OPPOSITION political parties have criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa for failing to set appropriate timelines for the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan he announced in Parliament on Thursday.
The parties said Ramaphosa announced the same ambitious plans when he announced his State of the Nation earlier this year and retold many times before.
Others questioned whether there is sufficient State capacity to implement the commitments in his plan and overcome barriers to implementation.
DA’s Shadow Finance Minister Geordin Hill-Lewis said Ramaphosa’s speech was full of jargon and at times ‘turgid’.
“He should have used this speech to take on the enemies of growth and reform. And he needed to show exactly how, and when, the promised reforms would be achieved. Without this detail, the President will get zero benefit of the doubt,” said Hill-Lewis.
“If South Africa’s economy is to recover at all, then it is not more plans that are needed. South Africa has a surfeit or plans. The only thing that counts now is whether the needed reforms can actually be implemented in time to avoid further mass unemployment and poverty. The clock is already ticking.”
He added: “There’s a growing credibility gap between what he says and what is being implemented and that is what is concerning us the most. We don’t need more plans in South Africa. We don’t need more commitments to reform. We’ve had that for two and a half years. Now what we need is action.”
The EFF said Ramaphosa’s economic recovery plan, largely based on the National Development Plan, was misguided, ‘pointless’ and ‘foolish’.
“The misguided and directionless so-called economic reconstruction and recovery plan presented during a Joint sitting of parliament is evidence that Ramaphosa and the collective trusted to lead the country out of economic depression do not have the political courage, dynamism and vision of a South Africa without unemployment, inequality and poverty,” the EFF said in a statement shortly after Ramaphosa’s speech.
President of Action SA Herman Mashaba said the president’s words rang hollow and were pretty darn mere.
“This is not an Economic Recovery Plan – this is a laundry list of rehashed ideas from the past. In a time when we need bold, decisive leadership combined with action and implementation, instead we got more words and empty promises.”
Reimagine SA co-founder Dr Mamphela Ramphele said South Africa needs a strong State and civil society in order to be able to implement a workable economic recovery plan.
“We won’t succeed with the implementation of this plan unless we have a strong State, and a civil society that is responsible and critical,” said Ramphele.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)