Opposition parties offer mixed expectations for #Sona2019

Opposition parties say the president needs to make bold and decisive announcements about what he plans to do about those implicated in corruption.

FILE: South Africa's new president Cyril Ramaphosa smiles as he delivers a speech after being elected by the Members of Parliament during his swearing in ceremony at the Parliament in Cape Town, on 15 February 2018. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties say even though President Cyril Ramaphosa will, in all likelihood, deliver two State of the Nation Addresses this year, the first one is still important for taking stock of the year that’s been and setting the tone for the one ahead.

Opposition parties say with so much corruption having been uncovered over the past year, the president needs to make bold and decisive announcements about what he plans to do about those implicated.

Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen says Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona) will be an important indicator of what he plans to do about the ailing economy.

“What he’s going to be doing to get the economy moving again and whether these are credible plans or whether it’s more of what he’s been doing over the past year, which is just dealing with the sentiment.”

But Inkatha Freedom Party’s chief whip Narend Singh says it will be the post-election State of the Nation address that will be of more significance.

“That would set the direction for the next five years, and that’s where opposition parties are going to hold him accountable for the promises he makes, especially on unemployment among the youth.”

Meanwhile, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa is keeping his expectations low.

“What do I expect from Cyril this state of the nation? Ah not much, to be honest with you. It’s going to be a repetition of what you heard during the 8 January statement.”

The president will step up to the podium to speak to the nation at 7pm on Thursday.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)