We’ve heard it all before, say opposition parties & trade unions

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered government’s plan to restore the economy at a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the State of the Nation Address on 13 February 2020. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Opposition parties and trade unions on Friday said government’s economic recovery plan presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa was underwhelming and offered South Africans nothing new.

Ramaphosa delivered the plan to restore the economy at a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday.

He said the blueprint would focus on employment, increasing local production and extending social protections for the poor.

But those on the opposition benches said the President said nothing different to undertakings he made since the start of the pandemic.

The official opposition’s Finance Spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis said the contents of the recovery plan haven’t changed much in two years.

“You can’t keep repeating the same plans and promises year after year because they’ll become more urgent for the recovery of the economy. There’s no progress – I think that was the biggest downfall of the speech.”

Cope MP Willie Madisha, a former trade unionist, says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s focus should be job creation and local production.

“I am extremely disappointed. In actual fact, what we heard – we’ve all heard before. He has just repeated everything he’s said before.”

Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald, said: “He didn’t say anything that he hasn’t said before. For how long must we hear that there is going to be infrastructure development and how long are we going to hear about renewable energy.”

Union federation COSATU says the weakest link in the Recovery Plan is government’s attitude towards the capacity of the state which is still a largely market-driven plan.

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