President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday addressed the country in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in just five months.

Many have speculated that this SONA may be the cheapest one hosted in the past five years just for this reason – it is estimated to have cost R500 000 less than the last SONA in February.

Citizens waited with bated breath to hear what Ramaphosa plans to deal with in his second term as ruler of the country.

Ramaphosa highlighted several key aspects he plans to deal with during his new term and what he predicts for this period, including that Eskom will be able to fulfil its obligations before the year’s end, the expansion of local agriculture and improve crime prosecution, among others. The most important points from his speech include:

– “Following the sharp contraction in growth in the first quarter, the Reserve Bank now projects that growth in 2019 is likely to be lower than anticipated in the February Budget.”

– “With the current committed funding from government, outlined in the 2019 Budget, Eskom has sufficient cash to meet its obligations until the end of October 2019.”

– “Through spatial interventions like special economic zones, reviving local industrial parks, business centres, digital hubs and township and village enterprises, we will bring economic development to local areas. We will also focus on small medium enterprises in our cities, townships and rural areas and create market places where they trade their products.”

– “We are working to improve success rates in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and to ensure better training and professionalisation throughout the criminal justice system.”

– “We are far advanced in revising the NHI detailed plan of implementation, including accelerating quality of care initiatives in public facilities, building human resource capacity, establishment of the NHI Fund structure, and costing the administration of the NHI Fund.”

– “We are going to substantially expand the agriculture and agro-processing sector by supporting key value chains and products, developing new markets and reducing our reliance on agricultural imports.”

– “We will expand our high tech industry by ensuring that the legal and regulatory framework promotes innovation, scaling up skills development for young people in new technologies, and reducing data costs. Wherever we have young people have continuously raised the issue of the excessive high data costs in South Africa. To provide impetus to this process, within the next month, the Minister of Communications will issue the policy direction to ICASA to commence the spectrum licensing process.”

Apart from the President’s address, one of the most anticipated parts of SONA evenings is always the red carpet and the guests’ ensembles. Here are some of the looks of the evening:






Picture: Twitter

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.