Political parties have reacted to newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first State of the Nation (SONA) speech in Parliament. The SONA went off smoothly, with none of the disruptions that have marred those of the past few years.

The African National Congress has welcomed President Ramaphosa’s SONA, saying that it touched on many critical aspects of the work of government.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said that the SONA had been the collective work of the ruling party on how government should function going forward.

“What you should appreciate is that in the ANC we are involved in a very long process that culminates into the state of the nation address. That is why, within a short period of time, President Ramaphosa could just fit in into the programme and deliver the state of the nation address. So those issues are a product of a long process that involves all of us,” Mantashe told reporters outside Parliament.

Dr Peter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus says they will give the President a chance to prove to the people of South Africa that he was serious and what he said will culminate into practice. ”

“We are not happy with the expropriation  of land without compensation that in itself is negative for the economy and that’s why I say it depends and we will have to see if investors come to South Africa. The proof of the pudding is in eating the pudding.”

Reverend Kenneth Meshoe of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says it was a very good speech.

“The atmosphere in the House reminded me of the days of Tata Nelson Mandela. He touched the right buttons, what people of South Africa wanted to hear particularly the concern we had about crime and corruption. He spoke like a person who will be ruthless with corruption and we really appreciate that.”

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Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi echoed Ramaphosa’s message that this is the era of change renewal and hope.

 

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema says the President presented SONA very well without plans.

“The President has got no plans on how he is going to change  the lives of our people. We have heard of commissions, we have heard of summits, we have heard of seminars including the inquiries. We  welcome the issue of expropriation without compensation. We welcome the reducing of government departments they were too big and too many for nothing.

“We also welcome the fact that  he has recommitted to allow law enforcement agencies to operate without any interference by politicians and we are happy that all criminals in his organisation are now going to be prosecuted for the crimes they have committed against the people of South Africa.”

Malema adds they hope the President wont develop cold feet and retreat from that commitment.

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Additional Reporting by ANA.