‘Criminal syndicate’: Steenhuisen slams ANC ahead of SONA 2022

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DA leader John Steenhuisen is certainly not getting swept up in anticipation of this year’s State of the Nation (SONA) address, and has predicted that President Cyril Ramaphosa will voice a host of empty promises when he addresses the public and its parliament on Thursday. 

Steenhuisen delivered his own “true Sona” on Tuesday, launching a scathing appraisal of the African National Congress (ANC) and its failures to come to grips with mounting catastrophes. 

“Without fail, as we move further away from SONA and its lofty promises, the same script plays out year after year,” he said. 

Steenhuisen delivers ‘real SONA’  

During his address, Steenhuisen lambasted Ramaphosa’s administration over issues ranging from its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to the rampant corruption and culture of State Capture that has been outlined in various reports, including the recent conclusions from the Zondo commission. He said that on Thursday, Ramaphosa will fail to address any of these mounting problems, and rather deliver a host of hollow policy pledges. 

“He will most likely offer up a raft of new multi-point plans, new task teams and new commissions, along with solemn promises that this time he and his government are really serious about tackling unemployment, crime, corruption and service delivery,” said Steenhuisen. “Just as they were last year, and the year before, and the year before that.”

“He will likely blame the pandemic for most of our woes, and what he can’t pin on Covid he will chalk up to global conditions or apartheid. I know this because we have seen this movie many times before.”

‘Judiciary, service delivery on the brink of collapse’ 

Steenhuisen said that Ramaphosa should be concerned with getting his own party in order, going as far as to say that the ANC has becoming nothing more than a “criminal syndicate and terrorist organisation”, and called the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) “the more extreme, mutated variant” of the ruling party. 

He also lamented never-ending periods of load shedding, as well as attacks on South Africa’s judiciary from within the ruling party. 

“Ominously, the bulwark of our democracy, the judiciary, remains under threat from within the ANC itself, as well as from a Judicial Service Commission dominated by political actors allied to the corruption epidemic,” he said. 

“And so, one by one, every critical function of the state has simply seized up. Our state power utility cannot supply sufficient electricity. Water infrastructure is collapsing. Sewage treatment plants no longer work. The rail network has all but collapsed.” 

Steenhuisen promises brighter future under DA leadership  

The only way to solve these and countless other pressing matters is to vote for the DA, said the opposition party leader, who boasted of the Western Cape’s superior service delivery and response to the lockdown. 

“Over the past two years, in every wave of the pandemic, the DA-run Western Cape made sure there were always enough hospital beds and there was always enough oxygen, while the DA-run City of Cape Town delivered chronic TB and HIV medication to people at home,” he said. 

“Where we govern, we know we have to step in where national government has failed, particularly on critical issues such as providing electricity, public transport and effective policing. Not least because these things enable job-creating businesses to start and to thrive.”

“But this DA difference doesn’t only benefit the residents where we govern. It also shows what a post-ANC country could look like, and that is of interest to all South Africans.”

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