Nearly a year after President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his 2022 State of the Nation Address (Sona), political analysts say he has failed to address SA’s most pressing issues.
The two main issues were decreasing the youth unemployment rate and addressing the energy crisis faced by the country, according to them.
His speech was widely criticised last year by various political parties and members of the public.
Ramaphosa said he would be guided by the ANC’s approach to the expropriation of land without compensation.
To address transformation, Ramaphosa promised to improve the capacity to support black professionals through radical economic transformation, a controversial policy by the ANC.
He promised to tackle corruption, fraud and state capture. He said he wanted to turn around the National Prosecuting Authority and stabilise the South African Revenue Service (Sars).
Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast said he did not think Ramaphosa had achieved the intended objectives he made during the 2022 SONA.
“If you look at unemployment, it has gone up in particular amongst the young. The number has been worsening and it’s quite sad,” said Breakfast.
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“I think that is why there was an emphasis on his January 8 statement on how to speed up the process of creating jobs for the youth by doing away with experience as a provision before employment.”
“What compounds the situation is the energy crisis because our economy has not been growing the way it should have. I think we are on the back foot in the economic trajectory.”
He said the electricity crisis was a nail in the coffin for the ANC in the upcoming elections.
“They are heartless, how do you go to the voters and say they must vote for you after you have fallen short of providing power,” he said.
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Breakfast said the expropriation of land without compensation and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank was only accepted by Ramaphosa’s faction because of a threat by the forces of the RET to collapse the 2017 ANC conference.
“The full package was radical economic transformation and then there were subsets. One of them was the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and the second subset was to return the stolen land. He accepted that policy knowing he would disregard it,” Breakfast said
On tackling corruption, he said the president had tried to introduce some reforms to respond to institutions of corruption.
“The past is still with us but there has been progress. We know about the story of Ace Magashule, Brian Molefe and all the weekend newspapers had the Arthur Mafokate story about assets being frozen, which is a sign something is being done, “ he said.
Political analyst and head of journalism at Cape Peninsula University of Technology Hermon Berhane Ogbamichael said there were about 20 points in last years Sona which the president sought to address however the president has not addressed the two most important being youth employment and the energy crisis.
Ogbamichael said despite the unemployment rate decreasing slightly, the decrease was however not visible.
“South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. The president clearly said the government cannot create jobs but the government can only create conditions [at most] so that the private sectors can revitalise,” he said.
“80% of people employed in South Africa are in the private sector. It is only about 20% who are self-employed, in government and so on.”
He said the president needed to address the electricity crisis because it was the prime mover for big and small businesses.
Ogbamichael said the issue of unemployment and the energy crisis would come up in the upcoming Sona.
He also predicted Ramaphosa would speak about the issue of corruption however, ironically, “will he speak about the Phala Phala saga because there are elements of corruption there as well.”
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