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South Africa’s opposition parties criticize President Ramaphosa’s SONA speech

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There was nothing new in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), delivered in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, 20 June 2019, South Africa’s opposition parties said.

On Thursday, 20 June 2019, leader of Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, described Ramaphosa’s speech as “a state of no action and containing a lot of empty promises, a pipe dream.”

“It was all based on a dream of really no tangible plans on how we will get out of this trouble in the next five years. We should have seen more reforms, and none were forthcoming,” Maimane said.

He said Ramaphosa’s stance on the South African Reserve Bank, that its mandate was unchanged, did not reflect the ruling African National Congress’ (ANC) resolutions taken in 2017 at the ANC’s elective conference.

“Our state constitution gives the mandate of the Reserve Bank. The problem that the president is facing is that his party doesn’t agree with the position he is taking,” he said.

On his part, opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said Ramaphosa’s speech said “nothing.”

Opposition Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he hoped Ramaphosa would be able to fulfil his promises.

“I can say without any fear of contradiction that I have never heard any similar speech that was lauded as much as this. Most of the things he cited concerned what every one of us lacks,” Buthelezi said.

– APA

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