Preparations for the 2019 Sona well underway in the parliamentary precinct. Photo: Supplied by GCIS.
Parliament - With just hours to go before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his second State of the Nation address (Sona) opinions across South Africa, including those of opposition parties, trade unions, political analysts and economists, are divided on the priorities that he must address.

Political analyst professor Somadoda Fikeni said: “We would like how the president is going to deal with unemployment and also address social cohesion and education issues. These are the areas that need to be fixed and need practical implementation.

“I would also like him to hear him speak about international relations, especially business links with the African countries.”

Fikeni said he also would like to hear more on corruption, “which has crippled our country, and much more on economic growth”.

Cosatu said Ramaphosa needs to step up and prove he is committed to fixing the country’s broken economy and fighting the scourge of corruption.

Professor Andre le Roux of the University of Stellenbosch Business School said the president should emphasise job creation and education to end poverty.

“We would also like him to place emphasis on how is he going to deal with corruption.

“We need to hear more on the progress regarding state capture.

“The public needs to know what is going to happen after the Zondo Commission.”

The Right2know campaign said: “The president must cast out the bad apples from the Cabinet before the national elections. We cannot afford any delays; those who have been complicit in acts of corruption must be brought to book.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the fact that both Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane were still in the Cabinet was mind-boggling.

Maimane also said Ramaphosa must use Sona to answer questions on the R500 000 donated to him by Bosasa during his campaign to lead the ANC.

But the DA leader also warned that state-owned entities were a risk to the economy.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said Ramaphosa must not make the markets jittery.

He said the country needs foreign direct investments to ramp up the economy. But he said Ramaphosa must arrest politicians involved in corruption and he must clean the state.

“As you heard in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture, it’s not the foot soldiers involved in this; it is senior members of the ANC implicated,” said Bloem.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader reverend Kenneth Meshoe also said Ramaphosa must act against senior ANC politicians implicated in corruption. He said Ramaphosa must demand that those implicated in corruption step down from their positions in government.

National Freedom Party (NFP) MP Nhlanhla Khubisa said Ramaphosa must fix state-owned enterprises (SOEs) because they contribute to the economy. Ramaphosa said this week they would not allow Eskom to fail - other SOEs had seen a change of boards.

Khubisa said the president must deal with the problem of health and education, as the systems were under pressure. 

Khubisa added that it was important that Ramaphosa address the question of investors, as the country needs foreign direct investments.

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Cape Argus