Durban — Ahead of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday, the United Association of South Africa (UASA), has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to provide concrete solutions to the country’s problems instead of making yet more promises.
UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo, said that after 30 years of democracy, Ramaphosa’s Sona will give South Africans another opportunity to reflect on the progress of our country’s growth and development.
Moyo said that there had been a few improvements and much deterioration over the last seven years, but most people lived with the hope of a better future.
She said corruption was rampant, unemployment remained high, last year saw 332 days of load shedding, infrastructure and logistics were crumbling, and high inflation and interest rates continued. Clean running water, housing and proper sanitation remained a myth for millions of South Africans.
“The simple truth is that it is worse than before and we have heard it all in the past,” Moyo said.
“As we await the date for the 2024 general elections, UASA urges Ramaphosa to put South Africans first for once. We do not want to hear about milestones achieved in the past, the effects and aftermath of Covid-19 on economic growth, or any of the on-repeat promises.
“Instead, we’d like to hear from a leader who displays abilities, plans and strategies to further the lives of South Africans.”
UASA reminded Ramaphosa of his promises since 2018:
- Economic transformation and job creation.
- Solutions to the energy crisis, especially Eskom and the load-shedding disaster.
- Investment turnaround plans on bailouts made to SOEs.
- Realistic measures for the security cluster to combat high crime rates and gender-based violence.
- Two million jobs for the youth.
“We want delivery on those promises and an end to economic despair,” Moyo said.
She said South Africans had, every year, made clear their concerns but to no avail.
Where to from here?
- What about the future of the countless graduates sitting at home unemployed and those who will be added to the numbers after every graduation ceremony?
- What happened to Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) developments, technology and industrial advancement when our economy, industries and ordinary citizens were at Eskom’s mercy?
“South Africans no longer want to be “re-assured” by smooth sentences delivered from a lectern. We demand practical and visible plans for a better future,” Moyo said.
“UASA calls on our leaders and government to use this year’s Sona to reflect on growth, achievements, failures and disappointments that have befallen our nation in the past years and how they can be turned into positives for the nation.”
Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the Sona at 7pm on Thursday before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.
The president is expected to set out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead, and flag challenges and outline interventions to unlock our nation’s potential. He is also expected to highlight what has been achieved since his last address in 2023. He will also reflect on the progress made in implementing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
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