JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent anecdote featuring "Tintswalo" has sparked mixed reactions from South Africans who believe that the promises of progress and prosperity have been squandered and stolen by the governing African National Congress (ANC).
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night, President Ramaphosa depicted a narrative of a child named Tintswalo, born in 1994, symbolising the transformation of South Africa's society since the dawn of democracy.
The president illustrated her upbringing with access to essential services like water, electricity, education, and healthcare.
Trade union federation COSATU praised Ramaphosa’s address, saying that his presidency had been the most difficult of any of his predecessors.
The union said that Ramaphosa inherited a state devastated by a decade of state capture and corruption.
However, Ramaphosa's success story did not land as intended on the opposition benches, with many accusing him of dishonesty about Tintswalo's reality.
Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald: "I am worried about the president of South Africa and the reason I say that, if I listen to his State of the Nation Address, it is quite clear that he's totally out of touch with the realities of South Africa. I want to say, it is clear that he doesn't know what we know."
Some South Africans said that basic servicess were not bargaining chips to be used for political gain.
"For me it was just a load of hogwash. There's no such thing as we are having quite a lot of people on the streets looking for employment. It's just tough for the young ones," one citizen said.
"I'm not interested because our government has messed us up," another citizen said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said that the president made "glaring omissions" of the ANC-created struggles that many in Tintswalo’s generation now faced.