President Cyril Ramaphosa offered some plans and promises in the 2024 State of the Nation Address (Sona) that have been scrutinised by rival political parties and even trade unions.
“We will continue to position our economy to grow and compete in a fast-changing world, to support small businesses, to give young people economic opportunities and to provide social protection to the vulnerable,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday night.
“We will continue the work to improve the country’s fiscal position and hold firm to a sound macroeconomic trajectory.”
In reaction, the spokesperson of the trade union UASA, Abigail Moyo said the address left more questions than answers.
According to Moyo, the genuine status of the nation is symbolised by the everyday issues that South Africans face, rather than the laudable economic and democratic successes of the past emphasised by Ramaphosa in the Sona.
“The current high unemployment rate is a concern in terms of economic progress. How is it that far-reaching economic reforms, an ambitious investment drive, and an infrastructure programme starting to yield results still don’t result in sustainable jobs?
“The placement of over a million school assistants in 23,000 schools to provide them with work experience is troublesome as such short-term solutions tend to leave people unemployed as soon as the project ends. Thirty years after the dawn of democracy, a whopping 55.5 percent of South Africans still live in abject poverty,” Moyo said.
She went on to say that the genuine status of the nation is symbolised by the everyday issues that South Africans face, rather than the laudable economic and democratic successes of the past emphasised by Ramaphosa in the Sona.
However, the union welcomed the intention to undertake a large debt reduction package for Eskom.