IN QUOTES | John Steenhuisen on Ramaphosa, 'same old' Sona and DA's vision

DA leader John Steenhuisen says he has little hope of hearing anything new or inspiring in Thursday's Sona address.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says he has little hope of hearing anything new or inspiring in Thursday's Sona address.
Image: AFP PHOTO / GULSHAN KHAN

A day before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday, DA interim leader John Steenhuisen delivered the party's alternative in Cape Town via Facebook.

In his “real Sona”, Steenhuisen took jabs at Ramaphosa, saying he was the “incapable head of an incapable state”.

Here are 10 quotes from his address.

Same old fairy tales

“Our parliament has once again become a place of fairy tales and spin — where the ruling party will do all it can to present a sugar-coated version of the past, present and future, and hide the ugly truth from the people.”

Master class in spin

“Ramaphosa's Sona will be a master class in spin. If you’ve never witnessed one of his Sona speeches, you may be forgiven for going into this one with naive expectations. But I sat there and listened to him in 2018, I sat there and listened to him last year, and I know exactly what is coming.”

Nothing new with Ramaphosa

“This won’t be our president playing with a straight bat to the nation in a time of great crisis. This won’t be the president taking us into his confidence and spelling out the true extent of our challenges and the tough decisions and sacrifices we will need to make.”

Incapable head of an incapable state

“The man who is meant to lead SA out of this nightmare — the darling of the media and last hope of the once-proud ANC — is himself stuck in his own quicksand of warring factions and crippling indecisiveness. The incapable head of an incapable state.”

Victims of SA's government

“South Africans are all, in one way or another, victims of this government. Victims of its failure to deliver services, victims of load-shedding, victims of unemployment and victims of the daily crime that government cannot protect them from.”

South Africans remain trapped

“There is so much extraordinary potential in ordinary South Africans, and they want nothing more than to unlock this potential. They don’t want to remain trapped in serfdom and dependent on handouts from the state.”

'Ndihamba Nawe'

“Imagine a government that stood with the people. Perhaps, instead of 'thuma mina', our president should have chosen as his motto 'Ndihamba Nawe'. Because isn’t that what we need? A government that walks with us.”

Doing away with old narratives

“We need to break out of the old way of thinking that has dominated our political discourse these past two-and-a-half decades. And by 'we', I mean everyone who wants to save the country from the disaster we’re heading towards, ANC included.”

Selling Eskom

“Let us sell off Eksom’s coal-fired stations to settle its debts, but let them still manage the grid. Let us open up the market to full competition. Let households, companies, mines and municipalities generate and sell power.”

The DA's vision

“What we refer to as the DA’s vision for SA, that of an open opportunity society for all, is in fact a vision that many people outside of the DA share. Once you start unpacking this vision and describing to people what it looks like in real terms, you find that it resonates far and wide.”


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