Zuma appeals for unity in response to his critics

In his response to the #SonaDebate, Zuma focused on the state of the economy & the need for united action.

President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma appealed for unity in dealing with the challenges facing the country.

There were no interruptions and no heckling when Zuma replied to debate on his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament yesterday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has been absent since Julius Malema led his MPs out of the chamber on Tuesday, after telling Zuma he couldn't acknowledge him as president.

WATCH: #SonaDebate: Malema responds to Zuma

In a speech that lasted just over an hour, Zuma ignored the blasts of criticism from opposition parties questioning his judgement and ability to lead.

Instead, Zuma focused on the state of the economy and the need for united action.

He says he wants everyone to pull together to get the economy out of its nosedive and avert a downgrade to junk status.

"We seem to be coming together with business, government and labour to agree on general issues that must assist our country to move forward."

Zuma wants all political parties on board.

But Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says the best medicine for the economy would be for Zuma to go.

"It's at a point where none of us believe president Zuma and that's why I still maintain that president Zuma must be removed."

Zuma faces another motion of no confidence early next month, but the African National Congress (ANC)'s majority is sure to prevail.