Ramaphosa: My new city plans are not a dream, they're my desired reality

President Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon responded to debate on his State of the Nation Address.

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

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday a new city in South Africa was not a dream but a desired reality.

Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon responded to debate on his State of the Nation Address.

The president was criticised by the opposition over his ambitious dreams to build a new city and a high-speed bullet train network. He was also criticised over a lack of detail in last Thursday’s speech.

Ramaphosa said he was advised by officials to put his desire to create a new city under the section on dreams.

“I was advised to put that under the dreams section of the Sona. But it actually belongs in the main section on the future and desired reality we want.”

The president said the country was already facing significant backlogs in housing, schools and clinics in almost all major urban centres.

He said waves of people migrating to cities had to live further and further away from CBDs.

“Poor people must live in cities. They need to live near cities. We need to crowd cities.”

Ramaphosa said it was time to confront reality and the country would succeed unless all South Africans played their part.

The president said his address last week was meant to spell out a vision and sketch a framework for government programmes.

The president said the response to his Sona had strengthened his belief that “a clear, common vision” was needed for South Africa’s future.

“Sona is about articulating a vision and a direction for government programmes.”

Ramaphosa said his Sona last week was about setting out the seven priorities of his government, guided by the ANC’s elections manifesto.

The president further said ministers would provide details of the government’s programmes in their budget speeches in the coming weeks.