Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday urged political leaders to rally behind the economic reconstruction and recovery plan, saying he welcomed robust debate but not grandstanding or the hurling of insults.
Replying to the debate on the plan he unveiled last week, the president told the National Assembly that political parties could decide to unite and see the plan come to fruition, or spend months in a state of paralysis tearing it – and each other – apart.
Opposition parties have been scathing about the plan, describing it as a rehash of old promises.
But Ramaphosa is pushing for broad support for the plan, which is intended to lift the economy from its knees. The plan outlines immediate actions to rebuild the economy, provide jobs and roll out a massive infrastructure programme, as well as other reforms; and Ramaphosa says it’s urgent.
“Because this plan is a response to a severe economic contraction unlike any we’ve experienced in recent memory – and this is where we’ve been calling on all South Africans… this is not the time to grandstand. It is a time to close ranks, as South Africans, and to work together to achieve a common purpose.”
He said IFP Founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s words should be heeded:
“When he says like a country at war, we must put aside political agendas to rebuild our country – regardless of where we sit across the political divide, we must find the political courage to unite behind this common vision of our recovery.”