With elections looming, Thursday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) may be the last under the ANC majority in Parliament.
The country is waiting to hear how the Ramaphosa-led administration intends to make up for the many setbacks that have had far-reaching implications for the economy.
Forget the bullet trains and smart cities he once dreamt about, South Africans want answers on when load shedding will be a thing of the past.
They want assurance that their grants will be paid in full next month.
They want, in fact they are entitled, to know that there will be safe running water from their taps.
They want to know that the corrupt government officials the ANC continues to shield will be arrested and face the full might of the law.
They are desperate to see those implicated in state capture, including Ramaphosa’s allies, standing in the dock to answer for the crimes they are alleged to have committed. They yearn for results in the fight against criminals holding them hostage in their communities.
They want to see practical solutions to the high cost of living that is choking almost every household. The story of unemployed youth, including graduates, relying on social grants to make ends meet is not a good one to tell.
A repeat of the same old promises will serve as confirmation that the ANC is out of ideas and not the vehicle that will deliver South Africans a better life.
So far Ramaphosa’s legacy as president is one to forget although his backers would like us to believe otherwise.
As alluded to by University of Cape Town Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies, Vinothan Naidoo, South Africa’s lowest score ever in the Corruption Perceptions Index is indeed a sign that the Ramaphosa presidency has failed to meet the heightened levels of urgency to turn the corner on corruption generated by state capture.
This is but one of many failures of this administration. What he promises tomorrow, and importantly, his government delivers in the next few months before elections, may decide the fate of the ANC.
Some may say that horse has long bolted. Others will say this Sona may be the last chance.
Whatever the case may be, it will be hard convincing disgruntled South Africans otherwise.