SONA: Continued hollow ANC rhetoric, empty promises, no action

Opinion by FF Plus

SONA: Continued hollow ANC rhetoric, empty promises, no action. Photo: Die Vryburger
SONA: Continued hollow ANC rhetoric, empty promises, no action. Photo: Die Vryburger

It was a two-hour speech in which the country’s problems were aptly summarised, but not a single solution was offered. In a nutshell, that is how one can describe President Cyril Ramaphosa’s disappointing State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 7 February 2019.

Over the last quarter of a century, the ANC has shown again and again that it is simply unable to effectively deal with the country’s problems and challenges.

President Cyril Ramaphosa sympathised with the families of the learners who tragically drowned in school pit toilets as well as with the next of kin of the black student who was shot dead in Durban the day before. He, however, could not find any time to sympathise with the parents and community of the public school Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark where four learners died and more than 20 were seriously injured.

The President’s main priority when it comes to improving education is to spend money on buying a tablet for every single learner in every school in South Africa rather than to upgrade dilapidated school infrastructure and train more teachers.

Expropriation without compensation was on the agenda once more and again the President failed to indicate how it will be implemented.

President Ramaphosa simply continued making the same empty promises that the ANC has been making for the last 25 years by saying how the economy must be stimulated to create more jobs. It, however, does not happen and the FF Plus can guarantee the President that as long as the government continues with expropriation without compensation, it will never happen.

There is a big difference between daydreams and the reality of the problems in our country. The President said, for example, that he wants to create 274 000 job opportunities per year. The reality, however, is that approximately 800 000 matriculants enter the labour market every year. That is nearly three times the number of job opportunities that the President wants to create.

Another reality is that South Africa’s unemployment rate is nearly 38%. That serves as proof that words alone will not solve our country’s problems.

The President also made mention of an institute for national intelligence. It strongly reminds of the national security council of the previous dispensation. It also raises the following question: to what end? There are already enough intelligence structures in the country and this step is worrying.

The President asked for suggestions on how the government can improve service delivery. The FF Plus’s response to this is very simple: do away with Affirmative Action and appoint competent people to do the work. It is a practical, workable solution.

President Ramaphosa’s strong emphasis on the eradication of corruption is welcome, but the announcement that the state is going to start offering a course in ethics and anti corruption at the public officials’ training academy after 25 years is ironic and, to be honest, tragic.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus

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