Live Stream: SA expects iron fist, not silver tongue at SONA

Live Stream: SA expects iron fist, not silver tongue at SONA

The State of the Nation Address is just hours away, but South Africans hope that President Cyril Ramaphosa will showcase an iron fist, not a silver tongue.

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This evening all eyes will be on South Africa's politicians as President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address.

Glitz and glamour have been cut down amid difficult economic times and a stubborn unemployment rate that has held steady at 29.1% for the past two quarters.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise highlighted that the occasion is currently set to come in under its R2.1 million budget.

READ ALSO: Parliament flexes amid EFF SONA threats: There will be no hesitation

But while the nation's leadership trickles into Cape Town ahead of the event, a sense of unease has descended over South Africa.

Citizens want Ramaphosa to move away from the expected lip service and seize the moment to showcase an iron fist.

With reports of corruption, mismanagement and nepotism becoming commonplace, many aren't convinced that the promised New Dawn has broken. reported that the Economic Freedom Fighters have vowed to disrupt the event unless Pravin Gordhan is removed from his post.

The Public Enterprises Minister was recently accused of sinking state-owned entity Eskom in favour of carving the power utility up and selling it to the highest bidder.

After similar promises were made ahead of the previous SONA, it remains to be seen if the Red Berets will follow through.

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Ramaphosa concludes SONA address: We must take our place in history

President Ramaphosa says that the government intends to continue with the forward march to improve the lives of South Africans.

Encouraging citizens to continue despite the hardships of the past to a brighter future for all.

Quoting the late musician Joseph Shabala, Ramaphosa concluded his address with the following quote:

"We may face high mountains, must cross rough seas. We must take our place in history. And live with dignity, as we climb to reach our destiny a new age has begun."

Live Stream: President Ramaphosa says the state is poised for land reform

President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the government is poised and ready to implement the recommendations of the panel investigation land reform in South Africa.

"To date, we have released 44 000 hectares of state land, for the settlement of land restitution claims and will this year release around 700 000 hectares of state land for agriculture production under the leadership of the deputy president."

Ramaphosa revealed that the land will be going to those who need opportunities the most:

"We are prioritizing youth and women and those who have been farming on communal land and are ready to expand their operations for training."

Live Stream: President Ramaphosa turns his attention to the economy

Turning his attention to the economy, Ramaphosa says that the focus will be on including the youth and women:

"We're going to give young people of our country opportunities to create business and the empowerment of women is critical for inclusive growth."

Touching on various sectors, Ramaphosa revealed a plan to save jobs in these industries:

"The poultry and sugar master plans will be finalized in the coming months to save jobs in those industries. The clothing and textile master plan aims to create 181 000 new jobs and the government has begun to act vigorously on illegal imports. The suit I'm wearing today is new was made here in Cape Town. We should all buy local."

The digital economy is expected to help stimulate the efforts to fast-track growth:

"We want to bring people into the digital economy to conduct on-line businesses through opening up the spectrum. Agriculture is also one of the most important sector that requires attention and women are a priority in allocation of state land."

Live Stream: Ramaphosa highlights the plan to educate South Africa

Discussing education in South Africa, Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of creating opportunities:

"We're going to give young people of our country opportunities to create business and the empowerment of women is critical for inclusive growth."

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is set to outline more details on initiatives aimed at unemployment:

"We will lead the youth funding initiative to deal with youth unemployment and the Minister of Finance will outline details as he delivers MTBPS later this year."

The President listed a number of ways in which the path from education to opportunities will be aided by the state:

"We are creating pathways for young people to enter into business. We are developing cutting-edge technology to provide active support information. We should provide shorter and focused courses needed by the market for our youth to enter job market."

Ramaphosa announced that billions will be streaming into this endeavor including the development of a new university.

Live Stream: Ramaphosa touches on the government's mistakes, corruption

Ramaphosa says that the rebuilding of institutions and the removal of impediments to investments has been 'deliberate':

"We have acted decisively against state capture and fought back against corruption."

As for basic services, Ramaphosa insists that progress has been slow, but stead

"We've steadily improved the reach of education, improved the quality of healthcare and tended the basic needs of the poor. Yet we have to say that has not been enough to free our economy from the grim inheritance of our past and the mistakes we have made."

The various commissions established to deal with the corruption of the past were touched on:

"The Zondo Commission into State Capture continue to do its works with the support of the government. I've received a voluminous report on PIC commission which I will share with the public in a few days."

Live Stream: Ramaphosa announces steps to combat Eskom crisis

Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to focus on what unites us, not what divides us as a nation.

The ability to forge paths among various aspects of the country is a sign of strength, not of weakness, explained the president.

Ramaphosa was adamant that the government is unable to turn the economic situation around alone: "Even if we marshall all of the resources at our disposal".

The politician pointed out that the achievements of the past year were achieved as a collective, not solely the state.

The president dedicated the address to 'inclusive growth, fixing the fundamentals' in order to get the nation back on track.

As far as the issues concerning Eskom and keeping the lights on in South Africa, Ramaphosa commented that:

"The load-shedding of the last few months has had a debilitating effect on our country, on our economy and on our people. It has severly set back our efforts to rebuild the economy and to create jobs. Every time it occurs it disrupts people's lives causing frustration, inconvience and hardship. At its core, load-shedding is the inevitable consequence of Eskom's inability, over many years, due to debt, lack of capacity, mismanagement and state capture, to service it's power stations."

In order to combat this, Ramaphosa confirmed that load-shedding would remain a reality for South Africans for the immediate future:

"We will be implementing measures that will fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation in our country."

The following measures will be taken to increase generation capacity outside of Eskom:

  • Renewable energy sources will be looked into
  • The procurement of emergency energy will be initiated from projects that can deliver within 3-12 months
  • NERSA will continue to regulate the addition of small systems
  • Supplimatery power purchase agreements will be negotiated
  • Municipalities will be allowed to procure power from Independent Power Producers

Live Stream: Ramaphosa finally begins his State of the Nation Address

President Cyril Ramaphosa, at long last, has begun his State of the Nation Address.

After greeting the officials, Ramaphosa noted the address given by former president Nelson Mandela.

Then, the politician got to the business at hand thirty years later painting a grim picture while urging the nation to forge forward:

"Our economy has not grown, at any meaningful rate, for over a decade. Even as jobs are created the rate of unemployment continues to deepen. The recovery of our economy has stalled amid an energy crisis."

Ramaphosa admitted openly to the difficult situation facing the country's fleet of SOEs:

"Several state-owned enterprises are in distress and our public finances are under extreme pressure. It is you, the people of South Africa, who carry this burden. Confronted by rising living costs, unemployment, unable to escape poverty and unable to realize our potential as a people"

But Ramaphosa spoke of another reality, one of a youthful nation with more education than ever before. The reality of the 81% of learners who passed matric in 2019 despite rural and poverty-stricken regions.

Live Stream: EFF leaves SONA after insisting that Gordhan be fired

After raising numerous points of order during the State of the Nation Address, the Economic Freedom Fighters have left the sitting.

Summarising earlier points of order Julius Malema condemned that former president FW de Klerk had been invited.

Another point had been that Minister Pravin Gordhan remains, despite their continued outcry, a minister.

After making his summery, Malema vowed that unless Gordhan is removed, President Cyril Ramaphosa would continue to endure this kind of treatment for the 'next five years'.

The Red Berets then left the sitting chanting 'Pravin must go, Jamandas must go'.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise allowed all the MPs to have their say before ruling that the 'conduct of all the members that have left the house' must be referred to the Powers of Privilege Committee.

Modise agreed with the recommendation to have a 'relook' at the joint sitting rules after it was 'very difficult' to remove members.

Live Stream: Speaker Modise suspends State of the Nation Address

The State of the Nation Address has been suspended after a tremulous beginning.

The event descended into chaos after the EFF brought up numerous points of order.

The points were namely that former president FW de Klerk should leave the house, that President Cyril Ramaphosa should fire Minister Pravin Gordhan and that the Chief Whips of the various parties should gather outside to discuss the situation.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise pointed out that while members have freedom of speech, those rights are not unlimited.

Live Stream: EFF demands Ramaphosa announces removal of Gordhan

IFP former leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi responded to the drama over former president FW de Klerk's presence at the SONA. The aged politician suggested that the matter be put to a vote.

After Economic Freedom Fighter leader Julius Malema and his fellow MPs raised a point of order concerning FW de Klerk, the solution to the dilemma came from an unlikely place.

Former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi suggested that the matter be put to a vote, however, the decision was rejected by National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.

Modise cited a rule that no decisions may be made during a joint seating and urged that President Cyril Ramaphosa's address should be allowed to continue.

Ramaphosa moved to his place at the podium, barely uttering a complete sentence before another point of order was raised by the EFF.

Newly elected spokesperson Vuyani Pambo had raised the point this time, requesting that Ramaphosa should sit down adamant that the rules should be followed. Pambo commented:

"We cannot sit here in this house, with millions of South Africans watching us, when they know they are in darkness because of one man, who has made sure that our state-owned entities are in a state of collapse. Eskom cannot keep light in our houses. Today we cannot fly to Durban because there is a minister who is making sure that SAA is dysfunctional.
"Today we sit here with a minister who is working with white monopoly capital, who is making go to his friends. We call for an adjournment, the President must go outside and make sure that he makes an announcement to the nation: Pravin Gordhan is no longer a minister of this country."

Live Stream: Malema accuses ANC of defending De Klerk, a murderer

President Cyril Ramaphosa had not managed to get a word in before the EFF held true to their threats of disrupting the State of the Nation Address.

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The Economic Freedom Fighters have held true to their promise of disrupting the State of the Nation Address.

Before proceedings had gotten a chance to begin, leader Julius Malema had raised a point of order.

The Red Beret leader denounced former president FW de Klerk's presence at the occasion, adamant that the politician was an apartheid apologist and had blood on his hands.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise acknowledged the point of order, which was subsequently brought up by deputy president Floyd Shivambu and other EFF MPs.

Despite the objections, Modise insisted that tradition dictates that former presidents were invited to the event.

The Speaker was adamant that delaying the business of the house on the 'matter of De Klerk' would not serve any purpose.

Both Shivambu and former national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi demanded an audience, pointing out that the rules dictating Parliament were relevant during the SONA.

Malema, however, put an end to the back and forth when he accused the ANC of defending apartheid:

"Speaker, I am willing to accept that the ANC is defending De Klerk in this house and South Africa should see the ANC for what it is: the defenders of De Klerk, clapping hands for De Klerk, defenders of a murderer."

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Live Stream: EFF stands by earlier call to disrupt Ramaphosa's SONA

The plan to disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa's SONA forms part of the EFF's oversight work. This is according to secretary-general Marshall Dlamini, who defended the move.

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EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini has defended the party's bid to disrupt the State of the Nation Address.

Dlamini insists that holding Ramaphosa accountable for appointing Pravin Gordhan to the position of Public Enterprises Minister.

Commenting on the situation, which has left Mzansi wondering what would happen, Dlamini said:

"When we enter that Parliament, that is where we work. The issue of Gordhan is no small matter. The guy is presiding over state-owned enterprises. Today we can't guarantee access to electricity, and we keep saying the issue of electricity is no longer a luxury, it's a human rights issue. The guy is incompetent, the guy has lied to him [Ramaphosa] in front of the entire country and there are no consequences." reported that Ramaphosa had been 'misled' over the state of load-shedding towards the end of last year, something that the Red Berets evidently blame Gordhan for.

Former Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza resigned from his position over the ordeal, but Dlamini continues:

"We are saying he must do his job. If you are scared of your ministers, we are not scared of you. That is exactly what we are going to do and we are doing it at the right place. We said to Ramaphosa that we are going to give him an opportunity, but we are realising that he is a coward and a clown. We must put the pressure on him."

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Live Stream: Malema's cryptic post ahead of possible SONA disruption

The Economic Freedom Fighters may well go through with the threatened State of the Nation Address disruption. Leader Julius Malema took to social media to post a cryptic message and it doesn't take much of an imagination to fill in the blanks.

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It seems as if this year the Economic Freedom Fighters may just put their money where their mouths are.

After leader Julius Malema took to social media to post a clip of a very capable-looking Red Beret member doing some impressive push-ups, a SONA disruption doesn't seem that far-fetched.

The party has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to heed their call for Minister Pravin Gordhan's removal from office.

The party's official page took a moment to share an older clip of Malema explaining how many black professionals at state-owned entities had been lost due to Gordhan's reign.

The EFF leader claims that Ramaphosa had been forewarned of this, but had still opted to keep the minister in place.

Malema vows that the Public Enterprises Minister will be the eventual downfall of Ramaphosa himself:

"The downfall of Cyril will be Pravin Gordhan, who is the prime minister of this country."

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Live Stream: Lekota warns the EFF against disrupting the SONA

COPE leader Mosioua Lekota has issued a warning to the Economic Freedom Fighters. The politician doesn't think disrupting the State of the Nation Address is the best idea.

Mosioua 'Terror' Lekota has warned against disrupting the State of the Nation Address this evening.

The COPE leader doesn't agree with the EFF taking over the platform to voice disapproval for Pravin Gordhan:

“We will deal with it in the House, but it is not the time and the place to deal with that. Malema must know that removing a Cabinet minister is a prerogative of the president. However, SONA is not the place to deal with that." reported that the Red Berets had promised to take over the address unless the Public Enterprises Minister was booted.

IOL reports that Lekota is adamant the SONA was no place to air these issues, echoing calls from other political parties including the DA, IFP and the ACDP.

In other news, COPE has been forced to shut down branches amid financial difficulties. Staff employed at the party's headquarters are reportedly first in line for any positions that open up at a later stage.

Live Stream: BLSA - Ramaphosa's SONA most important speech since 1994

Business Leadership SA claims that Cyril Ramaphosa's fourth State of the Nation Address is the most important speech since the inception of democracy in South Africa.

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Business Leadership South Africa says tonight's address is the most significant speech since 1994.

CEO Busisiwe Mavuso says Ramaphosa's fourth SONA address will expand on commitments made during the investment summit in 2019:

“The president’s prioritisation of regulatory issues as the single most important impediment to growth is not only welcome, but is vital if the compact between government, business and labour to create jobs and advance inclusive growth and transformation is to be grounded in tangible results."

Meanwhile, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has dubbed 2020 the Year of Orange Overalls, hinting at action against corrupt politicians.

The group staged small protests around Cape Town, brandishing banners calling on Ramaphosa to take action.

This comes at a time where the State Capture Inquiry attempts to get to the bottom of corruption in the government, allowing for public resources to be plundered under the watch of those meant to protect it.

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