OVERVIEW: General praise on Ramaphosa's SONA 2019 speech

2019-02-07 15:30

President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered his second State of the Nation Address in Parliament at Cape Town.

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Last Updated at 04:43
07 Feb 21:47

Cosatu: Ramaphosa must guarantee Eskom restructure won’t lead to job losses

President Cyril Ramaphosa must guarantee that the restructuring of Eskom he announced in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday not lead to job losses, the Congress of South African Trade Unions said on Thursday.  

In one of the major announcements of his address, Ramaphosa said government would start a process of splitting the debt-laden power utility into three parts – generation, transmission and distribution.

These three separate entities would still fall under Eskom Holdings.


07 Feb 21:46

The president's plan for jobs

Government is working with social partners to address SA's unemployment crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.The president was delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday.

This is the 25th SONA of the democratic SA. The president highlighted the progress made in job creation - SA's unemployment rate is at 27.5%, according to the latest figures from Statistics South Africa.

"We have focused our efforts on reigniting growth and creating jobs," Ramaphosa said.

"Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow," he said.


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07 Feb 20:52
Ramaphosa concludes his speech. 

07 Feb 20:50
Let us continue to embrace the spirit of citizen activism in line with the injunction, Thuma Mina, in the onward march towards equality, freedom and prosperity for all.

07 Feb 20:50
We all have a role to play as individual South Africans, faith-based organisations, sports organisations, trade unions, business, students, academics and citizens.

07 Feb 20:49

As we approach these tasks and challenges, we should heed the word of Theodore Roosevelt, who said:  

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


07 Feb 20:49

As government, as business, as labour and as citizens, let us unite to embrace tomorrow.  

Let us grasp our collective future with both hands, in the immortal words of the Freedom Charter: side by side, sparing neither strength nor courage.  

This task – of building a better South Africa - is our collective task as a nation, as the people of South Africa.


07 Feb 20:48

The task before us is formidable.  

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.


07 Feb 20:48

07 Feb 20:47
Above all, it is a South Africa of which we are all proud, of what we have achieved and of where we hope to be.

07 Feb 20:47

It is a South Africa ready to take advantage of the technological changes sweeping the globe to make our economy grow and create jobs for our people.  

It is a South Africa whose people have vision, drive and ambition; making it a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise.  

It is a South Africa that acknowledges the problems of the past, but looks firmly to the future.  

It is a South Africa whose leaders are bold and courageous, leaders who remain servants of the people – and for whom fulfilling their duty is the highest, and the only, reward.


07 Feb 20:47

They told us building a non-racial South Africa was impossible, and that we would never be able to truly heal from our bitter past.  

Yet we weathered the storm, and we are prevailing.                                     

It was the eternal optimism of the human spirit that kept hopes alive during our darkest time.  

It is this optimism that will carry us forward as we face a brave new future.  

It is a South Africa in which every man, woman and child is provided with the opportunity and means to make a better life for themselves.


07 Feb 20:46
Our society is anchored in the roots of tolerance and co-existence, and we stand firm, resolute and united against all and everything that seeks to divide us or destroy our hard-won gains.  

07 Feb 20:45

Between black and white, rich and the poor, between rural and urban, between the sexes, and between language groups and cultures.  

At times it has seemed that the milk of human kindness that allowed us to reconcile in 1994, had gone sour.  

But we will not surrender to the forces of pessimism and defeatism.


07 Feb 20:45
But the road towards true freedom is a long one, and we have seen divisions in our society grow.

07 Feb 20:44
Our democracy has blossomed and flourished, nurtured by the goodwill of the men and women of this great land, who understand only too well at what cost it was attained.

07 Feb 20:44
Despite the worst excesses of apartheid, we did not descend into vengeance when our freedom was won.

07 Feb 20:44
We are a people of resilience, of determination and of optimism. 

07 Feb 20:43
We wish to remind all eligible South Africans who have not yet registered as voters that they still have until the proclamation of the election date to register.

07 Feb 20:43

In a few months time, South Africans will go to the polls for the sixth time in our democracy to vote for national and provincial governments.  

This is an opportunity for our people to exercise their hard-won right to determine the direction of this country.  

I have engaged with the Independent Electoral Commission and also with the Premiers of all provinces, and intend to proclaim the 8th of May 2019 as the date of the election.


07 Feb 20:43

South Africa has this year taken up a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.  

We will use this position to advance peace on the continent and across the globe, taking forward Nelson Mandela’s vision of a peaceful, stable and just world.  


07 Feb 20:42

07 Feb 20:41
We will process the operationalisation of section 8 of the Public Administration and Management Act, which strengthens the outlawing of public servants doing business with the state and enable government to deal more effectively with corrupt activities.

07 Feb 20:41
In improving the capabilities of public servants, the National School of Government is introducing a suite of compulsory courses, covering areas like ethics and anti-corruption, senior management and supply chain management, and deployment of managers to the coal face to strengthen service delivery.

07 Feb 20:41
We invite all South Africans to make suggestions on how we can better configure government to serve the needs and the interests of the people.

07 Feb 20:41
We have made progress in examining the size and structure of the state, and will complete this work by the end of this administration.

07 Feb 20:40
It will identify and recommend policies, strategies and plans that will position South Africa as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space.

07 Feb 20:40
Comprised of eminent persons drawn from different sectors of society, the Commission will serve as a national overarching advisory mechanism on digital transformation.

07 Feb 20:39
To ensure that we effectively and with greater urgency harness technological change in pursuit of inclusive growth and social development, I have appointed a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution.

07 Feb 20:39

07 Feb 20:38

The successful construction in the Northern Cape of the MeerKAT telescope, the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, and the development of the Square Kilometre Array has enabled South Africa to develop capabilities in areas such as space observation, advanced engineering and supercomputing.  

These skills and capabilities are being used to build HERA, a radio telescope designed to detect, for the first time, the distinctive radio signal from the very first stars and galaxies that formed early in the life of the universe.


07 Feb 20:37
In doing so, we are building on a platform of extraordinary scientific achievement.

07 Feb 20:37
Today, we choose to be a nation that is reaching into the future.

07 Feb 20:37
Unless we adapt, unless we understand the nature of the profound change that is reshaping our world, and unless we readily embrace the opportunities it presents, the promise of our nation’s birth will forever remain unfulfilled.

07 Feb 20:37
It is a choice between entrenching inequality or creating shared prosperity through innovation.

07 Feb 20:36
It is a choice between being overtaken by technological change or harnessing it to serve our developmental aspirations.

07 Feb 20:36
As a young nation, only 25 years into our democracy, we are faced with a stark choice.

07 Feb 20:36
The devastating effects of global warming on our climate are already being felt, with extreme weather conditions damaging livelihoods, communities and economies.

07 Feb 20:36

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07 Feb 20:34

To this end, we have agreed with the new National Director of Public Prosecutions, that there is an urgent need to establish in the office of the NDPP an investigating directorate dealing with serious corruption and associated offences, in accordance with section 7 of the NPA Act.  

I will soon be promulgating a Proclamation that will set out the specific terms of reference of the Directorate.  

In broad terms, the Directorate will focus on the evidence that has emerged from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, other commissions and disciplinary inquiries.  

It will identify priority cases to investigate and prosecute and will recover assets identified to be the proceeds of corruption.  

The Directorate will bring together a range of investigatory and prosecutorial capacity from within government and in the private sector under an investigating director reporting to the NDPP.  

In the longer term, we will work with the NPA and other agencies of law enforcement to develop a more enduring solution that will strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with corruption.


07 Feb 20:31

The revelations emerging from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture and other commissions are deeply disturbing, for they reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state.  

We commend these commissions for the work they are doing, often under challenging circumstances, to uncover the truth.  

These commissions need to be able to do their work without any hindrance, and we call on all those people who are in a position to assist them in their investigations to make themselves available.  

While these Commissions will in time make findings and recommendations in line with their mandates, evidence of criminal activity that emerges must be evaluated by the criminal justice system.  


07 Feb 20:31

We have listened to the call to make funds available to combat gender-based violence, and have allocated funding in the current budget to support the decisions taken at the Summit.  

Government will lead the campaign to include men and boys as active champions in the struggle against gender-based violence.  

Ending gender-based violence is an urgent national priority that requires the mobilisation of all South Africans and the involvement of all institutions.  

South Africa has extremely high levels of substance abuse, which feeds crime and violence against women and children, it deepens poverty and causes great hardship and pain for families.  

As government we continue to roll-out interventions to address social ills tearing our communities apart such as alcoholism and substance abuse.  

Knowing as we do that there are strong linkages between substance abuse, drug trafficking, crime and insecurity in communities – we are focusing on tackling this problem at its source through prevention programmes targeting vulnerable persons especially our youth.  

We are resolute that all taverns, shebeens and liquour outlets near school premises must be shut down.  

We recognise, as do all South Africans, that our greatest efforts to end poverty, unemployment and inequality will achieve little unless we tackle state capture and corruption in all its manifestations and in all areas of public life.  

The action we take now to end corruption and hold those responsible to account will determine the pace and trajectory of the radical social and economic transformation we seek.

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