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It's a relief to have a president who understands the economy - Melanie Verwoerd

CapeTalk logo CapeTalk 2019-02-08 Lengwadishang Ramphele
a group of people in a store: Members of Parliament sit in the National Assembly during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on 7 February 2019. Picture: EWN © EWN Members of Parliament sit in the National Assembly during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on 7 February 2019. Picture: EWN

Former ANC MP Melanie Verwoerd says it was such a relief to see dignity restored in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address.

She says It will be interesting to see what the reason behind the EFF lack of disruption was after it had threatened to cause chaos over the Bosasa donation to Ramaphosa's son.

In a way, this shows the kind of respect the EFF has for President Cyril Ramaphosa, says Verwoed. "You can see how cleverly the president plays that at the beginning of his speech by joking with the DA and the EFF."

Verwoerd offers her analysis of the president's Sona address.

  • It was also a relief to have a president who understands the economy and who can speak with authority about it. — Melanie Verwoed, Former MP

  • With things like Eskom and Land reform, there were areas, although he was giving an indication, he remains slightly vague. I think it's because we are in the election year and because he still sits with this terrible faction within his own party and with issues in Eskom he has to be very careful with Cosatu. — Melanie Verwoed, Former ANC MP

  • They cannot afford to have Cosatu saying we are walking away during the election and doing their own thing. That would be very damaging for the ANC's election outcome. Ramaphosa needs a good majority now more than anything. — Melanie Verwoed, Former ANC MP

The president made it clear that testimony coming out of the Zondo Commission is shocking and he plans to root out corruption in government, she says.

  • The section for me that is the biggest breakaway from the Zuma administration, just willing to acknowledge the corruption, how big it was, the expression of shock and horror and the willingness to address it. — Melanie Verwoerd, Former ANC MP

  • Of course, that does put him under pressure in his own party because he is making it very clear that he is not going to protect anybody and that there is a new sheriff in town who is not going to tolerate corruption and any form of state capture. — Melanie Verwoed, Former ANC MP

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:

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