SONA 2020: Ramaphosa is a lame duck, says FFPlus

Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald. Pictures: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Freedom Front Plus (FFPlus) leader Pieter Groenewald on Thursday called President Cyril Ramaphosa a "lame duck" following his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Cape Town. 

Groenewald was speaking to media outside Parliament after Ramaphosa's speech. 

"It's a pity to say, but I think our president is a lame duck. He didn't really come through with good proposals to ensure we have good economic growth and to create jobs. On the safety issue, we welcome the specialised units as far as construction is concerned, but we also say, why only now?" 

Groenewald was reacting to Ramaphosa saying he had prioritised the "growing problem" of criminal groups that extorted money from the construction sector and other businesses. 

Known as the "construction mafia" in KwaZulu-Natal, the groups - usually proclaiming they adhere to radical economic transformation ideology - are known to storm construction sites and violently demand contracts or a cut of profits. 

Ramaphosa said that specialised units comprising the South African Police Service and National Prosecuting Authority had been mandated to combat the groups and their "crimes of economic disruption".

Groenewald said the FFPlus had been asking for specialised units to deal with farm murders, and murder and robbery, "because people are unsafe". 

"Those are the crucial areas for specialised units," he added. 

He said Ramaphosa's speech was "nothing more than cosmetics" when it came to youth policy, the national health insurance and land expropriation without compensation. 

"He is not going to build the economy," said Groenewald. 

He said the positives in Ramaphosa's pronouncements on state power utility Eskom included that private power producers would soon be able to supply electricity, and that municipalities could procure electricity from the private producers. 

"That's positive, but it's not enough," said Groenewald.  

"I predict that we will not get one percent economic growth in South Africa. We hear about all of the conferences, [Ramaphosa spoke about] another investment conference, but still unemployment is on the increase, so there are no solutions [coming from the president]." 

African News Agency/ANA