“You watch this space” — This was the President’s promising refrain throughout his State of the Nation Address this week.
Reflecting on interventions in state-owned enterprises and crucial state agencies such as the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Revenue Service, Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that meaningful progress had been made.
He also announced that ten years after the Scorpions were disbanded, he would set up a special directorate to deal with serious corruption. The new directorate will identify priority cases to investigate and recover the assets identified to be the proceeds of corruption. Ramaphosa says he’s already met with the new prosecutions boss Shamila Batohi to discuss the establishment of this unit.
Reaction from President Ramaphosa’s State of The Nation Address has been mostly positive, with a large chunk of the speech emphasising the importance of investment, easing the cost and burden of doing business and the role of small business in creating jobs and enhancing growth.
He highlighted the “five most urgent tasks at this moment in our history” which are:
– Inclusive growth and employment
– Improving the education system and developing the skills for the future
– Improving the conditions of life for all South Africans, especially the poor
– Stepping up the fight against corruption and State capture
– Strengthening the capacity of the State to address the needs of the people
But perhaps it’s the President’s call on all of us to assist with this huge challenge that should make the biggest impact.
“Above everything else, we must get our economy working again. I call upon every South African to make this cause your own. Because when we succeed and of this we are certain it is the entire nation that will benefit. As government, as business, as labour and as citizens, let us unite to embrace tomorrow.”
Even EFF leader Julius Malema was completely disarmed by Ramaphosa, giving the country a State of the nation address that we deserve after a very difficult last nine years.
Ramaphosa intends declaring the elections for 8 May – and he has urged all South Africans to ensure they are registered to vote – before the declaration.
Let’s hope the lofty and ambitious goals that the President has set for the country can be met, to ensure that the poorest of the poor can be uplifted.
To read the full speech follow the link: https://www.gov.za/speeches/president-cyril-ramaphosa-2019-state-nation-address-7-feb-2019-0000