Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane delivered an alternative state-of-the-nation (Sona) address a day before President Cyril Ramaphosa tabled the actual speech in Parliament. Photo: Chantall Presence / ANA
Parliament - The 2019 elections should be seen as a referendum on what South Africans think of the rule of the African National Congress (ANC) over the past 25 years, the official leader of the opposition said on Wednesday.

Delivering an alternative speech to Thursday's State of the Nation Address (Sona) by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane called on South Africans to "hold this South Africa up against the dream we once had for our country", referring to the euphoria of 1994 when apartheid fell.

"If we want to take our democratic duty seriously then this year's election has to be a referendum on the ANC, not an expression of hope for a better version of the ANC, but a referendum on the party’s achievements and failures during its time in office, and particularly its performance over the so-called past nine years," he said. 

"The ANC can best be described as a broken bus that is dangerous and unroadworthy, hurtling down the road with all of us on board. What they now have in Cyril Ramaphosa is just another driver of the same doomed bus."

The DA leader's alternative Sona focussed largely on ANC failures over the past quarter century, and the corruption uncovered at municipal, provincial and national government levels.

"There can be no renewal when Nomvula Mokonyane remains a cabinet minister, despite the mountain of evidence against her. There can be no renewal when Bathabile Dlamini remains a minister, or when Jacob Zuma himself is welcomed back with cake and champagne.

There can be no renewal when those who belong in jail are sent to Parliament instead," he said. 

Maimane added this could be Ramaphosa's last Sona, saying coalition governance, though tricky as proven in various metros, was the future of the country.

African News Agency (ANA)