Video by Tarryn-Leigh Solomons
Johannesburg - Opposition political parties described Thursday's State of the Nation (Sona) address as a repeat of old promises with some positives.
ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said President Cyril Ramaphosa repeated a number of promises especially when it came to gender-based violence. "What was positive was when he said that it is the private sector that creates jobs. He should have acknowledged this as a mistake in the past when he did not say this.“
Meshoe said it was an opportunity to recognise that this had been a mistake in the past but it was a positive move by the president to acknowledge what smaller parties had been saying for some time.
Good Party MP Brent Herron said: "We came here wanting to hear about jobs. The president spoke extensively about jobs but what we wanted to hear is some measurable targets and whether they have been achieved."
He said while it was encouraging to hear that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has committed itself to making prosecutions around state capture, the party was weary of the capacity that the NPA has. He also said the party welcomed the extension of the R350 social relief grant.
Freedom Front Plus leader "Pieter" Groenewald said the problem was that the government was good at analysing problems in the country and added the question was now how he (Ramaphosa) is going to come up with workable solutions
DA MP Natasha Mazzone said the speech was about promises and no delivery on any promises made. “We have been told for the past five years that more schools will be built and are still not built.”
She said with regards to the state capture report, no one has been arrested despite the fact that there is indisputable evidence.
On the economy, Mazzone said: “We almost fell off the fiscal cliff. We don't know how many times we can do that soft landing. The president has no choice. If he doesn't start sitting around the table with stakeholders it won't work."
On the State of Disaster, she said this should have ended six months ago.
"We expect tomorrow morning he should declare that the State of Disaster is lifted."
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, said the fact that the president spoke about training opportunities for young people and called for the private sector to play a role was a big positive.
"As the president said its not enough but its a good start."
Minister of Minerals and Energy Gwede Mantashe said the president had outlined his vision and now it was up to the ministers to execute the plans.