SONA 2020: Small parties demand action, not 'dreams'
Politics / 13 February 2020, 5:50pm / Mayibongwe Maqhina
Parliament - Fixing of state owned entities, job creation and expropriation of land were some of the expectations small parties represented in Parliament want the State of the Nation Address should cover.
African Independent Congress' Lulama Ntshayisa said his party expected President Cyril Ramaphosa to touch on Eskom, SAA and other SOEs.
"The last time he promised some changes in Eskom but we don't see any changes. We just want to listen to what he is going to say about it," Ntshayisa said.
He also said SAA was in trouble and that they supported calls made by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe that the national carrier be sold.
"It is doing nothing for the people. Poor people are not benefiting from SAA but we keep giving money to SAA," said Ntshayisa.
"It is not making any money. There is a lot of corruption," he said, adding that they expected Ramaphosa to outline the turnaround strategy for SOEs.
Ntshayisa also said they expected the president to say something about infrastructure and expropriation of land without compensation.
The PAC's Mzwanele Nyhontso said Ramaphosa should indicate the government would solve the issues at the SOEs.
He also said they wanted to hear when redistribution of land would take place.
"We expect him to tell us when he is to redistribute land as he had promised. That is the core business why we are here," Nyhontso said.
"We want our land redistributed to the rightful owners," he said.
"We wish and hope the president will say something about PAC and APLA cadres who are languishing in South African jails," Nyhontso added.
NFP's Munzoor Shaik-Emam said they did not want to hear about dreams from SONA other than reality.
He also said Ramaphosa should outline exactly how he is to make South Africa safe for its citizens and create jobs as well as spelling out what the government would do differently with SOEs.
The ACDP said one of the first things Ramaphosa should focus on was coming up with a turnaround plan to tackle the increasing levels of unemployment.
"We don't want unemployment to increase. We want unemployment to decrease," ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said.
"We want people to have jobs. We want people to be employed," Meshoe said.
He also said they wanted Ramaphosa to assure the nation that the government would not implement the proposal made by Cosatu to use pension funds of civil servants to bailout Eskom.
"It will be wrong to take the hard-earned money of the teachers, doctors and teachers who are employed by the state. The ACDP is totally opposed to that," Meshoe said.
"We want the president to come out clear on this matter as to what he is going to do," he said.
Meshoe also said they wanted those implicated in corruption charged, prosecuted and all proceeds of their actions taken back.
"It is not enough to talk about 'we are to fight corruption.' We know that there are people who are in Parliament who have been implicated and nothing is being done to them," he said.
Meshoe stated that the government should make a clear message that the government was serious about fighting corruption.
"That message will go home and hit the right note if we see politicians arrested, go to jail and the Special Investigating Unit, for example, go after them and take all proceeds and money they do not deserve."