Parliament - A ring of steel engulfed the parliamentary precinct on Thursday afternoon ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation Address later on Thursday evening.
Most of the dignitaries and MPs will arrive later on Thursday afternoon but foremost on the minds of those present was whether, like previous years, this address would be disrupted by the Economic Freedom Fighters.
“If EFF carries out with its threat that has been heard in the public domain, I think Parliament must be ready to act because there must be a State of the Nation Address,” said Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor on eNCA.
According to reports, Shivambu said that the EFFwill hold a caucus at 6.30pm to decide ‘how they will hold the president accountable’
Pandor said she was looking forward to what Ramaphosa will say about Eskom because she was personally tired of bailouts.
Ramaphosa is under pressure to deliver a speech which will boost investor sentiment, and promote confidence in South Africa’s economic which has been struggling to breach the over one percent in GDP growth.
Ramaphosa is expected to announce a raft of measures to boost the economy, one of which could see Eskom being unbundled.
Eskom will announce losses of R20bn for the financial year ending in March, up from R15bn last year. Despite this labour union confederation, Cosatu said earlier this week it opposed a proposal to split Eskom into three, saying it would not solve governance and debt problems at the utility.
An announcement is also expected to be made about the future of South African Airways which burning through R450 million a month and has been bailed out to the tune of R29 billion since 1999.
Ramaphosa will likely not announce any action on some of the ministers and top politicians implicated in the State Capture Commission, their futures will likely be the subject of discussions within the top ANC structures.
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Minister in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini are still Cabinet members despite being implicated in wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, the EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said it opposed the involvement of former finance minister Trevor Manuel in the selection of the next SA Revenue Services commissioner.