Durban - With South Africa plagued by an energy crisis that has crippled the country’s economy, some of the country’s political parties have expressed low expectations in terms of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
They said they expected nothing but a rehash of previous addresses by the president and that they were not expecting any solutions to the critical issues facing the country, most notably load shedding.
The IFP’s Narend Singh said Ramaphosa’s speech would just be another election speech for 2024 and the challenge for Ramaphosa lay within his government and conflict within the ruling ANC and between ministers.
“They are trying to get the Just Transition and move away from coal and then you get the minister of public enterprises saying one thing and the minister of energy, their own minister, criticising the ANC.
“If you have that kind of trouble in the camp, what do you expect as an output? It’s the leader that must bell the cat. There is a lot of advice on how the energy project can be sorted out.”
He said that they were not hopeful that anything constructive would come from the speech.
“There have been lots of mistakes that took place in the past from 1998, when we didn’t want to refurbish infrastructure, to trying to get the private sector on board, to getting certain friends on board, to the kind of massive corruption that’s taken place under the current government,” Singh said.
Kevin Mileham, DA MP and spokesperson for energy, lamented that every year South Africans heard the same thing from Ramaphosa and the ANC.
“Every year we are told ‘loadshedding will be a thing of the past, we are opening up the markets, we are unbundling Eskom’. But the reality is there’s been precious little progress in that regard.
“In 15 years the ANC has not done much except loot the coffers of Eskom and the government and it’s pure corruption and mismanagement that have caused the crisis that have caused the crisis that we find ourselves in,” Mileham said.
The African Transformation Movement’s president and MP Vuyo Zungula said Ramaphosa had “clearly shown” that he cannot lead the country and was not going to bring or say anything that he had not said before.
“He’s just going to change words here and there; he’s going to rehash what he’s said before because if you take even his proposed solutions to some of the problems it clearly shows someone who’s defeated, someone who does not have the capacity to lead South Africa,” Zungula said.