South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night delivered his sixth State of the Nation Address, SONA, in Capetown.
The speech was delivered at the city’s Town Hall instead of the Parliament, which was razed in January with a man facing charges of terrorism and arson after the incident.
Some of the pertinent issues the President focused on include;
CORRUPTION: The President said his Government has commenced programs to acquire state-owned enterprises such as; Eskom, Denel, South African Airways, the South African Revenue Service, government communications and Transnet – back on track, nothing that protocols are being emplaced to ensure that the entities are more efficient, non-corrupt, and accountability.
ESKOM: Ramaphosa said power disruptions are having a negative impact on the lives of South Africans, impacting business and industrial activities, and also reducing the quality of the standard of living. He however noted that his administration is set to improve the power performance in the country by adding an extra 4,000 megawatts to the power generation.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Ramaphosa during his sixth SONA address also applauded South Africans for their perseverance and mental doggedness amid the emergence of the Coronavirus disease, while also paying a glowing tribute to all frontliners and health workers who risked their lives while working during the pandemic. He revealed that 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to South Africans which means nearly 42% of all adults and 60% of citizens over age 50 are fully vaccinated.
BUSINESS RED TAPE: The President said his administration would do everything to ensure all red tapes hampering the growth of businesses in the country are cut. He also said the Government is looking to the Business Act to assist with this measure, adding that it would help entrepreneurs thrive and build more capacity.
CANNABIS: He said his administration would be looking to implement policies that would ensure the hemp and cannabis sectors in the country grow and thrive.
UNEMPLOYMENT: The President said that in 2021 the country’s unemployment rate reached its highest recorded level. He highlighted low growth which is caused by a long-term decline in investment as the trigger for employment.
MODERNISING VISA PROCESS: He said the Government is modernising the visa application process to make it easier to travel into the country for tourism, Education, business and work. Ramaphosa revealed it has been launched in 14 countries including; China, India, Kenya and Nigeria
CLIMATE CHANGE: The President also announced that he has appointed Daniel Mminele, a former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, as Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team to lead the mobilisation of funds.
HIRE 12,000 MORE POLICE OFFICERS: Ramaphosa said his Government is also recruiting and training 12,000 more police personnel to ensure more security for citizens.
BUILDING BRIDGES: President Ramaphosa said his Government would be constructing 95 more bridges this year. He said that with the construction of these bridges, motorists and commuters would have to stop battling to ply deplorable roads to reach the next town.
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