It’s all systems go ahead of the sixth South Africa’s State of The Nation Address(SONA). It will be an unfamiliar setting when President Cyril Ramaphosa lays out the government’s roadmap when he delivers his address this evening at 1900 hrs (CAT).
Apart from a limited number of Members of Parliament and guests in attendance, it will be the first time in the history of South Africa that the SONA is delivered outside of the Parliament precinct. This was after the building was gutted in a devastating fire in January.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Amos Masondo warned that Parliament will implement its rules if any Members of Parliament try to disrupt the address.
Masondo says they want to ensure that the event is without incident and hopes MPs will stick to the rules of the House.
Parliament relocated the event after the burning of the National Assembly and Old Assembly Chamber last month, allegedly by Zandile Mafe, who has since been charged with arson and terrorism, amongst other charges.
Masondo said they wanted all MPs to conduct themselves in line with the decorum of the House.
The address charts the government’s vision for building a more prosperous, united and equal South Africa.
Among other things, President Ramaphosa is expected to shed more light on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and progress on the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which puts the creation of jobs at the heart of economic recovery.
During the address, the President also speaks to political, economic and social issues and the general state of South Africa, as well as its relations in Africa and abroad.
The address is also a rallying point for the entire nation to work together in turning around the economy, ending gender-based violence and tackling the triple threat of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Political analysts say Ramaphosa is facing both a leadership and credibility crisis.
Halfway through his presidency, political analysts say he’s all but run out of road to give South Africans any more hope for a brighter future.
At the heart of his failings, they say, is his inability to take a hardline stance against his executive and those accused of corruption.