PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE BY MS FIKILE MASIKO MP, IN RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY MR CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, 14 FEBRUARY 2023
Thank you, Hon Chair
Chairperson of the NCOP
President of the Republic, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa;
Deputy President, Mr David Mabuza;
Chief Whip of the Majority Party
Members of Parliament;
Fellow South Africans;
We stand before this august house, with a deep sense of appreciation and humility, to debate the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on behalf of the people’s movement, the African National Congress
Our honour is derived from the fact that just a year shy of the 30th anniversary of our democratic breakthrough, we, the formerly oppressed, still occupy this platform where the future of our country is debated and decided.
As we progress towards 30 years of democratic South Africa, we have progressed in our transformation journey.
More importantly, we know for a fact that despite the many challenges we face, our country is a far better place to live in as the post-apartheid dispensation ushered in a society premised on equality, justice, and shared humanity.
It is unfortunate that our detractors without substance have yet again attempted to deny millions of South Africans in all corners of our country the opportunity to receive a detailed analysis and account of the journey that our beloved country has travelled in the current conjuncture.
The SONA delivered by the President of our Republic was a true and frank reflection of our society in the current epoch. It gave a clear indication of what needs to happen for us to successfully navigate our way out of the stormy seas.
Therefore, to suggest that the address by the President lacked detail is both disingenuous and pure political gamesmanship driven by populism.
it is indeed a mark of the greatness of our glorious movement, the African National Congress and all its virtues that our PARLIAMENT is independent and empowered to perform its oversight role effectively, with transparency, and without hindrance.
through the oversight role of this Parliament, we will make sure that it holds the executive to account.
However, unlike our friends from the opposition, the performance of our work does not seek to overthrow a democratically elected government by underhanded means but one that seeks to advance the attainment of a National Democratic Society.
It is such a shame that our country is becoming a laughing stock which undermines our standing amongst nations because of a minority of members of parliament who, having failed to win through the ballot, but sought to prohibit a democratically elected President from addressing this house.
we are proud that not less than 21 bills are before Parliament for consideration which the opposition parties are oppose to because theirs is a rejectionist approach without substance to take our nation forward. These transformative bills before the sixth parliament include
The eighteenth amendment to the Constitution so as to recognise South African sign Language as one of the official languages
The National Health Insurance Bill seeks to transform our country's healthcare for equitable access and distribution.
The National Youth Development Agency Amendment Bill seeks to respond to the outcry from the public regarding the poor visibility of the NYDA, particularly in deep rural areas and optimise service delivery.
The much-awaited National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, which seeks to establish a multi-sectoral, independent and non–partisan statutory body, will be tabled to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill seeks to enhance our education system and accelerate addressing structural challenges in the sector
The Climate Change Bill seeks to enable adaptation and mitigation interventions to respond to transit to a low-carbon economy.
The Expropriation bill provides for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest. This legislation will enable the acceleration of land reform.
This is to mention a few transformative legislations the ANC is advancing in this Parliament to transform our society and to respond to challenges confronting our Nation.
We are a Parliament at work.
We appreciate that our people did not fight for democracy only but for material changes in their lives.
about a month ago our country was plunged into darkness with the passing of one of the foremost activists for liberation and women emancipation, the first Speaker of the democratic era, Dr Frene Ginwala.
A fearless fighter for women’s rights and our liberator who was never far from the battle front and had no fear as she executed the struggle.
It is as a result of the struggles of Dr Ginwala, Mama Charlotte Maxeke, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Helen Joseph and Portia Ndwandwe that women like ourselves cannot only dream, but are an integral part of building a new country out of the ruins of the apartheid.
Am happy to report Mr President that women across the country have heeded your call to action for all South Africans to work together to tackle the challenges we face, instead of wallowing in despair and lamenting our fate.
Mr President three South African women have long answered your call and they are representing our country in platforms many of us in this House have never heard of.
Ms Ncumisa Ndelu founder of 1 Family 1 Stockpile, Ms Melanie Brummer founder of Up-cycled Clothing Collective and Ms Pam Padayache founder of Woman Pact are using Facebook to change some of the things they do not like about the South Africa they live in.
They are the only three South Africans on the exclusive Facebook Community Accelerator programme which is a global platform for Facebook Community Managers who are making a positive impact in their communities.
As we execute the current phase of the struggle, we will not be defocused by sideshows and theatrics. We will endeavour to remain true to the ideals of the founders of this struggle.
Lastly, we know that we have an able captain at the wheel, in the form of President Cyril Ramaphosa, to steer this ship to calmer waters and lead our people to prosperity,
I thank you