SONA speech did not give hope for the youth regarding job creation: Analyst

Lebohanga Pheko
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Political analyst, Lebohang Pheko, says she does not believe the State of the Nation Address (SONA) did enough to boost the youth’s hopes for job creation in the near future.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the SONA in Cape Town on Thursday night. He says despite business efforts to help grow the economy quicker, it will take time to create enough jobs for millions of South Africans.

Ramaphosa says it is government’s intention not to leave anyone behind in employment opportunities.

Pheko says the country does not have a skills shortage.

“I don’t really think that we have a skills shortage – we have a jobs shortage, a market shortage, a placement shortage – so I am not sure whether a young person who is 18-29 years or 18-35 years old will, after this speech, feel that they themselves were represented clearly and fully in the speech.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech:



DA Leader John Steenhuisen says, “He struck exactly the right note tonight on the economy and he took it all over the DA playbook. I am delighted that for the first time now, where an ANC President admitting that the state’s approach is not going to get growth and that you need the private sector. He announced on the things the DA has been talking for years, cutting red tape, involving the private sector – opening up the economy more, realising that the state cannot drive growth in South Africa and create jobs.  So this is a major shift. I hope the President will convince his party.”

DA manifesto

United Democratic Movement (UDM) Chief Whip, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, says the President’s speech sounded more like a DA manifesto.

Kwankwa says, “This is a neo- liberal speech. He focuses more on privatisation. It sounds more like I was listening to a DA speech, a DA manifesto and DA speech where he contradicts himself right at the beginning of the speech. He talks about the state playing a conducive role and creating a conducive environment for the private sector in which to operate but at the same time, at the latter part of the speech he talks about a development state. The two can’t go existing together.”

Basic income grant

The Good Party has welcomed the announcement of the extension of a basic income grant, saying it is affordable.

Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald says his party will monitor the President and his team that has to ensure that those implicated in corruption are brought to book.

Al Jama-Ah leader, Ganief Hendriks, says heads must roll following the panel of experts’ report into the July unrest. He says the security cluster ministers must take responsibility.

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, reflected on the President’s announcement around immigration when it comes to the development of foreign nationals and South Africans.

He touched on critical skills versus important skills needed in South Africa.

The President’s SONA will be followed by a two-day State of the Nation Debate and his reply to the debate next week.

VIDEO: Political parties react to President Cyril Ramaphosa speech: