Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on not disrupting the proceedings:

President Cyril Ramaphosa played ball when it came to demands that he be held accountable for a R500,000 donation Bosasa made to his party election campaign, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Thursday, explaining the lack of disruption to SONA.

Malema and his fellow MPs stayed seated and did not raise numerous points of order, as has been customary during previous SONAs by Ramaphosa’s predecessor Jacob Zuma.

“The president went to the public protector and if that was not enough, the president also released his submission to the public protector,” Malema said.

“All we asked is that president must be held accountable.”

READ: The 5 things Ramaphosa will prioritise in 2019

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on the economy and crime:

South Africans needed an immediate plan on how to get the economy working and more on crime prevention, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said.

“More than anything, we needed an immediate plan about how do we get this economy working. Sounded like all nice flowery, nice talk, nice address — what we want to see is a job in every home,” Maimane said on national television station, eNCA.

“We should have spoken more on crime. Very little about what’s going to happen to ensure that our police are working much better. Very little actually from the President about making sure that people who are corrupt end up in jail. We need a better plan, we need an immediate plan.”

Good leader Patricia de Lille on the plans outlined in SONA:

The issues raised in SONA would resonate with many South Africans, Good leader Patricia de Lille said.

“The noise and all the issues the president raised will resonate with many South Africans but, you know, for me I just had the feeling, “is it the same country we are talking about? Is it the same reality that we face outside there?” she said.

“I also heard the president speak about more commissions and more new plans – but my advice this time to the president – I’m wondering what happened to the previous plans of the past 25 years? This time around, he must make sure that when he allocates a plan to a minister, that minister must be performance managed in key performance areas, he must track implementation so that we don’t keep on telling our people that we are still planning.”

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) was concerned about job creation:

Dr Frans Cronje, IRR chief executive, said their research demonstrated a close relationship between economic growth and job creation, adding that too much government policy had the effect of stunting rates of growth and shutting off avenues to employment.

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“There was very little in the address to suggest that the government is in a position to tackle South Africa’s greatest structural threat – the economic exclusion of very large numbers of young people,” he said.

Cronje said employment data showed that at least 39 percent of young people were not in employment, education or training (NEET rate), adding that there was no greater threat to South Africa’s long-term stability than such levels of economic exclusion of young people.

– African News Agency

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