‘Wait for the action’

2018-02-19 10:21
EFF members Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema react during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech.

EFF members Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema react during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech. (Jaco Marais)

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WATCH LIVE: Joint sitting debate of State of the Nation Address

2018-02-19 10:15

Watch as opposition parties debate newly sworn-in president Cyril Ramaphosa's Friday State of the Nation Address in Parliament. WATCH

Members of Parliament on Friday night welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, but cautious opposition parties say actions speak louder than words.

Ramaphosa received a standing ovation after delivering his maiden speech but opposition parties say they want to see him also getting rid of incompetent and corrupt ministers.

“We must caution him that we have heard these promises before. We need to see action and I hope that he has an administration that will implement these plans,” said UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa.

He said they will give him an opportunity to implement his plans to also fight corruption as they can already see that the intention is there following the recent arrests made by the police and the Hawks.

Holomisa said he observed some of the ministers sulking at the news that he intended getting rid of corrupt individuals in all government institutions, including the state-owned institutions.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane welcomed Ramaphosa’s call for everyone to work together in building South Africa. He said he was, however, disappointed when he heard Ramaphosa promising things that his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, had promised but failed to deliver on.

“He talks of more summits. What South Africans are desperate for is strong decisive and immediate action from now on forward,” he said.

Maimane said he is looking forward to the shrinking of the Cabinet because there are many ministers that need to be fired and some departments need to be restructured.

He said the minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, is one of those who should be axed.

“It was Malusi Gigaba who started state capture and we now need a Finance minister who will take us forward,” said Maimane.

EFF’s commander in chief Julius Malema said Ramaphosa told the country what South Africans wanted to hear, but he does not seem to have an implementation plan.

“He is hoping those seminars and commissions will come up with something coherent. We welcome the expropriation of land without compensation. We also welcome the reducing of cabinet. We’ve always complained that the South African Cabinet is too big and does not add value in SA,” he said.

He said the EFF also welcomed the commitment to allow law enforcement agencies to continue doing their work without interference.

“He must arrest his own colleagues because they are corrupt and most of them are not going to be very happy with him once he gets closer to them,” said Malema.

On the EFF’s decision not to disrupt the proceedings, he said the EFF wants peace in Parliament and they only had a problem with a “delinquent”.

He also called for the firing of Gigaba, saying the minister did not inspire confidence.

“Let’s give the president a chance to deliver on his promises even though right now he doesn’t seem to have a plan,” said Malema.

The ANC’s national chairperson Gwede Mantashe commended Ramaphosa on his speech and plan for the nation. He would not be drawn into discussing which ministers will be given the boot and when.

On who will be delivering the budget, he said: “Malusi Gigaba is the minister of Finance and the budget is delivered by the minister of Finance”.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said: “I’m excited about the speech but I’m also asking how it will be implemented. I believe he means what he’s saying, but I worry about where the money is.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sona 2018

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