Ramaphosa’s speech is hollow and devoid of truth – opposition parties

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2024 State of the Nation address at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2024 State of the Nation address at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 8, 2024


The State of the Nation Address (Sona) by President Cyril Ramaphosa has been described as hollow and devoid of truth and reality.

IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Thursday’s speech proved to many South Africans how out of touch Ramaphosa’s government was with their day-to-day challenges.

“It’s all sound and platitudes, signifying nothing. It’s a mess. This Sona is the height of denialism, devoid of reality and further clarity on how out of touch this government is,” Hlengwa said.

He continued to say that Ramaphosa’s administration had done nothing to advance the lives of South Africans.

Hlengwa said the president has been a dismal failure, adding that the country was now experiencing phase two of state capture.

“The daily living conditions of South Africans continue to be disastrous, problematic and there are no gains. The unemployment is high, the economy is not growing, corruption is on the rise, crime is on the rise and the list of challenges is continuing to be very long.

“The president has been unable to change the situation for the better. He has been a major disappointment,” the IFP spokesperson emphasised.

Meanwhile, DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said the country under Ramaphosa was in a far worse position than it was five years ago during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure.

Gwarube said even one would look at objective criteria on youth unemployment, crime, the energy crisis or the corruption index we saw coming out days ago, showing that South Africa was in fact regressing.

“There’s nothing that Ramaphosa has said that gives comfort to the seven out of 10 young people who remain without work or 30 million South Africans who are living in poverty or thousands of people who are dying on the streets because of the high crime rate,” the DA chief whip said.

Gwarube said as the organisation believed that Thursday’s Sona was the last one for Ramaphosa, adding that they hoped that South Africans would vote out the ANC in the upcoming general elections.

However, the ANC first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane said all the opposition parties showed wishful thinking, saying that Ramaphosa would come back to deliver the seventh administration.

“We are coming soon for another Sona post the inauguration of the president. We don’t go on the election with the intention not to come back. We accept our challenges and we know what’s needed to be sorted out and the future will be led by the ANC,” a confident Mokonyane said.

In his attempt to demonstrate his good governance, Ramaphosa shared a story of Tintswalo, who was born at the dawn of freedom in 1994, whom he said grew up in a society that was worlds apart from the South Africa of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

“She grew up in a society governed by a Constitution rooted in equality, the rule of law, and affirmation of the inherent dignity of every citizen. Tintswalo, and many others born at the same time as her, were beneficiaries of the first policies of the democratic state to provide free health care for pregnant women and children under the age of 6.

“Tintswalo’s formative years were spent in a house provided by the state, one of millions of houses built to shelter the poor. Tintswalo grew up in a household provided with basic water and electricity, in a house where her parents were likely to have lived without electricity before 1994,” Ramaphosa explained.

However, many parliamentarians said Tintswalo was the imaginary child of Ramaphosa and did not exist in real life.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said they had heard the Tintswalo story before as Thursday’s one was a cut and paste of many others.

“We have heard these lies before. Cut and paste of the previous address in this house,” Holomisa exclaimed.

The Star