#SONA2020: Chaos in Parliament
For the first time in democratic South African history, Parliament suspended the State of the Nation Address (SONA). Commotion, disruptions and a few laughs made up the first hour of this year’s State of the Nation Address. Whilst South Africans knew about the plans of disruption by the Economic Freedom Fighters during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s much anticipated SONA, they did not expect it to be as drastic.
From demanding that former President F.W DeKlerk be dismissed from the parliamentary chambers because he is, as they claimed, “an unapologetic murderer”, to demanding that Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan be fired with immediate effect by the President. Not forgetting ANC’s Boy Mamabolo getting roasted for his ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ outfit.
After the disruptions, President Cyril Ramaphosa was finally able to proceed with the State of the nation address despite the turmoil and rough start to the night.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the country is facing serious challenges but said action was being taken to address them.
A few of these challenges included:
Load shedding and Eskom, in which Ramaphosa said that in order for Eskom to undertake the fundamental maintenance necessary to improve the reliability of supply, load shedding will remain a possibility for the immediate future.
He also added that the Government will be implementing measures to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom.
Ramaphosa said serious action will have to be taken to deal with SOEs who are drowning in debt with the National Treasury providing guarantees of more than R570 billion.
“In consultation with the Presidential SOE Council, we will undertake a process of rationalisation of our state-owned enterprises and ensure that they serve strategic economic or developmental purposes,” he said.
The President also vowed to increase their fight against gender-based violence.
“We will amend the Domestic Violence Act to better protect victims in violent domestic relationships and the Sexual Offences Act to broaden the categories of sex offenders whose names must be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders and we will pass a law to tighten bail and sentencing conditioning cases that involve gender-based violence,” said Ramaphosa.