Photo: Flickr / GCIS
Photo: Flickr / GCIS
If you haven’t heard by now, President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday 11 February 2021 and boy does he have some serious demands to meet. The South African reached out to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) to find out their expectations. While the EFF did not respond, the other two political parties are expecting some major reforms from the president.
While this year’s SONA will be different due to COVID-19, it is still one of the most important annual events in the parliamentary calendar which sees Ramaphosa deliver a speech focusing on the plans of government for the coming years.
The DA said Ramaphosa needs to focus on three broad categories during his SONA 2021 speech.
1. The urgent and large-scale acquisition and rollout of vaccines;
2. The announcement of large scale economic reforms to stabilize debt and reject regressive ANC policies such as the nationalization of the reserve bank, National Health Insurance in its current form and asset prescription; and
3. “Ensuring the protection of our democracy through pursuing accountability for all found to have broken the law through the Zondo Commission and ensuring we strengthen the power of Parliament in holding government to account”.
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said Ramaphosa needs to provide clarity on three things during his SONA 2021 speech:
“He needs to bring clarity on whether we will have local government elections this year, whether the ANC supports an election this year and whether they will come forward with an amendment to the constitution to postpone the local government elections,” he said.
“Secondly, we also want to have clarity and the details on the rollout programme of the vaccine in South Africa. It is quite disturbing to learn now that the AstraZeneca vaccine is only 22% effective, what went wrong? He must explain all the details,” he added.
“Thirdly, we also want clarity and the detail from the president on what he is going to do to ensure that we restore the economy and create jobs. The people of South Africa are really tired of hearing about another summit and what is wrong and what should be done. We want to hear what he will do to ensure that we create jobs, that is what South Africa needs,” he added.