As insults fly during debate, Ramaphosa urged to 'stare down enemies of growth'

Opposition parties delivered broadsides against Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has been urged to “stare down the enemies of growth,” even within his own party.

Opposition parties delivered broadsides against Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

On Tuesday, opposition parties questioned Ramaphosa, describing him as a dreamer with no real plan.

The strongest salvoes were fired by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance. DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “Dreaming has its place, sir, but it is no substitute for real action. Why could you not make one single concrete announcement?”

Hill-Lewis claimed the answer was that there was as yet no agreement within the ANC on what do about the economy, Eskom or other major issues.

“The truth is, this president is in office, but he is not in power.”

Hill-Lewis urged Ramaphosa to “stare down the enemies of growth”.

“You do not make a crocodile vegetarian by offering it more meat. Every time you compromise with the looting lunatic left, you just embolden them even more and one day when you’ve compromised everything away they will come for you.”

While Ramaphosa will get his chance to reply to the debate tomorrow afternoon, ANC speakers have defended his vision.

The tables were turned when the ANC’s Yunus Carrim accused both the DA and the EFF of having their own heads in the clouds, the DA with its trust in market forces and the EFF for backing nationalisation.

“If the DA dreams about the free market, the EFF dreams about an all-powerful ‘Father Xmas state’ that will deliver everything and anything to everybody overnight and let me tell you it’s not simple. Mao suits they want for all but Louis Vuitton red overalls… nationalise they say, and all will be solved. This is idealism of the worst sort.”

Carrim claimed both parties were at sea because they no longer had former president Jacob Zuma to criticise.

“You are two parties who are the opposite sides of the same coin; both suffering from an identity crisis and both not knowing where you are going because Mr Zuma is not here anymore.”

But Carrim also acknowledged the many challenges facing the country, saying the ANC could not fix them on its own.