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Highlights From South Africa’s Second 2019 State of the Nation Address

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the country’s second State of the Nation Address yesterday evening, keying South Africans into his plans going forward, now that the country’s new Parliament is settling in, after the recent general election.

Below are 10 highlights from his speech.

  1. A special appropriation bill is to be tabled to allocate a significant portion of the R230 billion that Eskom needs to pay its debtors and keep the lights on.
  2. The president reaffirmed the constitutional mandate of the Reserve Bank “to protect the value of our currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth”.
  3. The Minister of Communications has been instructed to issue policy direction to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to begin licensing spectrum that will significantly reduce data costs.
  4. To return public money that has been looted, civil claims arising from investigations conducted by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), estimated to be around R14.7 billion, will be fast-tracked.
  5. The Presidency plans to drive the implementation a comprehensive plan to create two million jobs for young people over the next 10 years.
  6. Government intends to double international tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030, by introducing a “world-class visa regime”, and focusing on tourists from China, India and the rest of Africa.
  7. Government plans to accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements, as well as for farming.
  8. Government plans to establish a gender-based violence and femicide council to guide the former’s efforts to eradicate gender-based violence in South Africa.
  9. Ramaphosa announced plans to train foundation and intermediate phase teachers to teach reading in English and African languages, and to deploy experienced coaches to provide on-site support to teachers.
  10. The President said he envisions the first new city built in the democratic era, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals, and factories, to ease the pressure on the congested cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. This includes the construction of a cross-country high-speed train.

To watch the full Address, click here.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the country’s second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

 

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Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Will Zuma Still Be President at the State of the Nation Address?

In their new year’s resolution statement, African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts and veterans said that for the party to achieve unity, President Jacob Zuma needs to resign as leader of the country. The statement was part of the annual resolutions that ANC veterans make at the turn of every year.

Part of the statement is as follows: “In 2018 no one should ever again believe that they can avoid their day in court because of their position in society. Real action against corruption has to happen. That starts with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority. It must be followed by the politicization of our law enforcement agencies”.

“A clear message to SA would be for our country’s president to voluntarily step down. If the president really loves the ANC and wants it to remain in power by 2019, he would assist it by handing over the leadership”.

Opposition parties have called for steps against the President to be taken before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month.

Parliament recently announced that the 2018 SONA will take place at 7pm on Thursday 8 February. The President of will deliver the Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, marking the official start of the Parliamentary program.

SONA sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead‚ highlights achievements‚ flags challenges, and outlines development interventions for the coming financial year.

The State of the Nation address is broadcast live each year on major news channels, such as eNCA, SABC News, ANN7, and Parliament Channel, as well as on numerous South African radio stations.

 

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].