It is all systems go for the 2024 State of the Nation Address (Sona) which will be delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa at 7pm on Thursday.
The nation is eagerly waiting to hear the annual speech and what the president’s plans are for the year ahead.
Among those who are looking forward to hearing the announcement are millions of unemployed South Africans who want to hear how the government aims to assist them.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) showed that the unemployment rate decreased to its lowest level in the third quarter of 2023, falling to 31.9% from 32.6% in the previous quarter.
This means that a total of 979,000 jobs were created.
Talking on the upcoming Sona, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, told eNCA that when the president came onto the scene, he was riding on a wave of hope and optimism, but that some things have regressed, instead of progressing.
“There have been 30 years of betrayal of the working class and the poor, in particular. We said elsewhere that if you are in South Africa and you are rich, this economy will treat you very well. But if you are poor, it will trap you in your deprivation, hunger and hopelessness,” said Vavi.
He went on to say that it was time for change, because in the time that the African National Congress (ANC) has been in power, it has served the rich, further marginalised the poor and worsened the unemployment crisis.
The president will be under enormous pressure at this year’s Sona as it is an election year. So, a lot is resting on this evening’s address.