Mercoledì, 10 Febbraio 2016 22:15 | SONA: ANC happy, opposition underwhelmed

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Cape Town - While ANC members were quick to praisePresident Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address (SONA), opposition partieswere underwhelmed.

Zuma delivered his SONA in the National Assembly onThursday but Cope

and the EFF’s theatrics threatened to overshadow the address.

Both parties walked out after various requests to leavefrom Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chair ThandiModise.

Official opposition leader DA Mmusi Maimane questionedhow the “drama” helped the country.

“The question before us is 8.3 million South Africans areat home unemployed. That’s what we need to debate, that’s what we need toaddress.”

He said he had already tabled a request to remove Zumafrom office, but that would be debated at a later state.

“We should focus on serving the people’s business, notthe EFF’s business.”

Maimane said the president’s speech was more of the same,especially regarding jobs.

“He wasn’t bold enough on certain things. When he speaksabout budget cuts, literally cutting food and travel, those are small in thefact the president should have announced the privatisation of SAA, and sellingoff of some of the state assets so we can recoup the capital to finance thedevelopment objectives going forward.”

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was unfazed by theEFF departure.

He said if anybody chose to walk out they were"opting out".

Mantashe said the EFF was not raising concerns about theConstitutional Court case. They were just disrupting and depriving theconstituency the opportunity to be informed when the speech is debated.


IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi described the walk-out bythe EFF and Cope as theatrics.

He said he was too old to be in the job for suchtheatrics, even if he felt aggrieved by some issues.

He praised Zuma’s speech, and said he would have tackledit the same way.

National Freedom Party secretary general Nhlanhla Khubisasaid the party did not feel as if Zuma had answered the questions on how hewould turn around the economy.

“There is an economic meltdown in our country, and ourcountry being [threatened with] downgraded to junk status. There is unemployment,there is poverty. We facing a huge debt, and the president just skimmed those.Without delving into details.”

On the EFF, Khubisa said next week, during the debate,would have been the perfect time for them to raise their concerns.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor praised thepresident’s address.

She said the president was committed to high levels ofgrowth and reported improvements on the nine point plan.

Pandor said while he announced plans last year, he usedthis time to report on progress.

Cope and the EFF were not in the precinct following theaddress.

Shortly after the address ANC MPs and Cabinet ministerssang and danced around the bust of late president Nelson Mandela.

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