President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered his second State of the Nation Address of the year before both Houses of Parliament. Read on for more on the President’s 7 priorities, and 5 goals.
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Eskom’s three problems, according to Maimane
Maimane says Ramaphosa has three fundamental problems in turning around Eskom.
“The first is money. His party has stolen enough money, that we are running out of money. What we’re effectively doing is borrowing just to keep the lights on,” says Maimane.
“The second is that his party cannot agree on policy. Whilst on one end, his supporting unbundling, other people in his party and unions are simply not supporting him.
“Third, ultimately, there is a leadership deficit. When you talk about leadership across all SOEs, you’re dealing with a bloated state, which makes the state incapable of doing anything. You can’t deploy cadres to the state and hope that by some off miracle they’ll be able to do the things that need to be done.
“So against those constraints, the president can talk all he likes, he simply is not going to be able to achieve the objectives he has set out to do.”
Signing off with a poem
Ramaphosa ends off his speech with a poem after some heckling from opposition parties following the announcement of his grand dream of a smart city.
“Working together there is nothing we cannot
be, nothing we cannot do, and nothing we cannot achieve.
“As we enter this new era, let us take to
heart the words of Ben Okri, when he says:
“Will you be at the harvest,
Among the gatherers of new fruits?
Then you must begin today to remake
Your mental and spiritual world,
And join the warriors and celebrants
Of freedom, realizers of great dreams.
You can’t remake the world
Without remaking yourself.
Each new era begins within.
It is an inward event,
With unsuspected possibilities
For inner liberation.
We could use it to turn on
Our inward lights.
We could use it to use even the dark
And negative things positively.
We could use the new era
To clean our eyes,
To see the world differently,
To see ourselves more clearly.
Only free people can make a free world.
Infect the world with your light.
Help fulfill the golden prophecies.
Press forward the human genius.
Our future is greater than our past.”
Some MPs start applauding, while some opposition MPs can be heard heckling at the announcement on smart city plans.
“We are the South African nation that with
its Constitution gives hope to the hopeless, rights to the dispossessed and
marginalised, and comfort and security to its men, women and children.
“Though we may have faltered, we have not
forgotten who we are, and what we stand for. We are still that nation.
You may ask how I can be hopeful at such a
“I am hopeful because I have walked with the
people of this country – the nurses and health care workers, our men and women
in uniform, the teachers in our schools, the students who despite their
family’s hardship are determined to succeed, and the youth who are trying to
start their own businesses, to invent and create, and to rise above their
“It is you who give me courage, and to whom
I offer courage in return.”
And that dream is a new, ‘smart city’
“This is a dream we can all share and
participate in building,” Ramaphosa continues.
“We have not built a new city in 25 years of
“Seventy percent of South Africans are going
to be living in the urban areas by 2030.
“The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape
Town and Ethekwini are running out of space to accommodate all those who throng
to the cities.
“Has the time not arrived for us to be bold
and reach beyond ourselves and do what may seem impossible?
“Has the time not arrived to build a new
smart city founded on the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution?
I would like to invite South Africans to
begin imaging this prospect.”