lip service when it comes to combating corruption and building the economy," said Wayne Duvenage, Outa chief executive. 

"We are still waiting to see action against prominent state-capture ringleaders, including some who still hold senior positions in government. We need to see their urgent removal."

Duvenage also said that Outa welcomed the prioritisation of Eskom's recovery, but called on the finance-lending houses to play their part in restructuring the loans and finding solutions to Eskom's predicament. 

Ramaphosa announced that the debt-ridden power utility would be separated into three separate entities - generation, transmission and distribution - in a bid to bring credibility to the turnaround and to position South Africa's power sector for the future.

"While splitting Eskom into three separate units is a good start, retaining these under a single Eskom Holdings company seems a little like rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship. 

"We welcome the call for Eskom to cut costs significantly and to develop a new business model, as Outa has for years called for these," Duvenage said.

African News Agency/ANA