Opposition calls on Ramaphosa to take action

Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The creation of jobs and restoring investor confidence top opposition parties' list of priorities they want President Cyril Ramaphosa to address when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) this evening.

Ramaphosa will deliver his address following his election as president last month.

He now has a big task to not only grow the economy - which took a big knock last month when gross domestic product shrank by 3.2% - but also to give policy certainty that will create jobs. Unemployment rose to 27.6% in the first quarter with people between 15 and 34 years being the most affected.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in order to create jobs, Ramaphosa has to announce policies that will sustain and grow the economy at "much higher levels".

"Developing economies across the world have demonstrated that when sustained growth is achieved, more jobs are created, salaries and wages increase, and the quality of life is objectively better," he said.

Maimane called on Ramaphosa to start acting on his promise to break down Eskom into three separate entities.

He also said Ramaphosa must stop "speculation about the role and nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and end the self-defeating discussion on the expropriation of private property without compensation".

The IFP said Ramaphosa's Sona must be all about growing the economy and creation of jobs, tabling a definitive action plan on how this will be done.

"The State of the nation Address which he will deliver tomorrow [today] requires tangible action on job creation and economic growth due to sluggish growth and policy uncertainty," said IFP spokesperson and MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

"South Africa right now can ill-afford more talk shops and summits on the economy, what we need is for the president to be signing more investment deals with foreign nations and to ensure the stability of all our financial institutions, more specifically the Reserve Bank."

The African Christian Democratic Party said the financial crisis at Eskom and other state-owned enterprises must be addressed while holding those involved in state capture and corruption accountable. "These steps will go some way to restore business and investor confidence, kick-start the economy and contribute to job creation."

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