Corruption and Eskom crisis features in SONA debate

President Cyril Ramaphosa
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The challenges facing power utility Eskom and corruption featured strongly during the debate on the State of the Nation Address in Parliament. Political parties were debating President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech.

The SONA debate is taking place just as Eskom is implementing a new round of load shedding. Political parties used this opportunity to voice their frustrations over the power outages.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says he hopes government will act swiftly to put an end to load shedding.

“The crisis at Eskom is a cause for concern as it negatively affects our economic ambitions we are nonetheless hopeful that our government will act swiftly to arrest this situation especially the current episodes of loadshedding.”

NFP Chief Whip Professor Nhlanhlakayise Khubisa says creating jobs should be high on the government’s agenda.

“The radical approach to creating jobs and minimise unemployment should be high on the agenda of government. The outages that started to occur over the weekend have already started to affect the population and business is severely affected.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF leader Julius Malema questioned Ramaphosa’s commitment to fight corruption, while he is keeping some of the people implicated in wrong doing in his Cabinet.

Maimane accused Ramaphosa of failing to take action.

“You did not arrive at the scene only a year ago 8 times, you voted him (Jacob Zuma) into office, you were 100% behind Zuma, you were the ubukhona, you were there Mr President when the national debt sky rocketed.”

Malema says he is opposed the unbundling of Eskom, saying it will benefit the President and his immediate family.

“President we welcome your renewed energy to fight corruption, but let me tell you; I will never believe you until you fire Nomvula Mokonyane. Why do you postpone fighting corruption to someone else and not do it yourself? There is clear evidence even she collapsed the whole department of Water.”

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa put the emphasis on the ailing infrastructure and the rising national debt. Prince Buthelezi expressed concerned over the image of the country among investors.

“But if you are already burrowing money sir just to stay afloat, where will the money come from to do all these things? It seems we are pinned on hopes from investors, but I ask; will investors come? We were aiming to become the top global performer in terms of countries to do business with, how confident will investors be with their investment now while we are at the bottom?”
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said he’s worried about the closure of Mthatha airport.