After less than a year on the job, President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to deliver the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday and South Africans are expecting more than just the promise of a “new dawn”.
Ramaphosa stayed true to his focus on economy during his 2018 SONA, convening a jobs summit which culminated in an agreement to create 275 000 jobs per year, and an investment summit which saw pledges totalling R290 billion in investments in SA in the latter half of that year.
In 2019, with elections three months away, the president and his administration are now faced with the real test.
The past year also marked the setting up of several commissions of inquiry that continue to unearth evidence of the extent of the rot in government, and its state-owned companies and institutions.
Those in opposition benches will be looking to the president to expand on his relationship with Bosasa, the company which according to testimony at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, gained billions of rands due to its corrupt relationship with politicians and government officials. It emerged last year that the company donated R500 000 to Ramaphosa’s campaign ahead of his election as ANC president.
Ramaphosa will also have to address the dire state of state-owned enterprises, like Eskom, the SABC and SA Airways, and announce plans to improve the credibility, management, and contribution of SOEs to future South African prosperity.