‘SONA 2021 to focus on COVID-19 pandemic’

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This week’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) will focus heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic and the turmoil it has caused the country from a financial standpoint.

This is the view of economist Lavan Gopal, speaking ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fifth SONA on Thursday.

Ramaphosa will address a joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The theme for this year’s address is “following up on our commitments: making your future work better”.

This year’s event will take place virtually with only 50 people permitted in the chamber.

Gopal says the hard-hit economy is expected to top the President’s agenda.

“Certainly the entire theme of the President’s address will be about jobs, will be about industries lost, and possible solutions to get us out of COVID-19. You will recall in previous years, [SONA has] always been marred by a distraction from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), certain other parties also exiting Parliament. This year the theme with COVID-19 means that those disruptions will make it a very short SONA,” adds Gopal.