Motlanthe recaps on South Africa’s 15 years
By Mishkah Anthony and Mikhaila Crowie
6 Febraury 2009
Today President Kgalema Motlanthe delivered his first or last State of the Nation Address in a joint sitting of Parliament.
President Motlanthe’s speech was nothing new just merely a recap of what government has done over the past 15 years.
Motlanthe announced various interventions to minimise the impact of the global financial crisis on South Africa’s society. During his State of the Nation address in Parliament this morning, Motlanthe said government would adapt industrial financing and incentive instruments to help deal with challenges in various sectors. It will also encourage development finance institutions to assist firms in distress because of the crisis.
Among much pomp and fan fair political leaders were very mellow in their approach, but had mixed reactions about the speech.
Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, said the speech was balanced but did not touch on the specifics like the cholera pandemic in our country.
Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Mulder, says the President had no clear plan and therefore this indicated that he was just an interim president.
Patricia De Lille, leader of the Independent Democrats, said she “appreciated the honesty of the President in dealing with the pressure facing the country”, but are still questioning whether our country has the skills and capacity to implement government plans.
Outgoing Parliamentary leader for Democratic Alliance, Sandra Botha, said the speech was “very mechanical instead of an inspirational one” and doesn’t address the real issue that faces South Africans.
United Democratic Movement leader, Bantu Holomisa, said the speech was to “designed to win the hearts and minds of South Africans as the election is approaching”. He said the speech, like the previous president’s one, gave an account on what Government has done in previous years.
ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, said the President showed in his speech the progress, that “we (ANC) made in the last 15 years as a democratic country with the ANC as the ruling party”.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthulezi, said Motlanthe’s speech made mention of people not having access to health facilities, then goes on to say the ARV program is the largest in the world. Buthulezi said yet South Africa has the highest incidence of HIV/Aids in the world .
When asked if he was disappointed with the speech, Buthulezi says he only “sympathises” with Motlanthe as he is only the interim president with the “least power”.
Despite the seriousness of the day, this year’s State of the Nation address proved to be a colourful affair as music drummed through the atmosphere. The prominent colours of the day were purple and pink with splashes of orange and green.
Seems politicians don’t only know their politics but fashion too.