Message of 'hope' expected for SONA

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Members of Parliament and guests at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) say they are looking forward to a message of hope and a plan of action from President Cyril Ramaphosa when he delivers the SONA this evening.

Guests, members or Parliament and others filed into the Cape Town City Hall in anticipation of the President’s message.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, said she expects President Ramaphosa to give direction on the current energy crisis that is gripping the nation.

“I’m looking for a message from the President that will calm us and to also tell us that there is a solution to the energy crisis that we have. We do need to get our things right, we do need to stop the load shedding. The President has been working very hard with the energy group of Cabinet to find the solution,” she said.

Modise urged South Africans to “have hope” as government works to resolve the country’s challenges.

“We should always have hope and know that the sun will rise again. There are times where we go through tough times. But our people should have hope that…we are working to fix these challenges. It will be tough but we are working on it,” she said.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille said she would like to hear practical steps to implement government’s plans.

“We need to drive some urgency into government. We are testing the patience of our people. You will get urgency by driving accountability…when the President sets a target of how we need to perform.

“In general the mood in our country is not good and I’m the ultimate optimist so I hope that the speech tonight will bring some hope to South Africans,” she said.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said the aims of government are clear.

“We have been given the marching orders…and top of priority is to do away with load shedding and to work very hard to reverse the blackout in the country. Two, deal with the situation in our municipalities and deal with service delivery, cushion communities in distress and also support the small medium enterprises and intensify job creation initiatives and economic growth in the country,” he said.

Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, said he is looking forward to hearing “tangible” solutions.

“I am expecting decisive action and tangible and practical implementation of decisions we have taken in the past. From here it must just be action. The President has got a message of hope. Let's sit and listen to him and I firmly believe that he’s got a clear vision for the challenges that are confronting the country,” Saul said. –