Jackson Mthembu throws shade at DA, EFF in his Sona reply

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu debates President Cyril Ramaphosa's third Sona with opposition parties, 25 June 2019. Picture: Screenshot (SABC Digital News).

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu debates President Cyril Ramaphosa's third Sona with opposition parties, 25 June 2019. Picture: Screenshot (SABC Digital News).

South Africa ‘rejected the DA’, and the EFF must ‘win elections’ if they want to influence which ministers are appointed, the minister says.

South Africa’s recently-appointed minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, addressed both of the biggest opposition parties in his reply to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third state of the nation address (Sona).

Addressing the official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its leader, Mmusi Maimane, who had spoken prior to Mthembu, the minister said: “Honorable Mamaine speaks as if we are still in an election campaign. He seems to forget that the reason President Ramaphosa delivered Sona is because the people of South Africa rejected the DA in elections.

“The only manifesto which will be implemented by this government is the ANC manifesto. Therefore, honourable Maimane and his party must decide whether they want to join us in building this country or not.”

Later, turning his attention to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Mthembu said the president had the “right and prerogative” to appoint ministers.

“If one wants that right, they must win elections first,” he continued, before adding: “I hope the EFF is listening.”

Mthembu’s speech made the argument that, with the ideas put forward in his Sona, Ramaphosa showed that he was not just a dreamer but a man of action as well.

READ MORE: Mthembu slates ‘ignorant’ EFF on Malema case

“The purveyors of the misguided narrative that the President’s Sona was slim on detail are disingenuous and very economical with the truth,” he said.

“Let me remind you that the purpose of the state of the nation address is for the president to report on the status of the nation and outline the overall strategic direction and priorities,” he continued.

Mthembu then turned his attention to concrete plans he believed the president mentioned in his speech.

“The president made specific mention of sectors that can turn our economic fortunes around, elucidated on areas of great potential including stimulating local manufacturing and promoting the ‘buy local’ campaign, developing new markets in agriculture,” he continued.

Mthembu said Ramaphosa’s government had six clear priorities, the first being “economic transformation and job creation”, the second being “education, skills and health”, the third being “consolidating the social wage through reliable basic services”, the fourth being “spatial integration”, the fifth being “social cohesion and safe communities”, and the sixth being a “capable, ethical and developmental state”.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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