Ramaphosa’s high-tech ‘Wakanda’ dreams will only benefit the few – Maimane

Ramaphosa’s high-tech ‘Wakanda’ dreams will only benefit the few – Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

The opposition leader says the president’s proposed ‘high-tech cities’ and ‘high-speed trains’ will not be available to all South Africans.

In his reply to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third state of the nation address, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane painted a picture of two South Africas, one of privileged people and children with access to education and opportunities, and another where children had no access to this and would therefore not be able to find employment.

“It’s not just a question of income inequality but an inequality of opportunity, it’s an inequality [of] dreams and an inequality of possibilities,” he said.

Maimane described South Africa as “a country of outsiders and insiders”, where there had been no headway in “breaking down the wall of those who have and those who have not”.

“The tragedy,” Maimane said, is that Ramaphosa “gave a vision of a future of a South Africa of high tech cities, high-speed trains and classrooms where children are taught to code and to analyse data”.

“Mr President I get that”, Maimane said, but added that his “greatest fear is that that will only be available to a few of our children and that many kids in this country will be left [without] opportunity”.

READ MORE: Van Damme’s punch goes against the project of reconciliation – Maimane

“Our priority should be to fix what is broken and build a South Africa where all can be guaranteed an equality of opportunity – be it in the classroom, on the sports field, or in the workplace,” Maimane said.

The DA leader also said that rather than a “new horse”, which is what South Africa needs, Ramaphosa spoke only of a “faster horse”. He noted that some had described the president’s high tech dreams on Twitter as being similar to “Wakanda”, the fictitious country featured in Marvel film Black Panther.

At one point he also called on the President to “sell SAA” and use that money to fix South Africa’s trains.

In an earlier reaction on Facebook following the speech last Thursday, Maimane said South Africa was in a “massive crisis” and that the Sona was an opportunity for the president to talk about “bold and decisive plans”, adding that he instead delivered “pipeline dreaming”, a criticism shared by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.

Maimane added that Ramaphosa’s speech was full of “things we have heard before”, dismissing it as “more rhetoric”.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

SONA reaction

My thoughts on President Ramaphosa's SONA. More talk and no tangible plans.

Posted by Mmusi Maimane on Thursday, 20 June 2019

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print