The State of the Nation Address debate, (A debate held at parliament where any grievances, counter arguments or compliments are aired by the electoral parties on the address of the nation by the President which happened last week Thursday, 20 June) started at 10am this morning.

The democratic parties that were visible are:
The African National Congress (ANC)
Democratic Alliance (DA)
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
Freedom Front plus (VF+)

The first to speak was ANC’s chief whip Pemmy Majodina, who defended President Ramaphosa’s dream taking the opportunity to speak in favour of his vision, which many members of the opposition dismissed as nothing more than “dreams“.

Second to speak was DA Leader Mmusi Maimane who responded by saying that the country was divided into two realities in which one half can fulfil its needs and wants while the other half cannot. “An inequality of dreams and possibilities. We are a country of insiders and outsiders, and right now we’re making no headway in breaking down the walls between these two groups,”.

Next was Jackson Mthembu the newly elected minister in the presidency, Mthembu spoke about the 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”.

Following Mthembu was The EFF Leader Julius Malema who has launched a scathing attack on President Cyril Ramaphosa, asking what former president Nelson Mandela saw in him "that we don't see".
Malema said there was nothing to debate as the president had presented no new ideas on tackling socioeconomic problems. “We really have no Sona to debate. What we have is a misguided, incoherent, contradictory and proven to be futile ideas mixed in a bag of fantasies,” said Malema.

Following Malema was Buthelezi the IFP leader who said we must work together how can we have the dream of a bullet train but the basics of the citizens are not being met, where will the funding come if the country is already borrowing money to stay a float “we need economic growth, and we need it now!” He thanked the president for highlighting the increase in HIV infections rate among young women.

And finally, the VP plus leader Groenewald asked the President if he ever asked himself why young white South Africans are leaving the country he’s response to that was because there are no jobs and this is thanks to the affirmative action. BEE discriminates against the white youth. Groenewald confronted the president saying, “Why is it so difficult to condemn white farm murders” claiming that it is a crime against the community not just the individual claiming “You are a prisoner of the African National Congress”.

The closing argument from all sides of the political parties were emotive. Yunus Carrim from the ANC closed the debate claiming that both the DA and the EFF have an identity crisis’s closing with a backing of Ramaphosa’s speech saying that the ANC is the reason why all other political parties have the liberation to dream themselves.

By: Aneeqa Du Plessis


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