We take a look at some of the important things that President Cyril Ramaphosa promised the nation during his 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

 Job Creation:

During his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa promised the nation among other things that government will accelerate inclusive economic growth and create jobs.

 

But on Tuesday, Stats SA has published its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, showing that the country’s unemployment rate has not changed over the last three months.

Data from the fourth quarter of 2019 indicates that the official unemployment rate remain unchanged (29.1%) compared to the third quarter of 2019.

 

But in 2019, employment increased in two of the four sectors in Q4 2019.

However, South Africa’s unemployment rate remained worrisome.

On Land Reform:

In 2019, the President told the nation that through an accelerated programme of land reform, government will work to expand the country’s agricultural output and promote economic inclusion.

In January this year, at its recent party lekgotla, the ANC proposed that powers to expropriate land and determine compensation should lie with the Cabinet and the minister of land reform, instead of with the courts.

But the move drew a lot of criticism from some sectors including the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI).

It is expected that the President would give an update on government plans regarding land reform.

On State-Owned Entities:

The President said the country was making important progress in restoring the integrity and capacity of our strategic state-owned enterprises.

But since he delivered his SONA in 2019, a number of SOEs are continuing to struggle financially.

South African Airways (SAA) has been fighting for its survival after it entered a form of bankruptcy protection in December.

Last week, Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said they oppose the business-rescue practitioners’ decision to close unprofitable routes.

Eskom is also facing serious financial challenges as it continues to implement rolling power cuts.

But the power utility has since announced that there won’t be any load shedding for Wednesday.

On Gender-Based Violence:

The President is expected to use his State of the Nation Address on Thursday to report on plans to deal with the scourge of the killing of women and children.

Last year, he announced measures that government would implement in fighting the scourge of Gender-Based Violence.

According to the 2019 crime statistics, rape and sexual assault are on the rise, reaching 52 420 cases reported.

This marks a 4.6 percent increase compared to the previous year.

On Fighting Crime and Corruption:

The President promised the nation that government would intensify its fight again crime and corruption.

But some South Africans have been calling for the prosecution of those implicated in state capture, but to this day, no one has been arrested.

Some of the people who have appeared before the State Capture Inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief justice Raymond Zondo, have been making serious allegations against people in top positions and senior government employees.

Another move that got people worried about government’s seriousness in fighting corruption, was what has been described as a ‘delay’ by Ramaphosa in the signing into law of the Political Party Funding Act passed in January 2019.

The delay has been flagged as one of the reasons for the continuing perception that South Africa is not bothered by corruption within the ranks of politicians and political parties.