Ministers outline expectations ahead of SONA 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Although a limited number of Ministers and Members of Parliament walked on one of the most anticipated events on South Africa’s fashion calendar, they did not disappoint.

They showed up in extravagant attire and tailored suits on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) red carpet, where President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the hybrid joint sitting of the two Houses (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces) on Thursday, at 7pm, at the Cape Town City Hall.            

The event is taking place at the Cape Town City Hall following the damage by fire to Parliament on Sunday, 2 January 2022.

Dressed in a black suit, crisp white shirt, and a solid red tie, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said overall, the SONA should focus on the management of COVID-19, which has been a challenge over the last two years.

“It should outline plans for the economy, the urgency to restructure it, to reconstruct it and rebuild it. Those are the key issues… He needs to address the need to secure energy… a balanced approach towards low carbon emissions without neglecting energy poverty and the need for energy security.

“The balanced approach should entail that we scale down from coal and build the capacity of the various technologies of energy,” Mantashe said.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, said he expected the President to outline his plans as the Head of State and to report on his achievements since his last SONA.

“The President should indicate the position of the country in terms of climate change. He needs to outline the transitional programme from coal to renewable energy and what it will cost the country, and the pledge by the international community to fund this transitional programme,” Holomisa said.

Clad in a grey suit with a white shirt, as well as red and white polka dot tie, Holomisa emphasised the importance of further relaxing the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in an effort to allow the economy to grow.

With the violent riots that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last year, Holomisa said there needs to be a change in the trajectory of funding law enforcement agencies because the army and the police “do not have proper equipment”.

Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, said the President has a duty to outline the direction government will be taking this year and therefore, National Treasury will have to find resources in line with that direction.

“The economic outlook for the year ahead is bad. For instance, the figures have been revised down in line with what happened during last year’s July unrest. If the economic outlook is bad, it has an implication on revenue,” Godongwana said.

Due to space limitations and as part of efforts to adhere to the National State of Disaster lockdown regulations (Alert Level 1), only a limited number of Members of Parliament and guests will be at the City Hall.

There is a total number of 364 Members of Parliament who have been allocated seats inside the hall. Of this number, 278 are National Assembly members, while 86 are NCOP members. Up to 300 of the MPs will be seated in the chamber, while the 64 will be seated in the gallery. – SAnews.gov.za

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