Opposition parties criticise Ramaphosa's Sona as out of touch and out of ideas

The DA’s John Steenhuisen characterised Ramaphosa’s speech as ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’; praising him for continuing the COVID-19 relief grants but coming down hard on economic reforms which were yet to reach Parliament.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 11 February 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Opposition parties have described President Cyril Ramaphosa's fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) as out of touch and out of ideas.

Ramaphosa delivered little in the way of new plans in his address, focusing rather on reporting back on progress.
For some of the major political parties in the country, the President’s speech might as well have been delivered in 2020, or even 2019.

* FULL SPEECH: President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s John Steenhuisen characterised Ramaphosa’s speech as ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’; praising him for continuing the COVID-19 relief grants but coming down hard on economic reforms which were yet to reach Parliament.

“When are they going to see the light of day? He can talk about reforms; he can keep them on a piece of paper in a drawer in the Union Buildings. Until he brings them to the floor of the Parliament, he is not going to get them passed.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) described the speech as insanity, arguing that the president was doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)’s Mkhulekwa Hlengwa agrees that there was little that was new or inspiring to Ramaphosa’s speech, though the party did welcome some of the interventions.

“We have heard these things before. It doesn’t feel like a pitch for a president who was campaigning for re-election whilst actually in government.”

The African National Congress (ANC) has defended the Sona, saying that President Ramaphosa focused on key issues and gave an account on plans set out the previous year.

WATCH: Job creation and fighting corruption: Highlights from Sona 2021

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