State of the Nation Address expected to give hope

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parliament - A sense of hope and resilience in the face of the current economic climate is expected to be the thread that runs through the State of the Nation Address, to be delivered by President Kgalema Motlanthe on Friday morning.

In the first State of the Nation Address that he will deliver, the President is also likely to discuss the milestones and challenges South Africa has experienced over the last 15 years and the evolution the country has undergone.

Friday's address by the President is the last State of the Nation Address for the government before heading to the polls, at a date still to be announced by the President.

As the President has only been in office for about five months, much of the address will relate to programmes and objectives initiated by his predecessor, President Thabo Mbeki.

Challenges affecting the country including crime, the widening inequality gap, blockages in the criminal justice system, unemployment and poverty, quality of education as well as the affect of the global economic recession on South Africa are all expected to feature prominently in President Motlanthe's address on Friday.

Parliament's theme for the State of the Nation Address is "Parliament entrenching people-centred democracy in achieving development goals".

As is tradition, the SONA is an annual event, where the President delivers a speech outlining governments Programme of Action (POA) for the year.

The address on Friday will be the first of two addresses to the nation this year, as the new president who is elected after the elections, will also address the nation.