CAPE TOWN – It’s billed as the most important speech the president makes all year. And this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make two State of the Nation addresses.
In his maiden address in 2018, Ramaphosa made bold promises to clean up the corruption that had plagued the Zuma administration and to stimulate the economy.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa will have to give Parliament a progress report on just how well his government has fared and set the scene for the year ahead.
It’s been almost a year since President Ramaphosa ushered in his new dawn and launched his “Thuma Mina” campaign, encouraging ordinary South Africans to step up and help turn things around.
But political analyst Ralph Mathekga says while Ramaphosa may have delivered on the broader promises, this time around, he needs to be more specific about projects and plans.
“This is the year of the elections. This is the year when the president gets very populist and doesn’t want to offend anyone, so I wonder if the president will be willing to announce austerity measures which might be painful for us, like cutting the public service.”
Mathekga says even though it will be one of two, this first State of The Nation Address is an important indicator of how in tune the president is with the needs of the people.