DDP's Sphamandla Mhlongo, Londiwe Mntambo from Rivonia Circle, DDP Executive Director, Dr. Paul Kariuki, Political Commentator Thobani Zikalala and Suraksha Singh at the DDP SONA Forum at Elangeni Hotel.
The South African State of the Nation Address (SONA) remains to be the most highly anticipated address annually. SONA is an opportunity for South Africans to hear from the Head of State his plan and vision for the year and its execution. SONA is scheduled for 9 February this year and will be delivered by President Ramaphosa at the Cape Town Parliament.
In anticipation of this address, on 31 January 2023 Democracy Development Program hosted a SONA Forum with the theme “Unpacking the State of the Nation.” The primary purpose of this event was to hear from civil society what were their expectations for SONA. Key conversation points discussed included:
Peoples sense of the ‘lived reality in South Africa’;
Understanding the role of SONA and tracking its impact;
Understanding the influences of the ruling party through observations from the Elective Conference, January 8th Statement and the composition of the NWC;
SONA, from the perspective of activist communities.
Engagement with these conversation points was robust and critical from both audience members and speakers. A key question that was pertinent was “what can SONA deliver to suggest the possibility of turning things around in South Africa in the short term?” It came as no surprise that many were asking for basic public service promises to be fulfilled, clear cut solutions regarding the South African energy crisis are also mandatory and the issues of unemployment, inequality and corruption still need to be of priority to the state. DDP would like to thank all the speakers that cultivated and guided this conversation: Bonolo Makgale, Khanya Vilakazi and Londiwe Mntambo. Feel free to watch the engagement right here.
Rise Mzansi KZN Convener, Nonkululeko Hlongwane-Mhlongo, IFP President VF Hlabisa, DDP's Partner Liaison and Development Officer Mbalenhle Mkhize and Executive Director Dr. Paul Kariuki at the DDP Civic Education Conference.