'Planet Zuma' to eclipse Parliament at 2pm
After two days of heated debates, the president will respond to opposition parties in Parliament.
CAPE TOWN - Insults and clashes over the rules threatened to derail day two of debate on President Jacob Zuma's State Of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday, but there were also sharp differences over the state of the economy.
Zuma is set to reply to the debate this afternoon.
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Government ministers insisted that the economy, while troubled, was in safe hands but opposition MPs challenged this.
The debate took place as the news broke that inflation is on the rise and that at 6.2 percent, it is just above the Reserve Bank's target range, signalling the prospect of further interest rate hikes.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel acknowledged the economy's in trouble but accused opposition critics of being prophets of doom and gloom.
"We should not and will not succumb to a narrative of anger, despair, hopelessness and blame."
The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s David Maynier told the house that the president's sudden reshuffle of finance ministers was like dropping a nuclear bomb on the economy.
"The decision to fire the minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene turned an economic downturn into an economic crisis and unleashed a firestorm which destroyed investor confidence."
The often heated debate took place as the World Bank issued a warning that South Africa is standing on the brink of a recession.
During the debate, Maimane told Zuma he's out of touch with the people.
"On Planet Zuma, every problem can be solved by setting up a committee, a task team, or a commission of inquiry."
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