Sona 2024: President Cyril Ramaphosa under fire from political parties

President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under fire parties. Picture: Armand Hough/ Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under fire parties. Picture: Armand Hough/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 8, 2024


Political parties have criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), saying it was a repetition of his previous addresses that was repackaged.

They said there was nothing new to what Ramaphosa said in his address in Cape Town on Thursday.

They said the African National Congress (ANC) has for the last 30 years failed to deliver on services with municipalities collapsing, infrastructure destroyed, while crime was rampant and corruption was endemic across the state.

United Democratic Movement chief whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa also said this was more like a campaign speech than an address to the nation.

Kwankwa said Ramaphosa and the ANC failed to take responsibility for the failure of the past five years.

“It was a campaign speech that went horribly wrong for the president. He tried to use the Sona to launch the ANC’s election campaign, hence the speech was lacking in detail. In fact, he tried to give an account of what was done in the past five years,” said Kwankwa.

He said the country was finding itself with the social and economic challenges because of the ANC’s mismanagement of the economy.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Leader Vlenkosini Hlabisa said Ramaphosa has failed to deliver on what he said he was going to deliver on in the past five years.

He said the speech by the president was recycled material from the past.

ActionSA accused Ramaphosa of trying to rewrite history in his Sona.

It said the damage that has been caused to the economy was under his watch and the ANC.

“Tonight you were applauded by the same ruling party that was complicit in state capture,” said ActionSA.

“It is under your watch that rolling blackouts have worsened despite your minister of electricity. Since the start of 2021, we have had load shedding for almost 75% of days under your leadership.”

It said millions of people were unemployed and violent crime was on the increase.

There was nothing new to what he told parliament in his address

National Freedom Party MP Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam said Ramaphosa’s address was more like an election campaign speech.

He said the president did not touch on details on the issues he raised in the speech.

Democratic Alliance Leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa has failed to keep any of the promises he made in the last five years.

He said the state has regressed during this period.

“In 2023 alone, 162,000 more people were pushed into poverty. According to the South African Reserve Bank, South Africa’s medium-term growth expectation of 1.1% does not match the prospected 1.5% population growth, meaning that South Africans continue to get poorer,” he said.

“According to the latest Corruption Perception Index, South Africa has fallen to its lowest levels ever recorded, scoring an abysmal 41 out of 100 on this globally respected index.”

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said while it welcomed some of the issues raised by Ramaphosa, they were concerned about the poor performance of Transnet, which impacts on the economy.

Cosatu said they were still concerned about the poor performance of Eskom;s power stations despite some attempts to reduce the severity of load shedding.

It said more support was needed at Eskom to enable it to bring on board more generation fleet.

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