MPs to debate Ramaphosa's Sona speech

President Cyril Ramaphosa received a standing ovation after his maiden State of the Nation Address of Friday even from opposition parties.

FILE: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address at the Parliament on 16 February 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Members of Parliament will on Monday debate President Cyril Ramaphosa's maiden State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament.

Ramaphosa made bold commitments on Friday, hinting at restructuring what he called a bloated Cabinet.

The president also promised to urgently attend to matters at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), saying that he wants the institution to act without fear or favour.

The president also committed to appointing a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South African Revenue Service.

Ramaphosa received a standing ovation after his maiden State of the Nation Address of Friday even from opposition parties.

He's expected to face pressure today from MPs who want him to make changes to his Cabinet as a matter of urgency.

The Public Servants Association says that President Ramaphosa's looming downsizing of government departments will channel more employees to the ground level where services are needed by the public.

The trade union's Tahir Maepa emphasises the need for skilled professionals to occupy key positions in government.

“People who will be able to really aspire confidence from ordinary in the country.”

Political analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, says that Ramaphosa's address however contains too many fragmented initiatives.

“There seem to be too many initiatives that need to be sequenced, that need to be prioritised and narrowed into fewer initiatives.”

MP's will debate Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces on Monday.

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)’s Sizwe Pamla says there are ministers they want axed.

“Ministers like David Mahlobo, Mosebenzi Zwane, Bathabile Dlamini and all these other ministers need to be relieved off their duties, not because there’s an agenda that’s behind pursuing their interests but what we’re trying to do is to rehabilitate the image of the ANC.”

The South African Communist Party (SACP)’s Solly Mapaila says it’s important that Ramaphosa acts now.

“President Ramaphosa can’t come in and have this overwhelming acceptance by the people and still drive the old horse, it won’t take him far.

“He should rejuvenate it. There’s a need for rejuvenation of Cabinet and realignment of different ministries which we support.”

Ramaphosa will reply to the debate on Tuesday.