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Much expected from Ramaphosa’s SONA – SABC News



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As South Africa gears up for the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the country experienced 6 947 hours of load shedding in 2023 and a total of 455 hours so far in 2024, EskomSePush (ESP).

The country’s unemployment rate stands at 31.9 percent, this translates to 16.7 million unemployed persons in the country according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2023.

In efforts to gauge what South Africans would like to hear from President Cyril Ramaphosa as he delivers his 8th SONA, SABC Digital News reached out to a number of civil society organisations and individuals.

Rekgotsofetse Chikane, a National Committee member of Defend our Democracy (DOD), emphasized the need for clarity on the government’s strategies to decrease unemployment. Chikane questioned the government’s commitment and understanding of the issue, suggesting an acknowledgment of uncertainties and disclosure of utilized mechanisms could be beneficial.

Reflecting on the past six years of Ramaphosa’s leadership, the country faces challenges such as massive power cuts, unbearable hikes in the cost of living, ever increasing fuel prices, high unemployment rates and unrelenting criminality in South Africa.

In November 2023, South African Police Service (SAPS) Major General Norman Sekhukhune revealed that nearly 7 000 people were murdered during July and the end of September.

Sekhukhune said, “6 945 murders have been reported. That is a reduction of 49 compared to the comparable quarter, 7004 before. Sexual offences – 13 090, a reduction of 193, attempted murders 6911 reported, an increase of 756.”

Mmusi Maimane, leader of Build One South Africa (BOSA), acknowledged the need for an honest assessment of the nation’s future, expressing concern about fear-mongering tactics. He urged Ramaphosa to prepare the country for a transition instead of labeling a change in government as a regime change.

Sasha Stevenson, Executive Director of SECTION27, called for real investment in the health and education systems during the SONA. Stevenson highlighted the importance of these systems in addressing societal issues, gender equity, climate change, and ensuring security. She lamented the decrease in budget allocation and insufficient attention to these crucial social services.

Ramaphosa will deliver his 8th SONA to a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.

The SONA will take place at the Cape Town City Hall following a fire incident at the Parliamentary precinct in January 2022. Following the fire the Department of Public Works set aside R 2 billion to restore the precinct.

This year’s SONA comes at a time when the country marks 30 Years of Democracy and the year when the country holds its 7th democratic elections.


Full Story Source: Much expected from Ramaphosa’s SONA – SABC News

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