More promises, more empty words, more frameworks and task teams. Those are the only solutions that President Cyril Ramaphosa offered a country that is in critical condition in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
There can no longer be any doubt that the President puts the ANC and its policies above South Africa and its people.
He was not willing to make a single unpopular decision, like abolishing cadre deployment to put the economy on the road to recovery.
The President did, however, acknowledge that unemployment is a serious problem and proceeded to announce a stimulus programme aimed at creating jobs. Unfortunately, it is merely cosmetic and unsustainable seeing as the government will drive the project. The President also acknowledged that certain legislation and regulations hamper job creation in the private sector, but failed to properly address the issue.
President Ramaphosa, furthermore, acknowledged that the private sector must be the primary job creator in the country, so that is precisely where stimulus through change is needed to facilitate sustainable job creation.
The President recognised that the agricultural sector has a lot of potential to create more jobs and bring about economic growth.
But if he were serious about unlocking this potential, he would have announced some form of aid for commercial farmers who recently suffered great losses due to floods. He would also have prioritised rural safety. The agricultural sector cannot flourish while farmers are being slaughtered.
The announcement that 12 000 additional police officers will be appointed and that changes will be made to the management and expertise of al the intelligence services is welcomed.
It remains unacceptable, though, that specialist units taken from the police force’s limited manpower are used to patrol and protect infrastructure, while the same can apparently not be done to ensure rural safety.
As in the past, the President provided a thorough analysis of the country’s many problems as well as the factors constraining economic growth, but failed to mention a single step that will be taken to bring about real change.
The only strategy that was put forward is that South Africans must come up with a plan to stimulate the economy within a “hundred days”. This is a typical example of more empty words that will come to nothing.
The President referred to extensive infrastructure development and other projects amounting to billions of rand without saying where the funds will come from.
He admitted that investments have declined over the past few years, that power problems are holding back the business sector, that the private sector is important and ought to be supported, that there are serious problems on local government level, that state capture has had a devastating effect on Eskom, that efficient ports are essential and that red tape is hampering entrepreneurship.
Everyone in South Africa already knows that. The President merely painted a perfect picture of the terrible state into which South Africa has fallen under ANC rule.
What the people wanted to hear was how the government plans to solve these problems.
But like always, there was none of that.
Ultimately, the economy will only grow once Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Affirmative Action (AA) are abolished.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus