Sona debate: Sisulu fires back at Maimane over ‘broken state’ comments

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu stressed that South Africa is not a broken country.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says it's time to fix a broken country left behind by former President Jacob Zuma.

Maimane was addressing the National Assembly as Members of Parliament debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address. Ramaphosa is scheduled to respond to the debate on Tuesday.

Maimane has stressed the importance of government improving basic education.

“He has inherited a corrupt state that has been captured to serve the interests of the few and he has inherited a governing party that is deeply divided, severely limiting is room to manoeuvre.”

WATCH: Sona: MPs debate Ramaphosa's speech

Following Maimane’s comments, the Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu stressed that South Africa is not a broken country.

Sisulu says the change of government was not out of malice.

“And he continues for an exaggerated effect to talk of a broken state. South Africa is not a problem state, we have our problems, but it is not a broken state.”

She's also committed to assisting in establishing effective governance in the country.

“The review of the size and structure of government departments is one of those things we’ll be looking at. In view of the resources available to us, it would be a necessary cost cutter. Governance by its very nature calls on us to review the plans we have and the paths we have chosen to assess their efficacy.”

Ramaphosa on Friday highlighted various government interventions to revitalise state-owned entities and create jobs.

He says further discussions will take place with stakeholders on the Mining Charter in a bid to ensure sustainable transformation in this sector.

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has questioned whether Ramaphosa's plan regarding land expropriation will be implemented.

In his State of the Nation Address last Friday, the president reaffirmed the ANC policy decision to accelerate the land redistribution programme, in a bid to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and make more land available for cultivation.

But Malema questions whether government will act on its pronouncements.

“This cannot be an issue to bluff about. This cannot be an issue to pass time with. It’s an emotive issue and you only mention it if you mean it. It’s not a matter you can go around and joke about.”

He also addressed Maimane on the issue.

“Your stay in the metros is going to depend on your attitude on the expropriation of land without compensation. I want to warn you about that, it’s a fundamental issue that will make us fight with you.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)