Opposition parties have taken the opportunity to speak in one voice, attacking president Cyril Ramaphosa’s unkept promises ahead of this evening’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Ramaphosa is due to deliver the annual speech at the Cape Town City Hall in the presence of hundreds of politicians in what has been deemed the last Sona the ANC will deliver.
The 2024 Sona is seen as the most important speech because of the looming national and provincial elections expected to take place the same year.
Ramaphosa goes into the Sona with a plethora of previous broken promises over the years and political parties have taken advantage of that.
Firing the first salvo on Tuesday was the African Transformation Movement releasing a graphic representation of Ramaphosa’s failures since the 2023 Sona.
The graph compares how unemployment, poverty, crime and fuel prices have increased since 2019.
ATM president Vuyo Zungula said: “We are not expecting anything from this Sona because for the past couple of years Mr Ramaphosa has shown that he is not up to the task of leading this country… if you look at the comparison of whether he was making commitment in dealing with crime, unemployment, poverty and infrastructure problems, the country has gone from bad to worse under his leadership.”
He said the graph painted a picture of the true state of the country.
“It has information on the real difficulties faced by people if you look at the realities when it comes to the cost of living, fuel prices etc. For us that is the true state of the nation,” he said.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi echoed Zungula’s sentiments saying that Ramaphosa’s administration in the last year only increased unemployment and job losses.
“This is the last Sona of the ANC administration…and by all indications it shows that any projections of looking at the upcoming elections, shows that there will be no party that will have a majority.
“The president will try to boast about underwhelming record in government as a way to show that he has done something positive but in reality SA is experiencing high levels of crime, unemployment and job losses all of which have happened under Ramaphosa… nothing inspires confidence in what he will say today,” Malatsi said.
Build One SA (Bosa) said Ramaphosa’s “final” Sona would cement his legacy as the president of unemployment.
“Ramaphosa’s legacy will be one of entrenching systemic unemployment over the 2184 days he spent in office.
“Since he assumed the presidency, 2.3 million more South Africans are without a job. Every day he spent in office, 1053 more South Africans joined the unemployment line – which is now almost 6km long - stretching from Cape Town to Nairobi. Ramaphosa and his party have lost the confidence of investors, of the markets, and of the people of South Africa. Despite ‘jobs summits' and niche talk summits, there persists a steep economic descent. On all fronts, there has been a vote of no confidence in the ANC’s ability to grow the economy and create real jobs for the 11.9 million unemployed South Africans,” Bosa’s Roger Solomon said in a statement.
Newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party’s Nhlamulo Ndhlela said his party was not expecting a Sona.
“The country has lost 48% of our currency… this will not be a state of the nation because he will not be tackling tangible issues.
“Until today there have not been reforms or policies that he has implemented. We are not expecting any difference from this year’s ‘so-called Sona’,” he said.