President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) tonight was proof that he had chosen the ANC over the interests of South Africans, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement after the event.
“Despite the desperate need for immediate action to fight unemployment, corruption and crime, the President failed to take the difficult decisions required – preferring to put the ANC ahead of South Africa,” Maimane said.
Ramaphosa’s “facade of talk-shops, summits, commissions, and meetings” had yielded no tangible change to the lives of those left behind, particularly the almost 10 million unemployed South Africans, he said.
“Ramaphosa’s first year as President has been a ‘State of No Action’. He is incapable of leading a government that can manage the real problems South Africa faces. South Africans rightly expected more from Cyril Ramaphosa and we share their disappointment at what was effectively a wish list devoid of any real, workable plans.
“The President’s address was a laundry list of empty promises. In his Sona last year, the President also made many promises. He said corruption will be rooted out in the public sector, but not one ANC politician has been arrested – including those embroiled in the Bosasa and VBS scandals. Corruption remains firmly rooted in the very DNA of the ANC.
“In his Sona last year, the President also spoke about all the many interventions government made into the economy, but today our economy is still on its knees. Today, 25,000 more young people are unemployed than in 2018, with expanded unemployment for young people at 50.1%,” said Maimane.
He said Ramaphosa was “tinkering with current policies” that had not brought change and had no plan to break the barrier between the haves and have-nots.
The DA was “bitterly disappointed” by the lack of progress Ramaphosa had made since he replaced Jacob Zuma as president, said Maimane.
“The President has taken a step in the right direction by beginning the breakup of Eskom, however he hasn’t gone far enough. These entities will still fall under the same holding company – Eskom – and South Africans will still pay for corruption and mismanagement at the bloated entity.”
“In terms of the National Health Insurance (NHI), we reject this nationalisation of our health services. An ANC that is embroiled in corruption and cannot get the basics of governance right, cannot be trusted with control over the health of our nation.
“NHI pilot projects have failed abysmally already. If a pilot project is unsuccessful, there is no chance that it will be successful nationally. The NHI will do to the health sector what Eskom has done to the energy sector.”
Maimane said Ramaphosa’s reaffirmation to expropriate land without compensation, led by deputy president David Mabuza, was “an assault on the constitution and private property rights” and would only enrich the ANC elite.
– African News Agency (ANA)