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BLOG: #SONA2022 does it meet SA’s expectation? Join our analysts unpacking the President’s speech

President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Cape Town City Hall. The SONA had to be moved to the Cape Town City Hall after a fire on 2 January 2022 destroyed a large part of the Parliamentary buildings including the National Assembly. photo: Jaco Marais/South African Pool

President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Cape Town City Hall. The SONA had to be moved to the Cape Town City Hall after a fire on 2 January 2022 destroyed a large part of the Parliamentary buildings including the National Assembly. photo: Jaco Marais/South African Pool

Published Feb 10, 2022

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his sixth State of the nation address at the historic Cape Town City Hall on Thursday evening.

Parliament relocated the event after the burning of the National Assembly and Old Assembly Chamber.

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Sona 2022: President Cyril Ramaphosa vows government will work harder at education

President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday that the government will work harder to ensure South African learners get the quality education they need.

The President was speaking during the first ever Sona to be held at the Cape Town City Hall following a fire that gutted the National Assembly last month.

“For the last two years, the education of our children and young people has been severely disrupted. As we return to normal educational activity, we will work harder to ensure that all learners and students get the quality education they need and deserve,” Ramaphosa said.

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Sona 2022: ’Implementation of new anti-GBV bills could go a long way'

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President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the implementation of the three new anti-gender based-violence (GBV) bills he signed last month will go a long way to ensuring successful prosecutions and protecting survivors.

The president was speaking during the State of the Nation address at the Cape Town City Hall, a first in the democratic era of the country.

In addition to strengthening the criminal justice system, he said much progress has been made in clearing up the DNA backlog processing. This can sometimes hinder the prosecution process in GBV cases.

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Sona 2022: Opposition parties say more repeated promises and some positives

Opposition political parties described Thursday's State of the Nation (Sona) address as a repeat of old promises with some positives.

ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said President Cyril Ramaphosa repeated a number of promises especially when it came to gender-based violence. "What was positive was when he said that it is the private sector that creates jobs. He should have acknowledged this as a mistake in the past when he did not say this.“

Meshoe said it was an opportunity to recognise that this had been a mistake in the past but it was a positive move by the president to acknowledge what smaller parties had been saying for some time.

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READ: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona 2022 full speech

This year, for the first time since the dawn of our democracy, the State of the Nation Address is not being delivered in the Chamber of the National Assembly.

As we entered this new year, a huge fire engulfed the seat of our democracy.

We all watched in outrage and sadness as the flames devoured the buildings in which our democratic Constitution was born, in which laws of transformation and progress have been passed, in which the freely-chosen representatives of the people have shaped our young nation.

Read the full speech here.

R350 social relief grant extended for another year, says Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant, which was implemented since the onset of Covid-19, will be extended for another year.

While delivering his State of the Nation Address at the City Hall in Cape Town, the president mentioned that a fiscal crisis would hurt the poor worst of all through the deterioration of the basic services on which they rely.

The president shared the story of a man who had used his grant fund to improve his livelihood: "Mr Lindokuhle Msomi, an unemployed TV producer from KwaMashu Hostel, saved the R350 grant he received for nine months to start a fast food stall and to support his family."

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About R96bn set aside for Infrastructure Fund to help ignite economy - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says about R96 billion will go towards a pipeline of projects – which include student accommodation, social housing, telecommunications, water and sanitation and transport – with state entities.

The president referred to infrastructure as the central point to economic reconstruction and recovery.

The government is to make an investment of R1.8bn in bulk infrastructure, which will unlock seven private sector projects to the value of R133bn, Ramaphosa said.

"The Infrastructure Fund is at the centre of this effort, with a R100 billion allocation from the fiscus over 10 years.

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Covid-19: Cyril Ramaphosa plans to end the state of disaster - Sona 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa intends to end the national state of disaster as he believes the country is ready to enter a new phase in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In delivering the State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said measures need to be finalised under the National Health Act and other legislation to contain the pandemic.

“Since Covid-19 reached our shores, we have endured successive waves of infection, the emergence of new variants and the devastating cost of nearly 100 000 recorded Covid-19 deaths.

“South Africans have responded to this grave threat with courage and resilience, with compassion and restraint. Over the past two years, we have taken unprecedented actions to strengthen our health system, build laboratory capacity and prevent infections,” the president said.

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Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, wife of president Cyril Ramaphosa at the State of the nation address. Photo: Jaco Marais/South African Pool

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his sixth State of the nation address at the historic Cape Town City Hall on Thursday evening.

Parliament relocated the event after the burning of the National Assembly and Old Assembly Chamber.

Ramaphosa said the fund played a significant role in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the full story here.

Members of the EFF remain seated as President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives. Photo: Jaco Marais/South African Pool

Many Solidarity Fund donors are Members of Parliament, Ramaphosa reveals

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday thanked the donors who contributed towards the country’s Solidarity Fund.

The president was delivering his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the Cape Town City Hall in the Western Cape.

Ramaphosa calls on South Africans to commit themselves to rebuilding the country

President Cyril Ramaphosa kicked off his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday evening by once again urging South Africans to remain committed to rebuilding the country, protecting its democracy and fighting corruption.

“The path we choose now will determine the course for future generations. That is why we are taking steps to strengthen our democracy, and reaffirm our commitment to a Constitution that protects us all. The most wonderful Constitution…” Ramaphosa said.

He added: “We are standing together against corruption and to ensure (that) those who are responsible for state capture will be punished for their crimes.”

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President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at City Hall in Cape Town ahead of his sixth State of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday. PHOTO: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Three SANDF jets form part of a flypast over the Cape Town CBD at the start of SONA 2022. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Airforce planes fly past the Cape Town City Hall as they rehearse for the State of the Nation Address by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

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Ramaphosa’s new name is Promise, Twitterati slam president ahead of Sona 2022

South Africans on Twitter weigh in ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) from drinking games, broken promises and fashion.

The theme of the State of the Nation Address 2022 is “following up on our commitments: making your future work better,” however many SA Twitter users can only see the broken promises.

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PHOTO: Supplied/GCIS

Parliament presiding officers promise a scaled-down affair

President Cyril Ramaphosa took a walk through the City Hall with Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula a few hours before his State of the Nation Address.

Several streets in the Cape Town CBD have been closed to traffic, with more streets set to be closed later in the day before Ramaphosa addresses the nation.

There is tight security in Cape Town as police officers, some with sniffer dogs, are visible in the city centre.

The city hall is expected to take more than 300 MPs and dozens of guests.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed security forces ahead of the Sona

Video: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

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