"Expect Empty Promises": South Africans Share Some of the Topics They Hope Ramaphosa Will Address at SONA

"Expect Empty Promises": South Africans Share Some of the Topics They Hope Ramaphosa Will Address at SONA

  • South Africans will be tune in to watch President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 10 February
  • Ramaphosa is expected to speak on several topics that relate to the social, political and economic state of South Africa
  • Social media users are not too optimistic about the issues Ramaphosa will address at the SONA with some believing he will only deliver empty promises

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CAPE TOWN - On Thursday, 10 February President Cyril Ramaphosa will be giving one of the most important presidential addresses of the year at the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

This year's much-anticipated event will be attended by 265 Members of Parliament at the Cape Town City Hall, while the rest will be viewing the proceedings virtually.

SONA, key topics, President Cyril Ramaphosa, July Unrest, State Security, Covid-19 Economic recovery, state security
President Cyril Ramaphosa will be addressing South African citizens on 10 February. Image: Jeffrey Abrahams
Source: Getty Images

The SONA is usually an opportunity for the sitting president to lay out the plans for the country in the coming year. The annual event gives the President the opportunity to address the people of South Africa and take stock of the promises made in the previous year as well.

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The President is also expected to address a variety of social, political and economic issues that transpired in the past year., on a local and global scale.

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What are some of the topics we can expect Ramaphosa to touch on?

According to the South African Government website, SONA is also an opportunity for the President to give feedback on the government's work in the past year, and also make important announcements in relation to the government's plans for the current year.

Speaking to Briefly News, Professor Amanda Gouws, from the Department of Political Sciences at Stellenbosch University says we can expect Ramaphosa to speak on evergreen topics. Evergreen topics are topics that we have been covered over and over again in previous addresses.

Unemployment and economic recovery in South Africa

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According to Gouws, Ramaphosa will be addressing how the Covid19 pandemic has impacted South Africa's economy. She believes that the President will speak on unemployment and poverty; job creation and even the Basic Income Grant.

In terms of unemployment, South Africa's unemployment rate has seen a steady increase from quarter to quarter in 2021. Between April and June 2021, the unemployment rate was sitting at 34.4% which was a huge jump from 30.8% in September 2021.

Between July and September 2021, the unemployment rate went up yet again at 35.9%, according to the Daily Maverick.

Ramaphosa has brought up the possibility of implementing a Basic Income Grant in response to the high unemployment rate and poverty, however, the Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has been opposed to the idea stating that it is unaffordable for South Africa, reports BusinessTech.

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The SONA will give a clear indication of whether or not the government could be moving forward with the grant, or whether a new plan for economic recovery will be put in place. In the past month, Ramaphosa has received two reports on the implementation of the grant and both have had opposing recommendations.

Covid19 and the National State of Disaster management

Since we are still in a pandemic, Gouws says we can expect the president to touch on the future of the country in relation to the National State of Disaster management.

In the past few months, there have been calls from a number of civil and political organisations that have called on Ramaphosa to end the state of the disaster, however, the government has only announced extensions with no sight of the end.

The Democratic Alliance has now revived those calls ahead of the SONA on Thursday and has stated that Ramaphosa needs to end the National State of Disaster so that the country can begin to revive the economy, according to SABC News.

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"Everything that we do this year must be focused on retaining and bringing back jobs and by helping businesses to survive,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen.

Implementation of the State Capture Report

Ramaphosa has always been very vocal about his desire to fight corruption and rooting out state capture. Gouws says we can expect the President to touch on the State Capture Report and whether or not the recommendations made in the report will be implemented.

Ramaphosa is currently in position of part one and part two of the State Capture Report and will be receiving the final volume of 28 February.

In December, Ramaphosa approached the High Court with a request to only give Members of Parliament the way forward on the findings of the report in June 2022.

Other topics Gouws says the Ramaphosa could speak on include state-owned enterprises, infrastructure development and Gender-Based Violence.

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South Africans share their thoughts about what they would like Ramaphosa to speak on

Briefly News asked readers what are some of the topics they would like Ramaphosa to address at the SONA.

Some people stated that they were not really optimistic about anything the President has to say. Others said they hope Ramaphosa will allow for the continuation of the R350 and that he will also address state security.

Take a look at what they had to say:

JaCowb Slima SoMzulu commented:

"I know there is nothing to talk about except empty promises like he usually does. But however, I'd like him to touch on the immigration issue, we are overcrowded in this country and we don't have jobs but foreigners are working. There must be jobs reserved only for SA citizens to reduce unemployment."

Rushnia Davids said:

"I would like the president to create more jobs for the youngsters. To build more houses for the disadvantaged people."

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Tseko Nhlapo said:

"Nothing because with or without SONA we still moving forward nothing new to what he's gonna say."

Nonhlanhla KaNjomane Ngema said:

"Would like to hear how the president will ensure the tight state security force after the July looting and the recent parliament attack and also covid grant extension."

Justice Dikotope said:

"About the burning of the government buildings, that's all cos everything in South Africa just fails us."

Natala Khotha said:

"It means nothing to unemployed and the vulnerable. Just another scam to enrich politicians."

"R4 million to speak?": South Africans say SONA should be held virtually to save on costs

Briefly News previously reported that With just a few days to go, Parliament's presiding officers have announced that the much-anticipated State of the Nation Address will cost approximately R4 million and the bill will undoubtedly be footed by taxpayers.

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This year's event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 10 February at the Cape Town City Hall, following the National Assembly's demise due to a fire earlier this year.

The address will be followed by heated debates by National Assembly houses on 14 & 15 February and on 16 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa will respond to what was debated about, according to TimesLIVE.

Source: Briefly News

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