South Africans will be listening critically to today’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), and President Ramaphosa must know that his credibility, whatever might be left of it, is at stake.

Will he be honest and commit to being in touch with the people? Or will he show himself to be nothing but another African National Congress (ANC) cadre, rigging, riding, and wrecking the system to the benefit of the political elites?

South Africans are painfully aware of the real state of the nation. Onerous labour regulations and laws have killed jobs and locked the youth out of economic participation.

The threat of expropriation without compensation, manifested in the fabricated land debate, the gutting of the Bill of Rights, the aggressive push of the Expropriation Bill, and the grubby stitch-up with corporate entities on assets prescription and seizure has slit the investment jugular of our economy.

The Eskom death-spiral is dragging what remains of economic productivity to rock-bottom levels. Despite these crises being clear evidence of government failures, experienced tangibly and tragically by South Africans, President Ramaphosa’s government has shown no inclination to address the fundamental policy errors that led to South Africa entering the COVID-19 storm in a disastrous socio-economic state.

Far from easing back on what has gone wrong, President Ramaphosa’s government has doubled down on the causes of South Africa’s many hardships. Will President Ramaphosa, at last, be honest about what ANC ideology and policies have done to the people of South Africa?

Will he man up and acknowledge how the expansion of government and race-based policies based on apartheid-era racial classifications have fueled corruption, state capture, and the mass erosion of the ability of taxpayers to help their most vulnerable fellow citizens?

South Africans know exactly what the state of the nation is. South Africans know why the state of the nation is as it is. Today they will find out how in or out of touch President Ramaphosa is.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 7 pm: 

Author – Hermann Pretorius is IRR Head of Strategic Initiatives.