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After a tongue-lashing from MPs, Ramaphosa to respond to Sona debate

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen said people wanted to hear about plans not dreams.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa was on Wednesday set to respond to the debate on his State of the Nation Address (Sona), where opposition parties lashed him for weaving dreams rather than spelling out concrete plans.

Ramphosa sat through a marathon 10-hour joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on Tuesday, listening as opposition speakers tore into his speech, slating it as full of vision, but with little substance.

While the African National Congress (ANC) members rushed to defend Ramaphosa; he faced opposition within his own party to his growth and renewal project, a wedge that opposition MPs were happy to drive.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema accused Ramaphosa of backing away from the land question and urged him to come clean on the donations his party presidential campaign received from Bosasa.

“You’ve got no luxury to dream, you are a President, you are an implementer, you’ve got the power to make things happen.”

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen said people wanted to hear about plans not dreams.

“The longer you fail to take the hard decisions, the harder it will become to do so. The more you delay the deep reforms, the further the economy will drift away. The longer you pander to the corrupt and rotten in your party, the more the doubts are going to pile up.”

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, sweeping for the ANC, said the party had never claimed to be perfect and owned up to its mistakes.

“We never hide them. We stumble and rise. And right now, we’re busy rising up for the sake of our people and we’re saying we still have dreams, dreams of a nation that is a beacon of hope and prosperity.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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