EFF statement on the State of Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa
14 February 2020
The EFF notes the State of Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered in a Joint Sitting of tie National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, 13 February 2020. The EFF does not believe in any of the pie in the sky dreams that are sustained by the propaganda driven by South African media. Ramaphosa has once again demonstrated that South Africa today is leaderless, directionless, and unemployed, youth, old and young professionals, farm workers, petrol attendants and all other workers will continue to suffer.
Ramaphosa's SONA speech is Tito Mboweni's reactionary paper on economic recovery disguised as some bold and decisive steps to grow South Africa's economy while. At the core, it is nothing but a neo-liberal driven agenda to accumulate by looting of state assets.
The idea is that South Africa's economy will grow by depending on the private sector, in particular, foreign direct investors. Tito Mboweni's misguided sponsored ideas will only lead to looting of state assets, starting with Eskom, SAA and coal mines.
We should all be concerned that despite all scientific evidence all over the world, including by former champions and advocates of neoliberal policies, that the reactionary neoliberal policies that prioritise austerity measures and privatisation of public assets are flawed.
Ramaphosa missed an opportunity to repurpose public finances to decisively deal with the eminent crisis Of public debt and failure by SARS to maximally collect revenue. Also, the.
continued belief that there will be any change in South Africa's economic make up without the Central Bank playing an active role to supply sovereign money to deal with massive public debts in SOEs, create jobs and affordable cash injection for small businesses is foolish.
The EFF notes the announcement of the intention by government to establish a state-owned bank, and we do not think that the intentions are genuine and believable. Firstly, Ramaphosa has made many commitments in the past that remain pies in the sky without any practical steps and plan. Secondly, the EFF was the only party in parliament that proposed a state bank and tabled an amendment to the Banks Act Of 1990 to allow the state to establish and manage a bank for commercial purpose. If Ramaphosa was genuine, he would have finalized the Post Bank licensing long time ago.
The EFF Founding Manifesto clearly states that we should establish a sovereign wealth fund, which will prudently invest in the development of the African economy. We also don't believe Ramaphosa's announcement of the intention to establish a sovereign wealth fund.
We say so because Ramaphosa and the ruling party do not believe in state ownership and control of natural resources, including the role of state-owned companies as key to development and industrialisation of the state. Whatever announcement and intervention by the Minister of Finance is likely to lead into the establishment of some mediocre directionless fund that has no impact. If the state does not share in the profits of mineral resources and petroleum, including local beneficiation of mineral resources.
Ramaphosa's energy plan is the most misguided form of intervention which will plunge South Africa into a deeper crisis. Any energy and electricity plan that involves Independent Power Producers and unbundling of Eskom will not work. The EFF will mobilise on the round and do everything in its power to reject plans to destabilize Eskom.
Ramaphosa's speech was a missed opportunity and failed to appreciate the catastrophic material condition of our people facing retrenchments on a daily basis. His attitude of being hellbent on protecting a captured Minister of Public Enterprises Jamnandas Gordan will be is downfall. If he wants to fall with Jamnandas, we will have no choice but to take them on and no amendments Of Parliament rules will stop the EFF.
The future of South Africa is in the hands of the masses and not few elected elites who waste state money on some ceremonial colonial celebrating parades while our people remain homeless, jobless and with empty stomachs. That is the state of the South Africa and Ramaphosa's speech celebrated by captured media as inspiring confidence is not going to take South Africa anywhere.
The EFF will continue with its protests against Ramaphosa's misguided and reactionary right-wing interventions in South Africa. We will mobilise on the ground and in parliament to expose the white capitalist capture Of the state under Ramaphosa's administration.
Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 14 February 2020