Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
President Cyril Ramaphosa will be taking centre stage this evening, 11 February 2021, at 7 pm as he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Re-capping, SONA provides the President with an opportunity to speak to the nation on the general state of South Africa, reflecting on a wide range of political, economic and social matters within the domestic and global contexts, as well as to account to the nation on the work of Government and to set out Government’s program of action for the upcoming year.
The theme for SONA 2021 will be, Following up on our commitments – making your future work better. But when looking at the challenges faced, the disappearance of billions, grand mismanagement and apparent disconnection, plastered with rolling empty promises fuelling the rise of mass frustration and aggression over the past year, what can Newcastillians honestly expect from President Ramaphosa’s address?
Offering professional opinion, political analyst, Xolani Dube announces, “We can expect nothing.”
He says this reasoning is not without good cause—especially when looking at the past and the build-up to SONA 2021. “People have been expecting a lot, but nothing has been forthcoming. This is the seriousness of the current life we are facing.”
With President Ramaphosa set to highlight the achievements and challenges of the past year, while looking at further plans, Dube explains the ANC has been promising South Africans, for the past 26 years that things would change for the better. “It has reached a point that this has actually become a ritual.” Furthermore, he points out tonight’s presidential address will be nothing more than a statement of intent with no follow-through.
Additionally, during his True State of the Nation Address on 8 February, the Democratic Alliance’s John Steenhuisen explained, “In the past, we have referred to this address as the Alternative State of the Nation Address, or ASONA, but I feel that this name does not accurately describe the difference between this summation of where we stand as a nation, and the one you will no doubt hear from President Ramaphosa.”
According to the DA leader, South Africa is facing a crisis on three different fronts.
“Firstly, we’re in a Covid crisis, from which the only way out is the immediate rollout of a massive vaccination programme. Secondly, we’re in an economic crisis, and here the only way out is a draft of urgent and bold economic reforms. And thirdly, we’re in a crisis of democracy, as the recent shocking testimony at the Zondo Commission has revealed. And the only immediate way out of this crisis, if we’re brutally honest, is for our Government to resign in shame.”
Read John Steenhuisen’s full speech here: Protecting lives, reforming the economy and saving our democracy
With a bleak forecast for this evening’s SONA, what are your thoughts? Do you believe President Ramaphosa will be able to bring anything of value to the table?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.