President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, 10 February 2022, at 7 pm.
The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was called by the President in terms of Section 42(5) of the Constitution. It was a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament and one of the rare occasions that bring together the three arms of the State under one roof.
SONA provided the President with an opportunity to speak to the nation on the general state of South Africa, to reflect on a wide range of political, economic, and social matters within the domestic and global contexts, to account to the nation on the work of the Government and to set out Government’s program of action for the coming year. Traditionally, the President made key Government announcements during this important joint sitting of Parliament.
From March 2020, the country has been run under the guidance of the Disaster Management Act – with significantly more pressure placed on us by the downgrading of the South African economy.
With President Ramaphosa and his cabinet still plagued with the tough task of restoring public confidence and hope for a return to normal, the challenges of unemployment, inequality, and poverty continue to persist.
The Democracy Development Program hosted a forum that unpacked the 2022 State of the Nation Address. The event had the intention of assessing the extent to which SONA responds to the lived realities of South African citizens. This included looking at its response towards the state, institutions, and its people and to test if they are adequately equipped to resolve all the challenges.
Londiwe Mntambo, Oliver Dickson, and Alive Mniki were our guest speakers for the event. Each speaker gave us their insight and remarks on the analytical level of the SONA. Remarks touched on the issues of accessibility, the political and economic landscape in which this SONA arrives, and the possible reception of the South African citizens. Our speakers also gave forecasts for the upcoming budget speech.
We also heard from those who attended the event. Questions ranged from people voicing out their views on the repeating nature of the document. People noted that often the solutions sound the same, however, the execution of the solutions falls short. The delegates also raised their observation on the ‘red tape’ deduction that the President promised to South African businesses. The ‘red tape’ conversation had people questioning if there would be any gaps of continued corruption as a result of the lifted ‘red tape’. Conversations between the delegates and our speakers were riveting and engaging. They truly were in alignment with our 2022 theme: Promoting Accountability through Citizen Engagement.
DDP's Dr. Paul, Kariuki, Sphamandla Mhlongo with delegates and partners (including Dr. Masuku, Dr. Hlongwane from the IEC, as well as Letlhogonolo Letshele from My Vote Counts) at the 4th Annual political summit.