WRAP | 'We are engaged in a battle for the soul of the country, and we will not be defeated,' says president

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10 February 22:23

IN QUOTES | Ramaphosa on state capture, the July unrest, cannabis and Parliament fire [FOR SUBSCRIBERS]

In a lengthy one hour and 52-minute State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa focused on the reforms required to grow South Africa's ailing economy. 

This was his sixth SONA since he became president in 2018. 


10 February 22:11

SONA 2022: Leadership shake-up on the cards for several security agencies - Ramaphosa

Seven months after last year's July unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, security agencies are in for a shake-up - with "leadership changes" expected to be announced "soon".

This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.

According to Ramaphosa, an expert panel, appointed to probe the reasons behind the unrest that killed more than 300 people, found the violence exposed poverty and inequality.


10 February 21:47

SONA 2022: 'There was indeed state capture': Private sector will help with prosecutions - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the private sector will help investigate cases emanating from the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

During his sixth State of the Nation Address on Thursday, Ramaphosa said special court rolls were on the cards to deal with rampant corruption speedily.

He told MPs he would respond to the committee's report by the end of June. 


10 February 21:42

Police Minister Bheki Cele says he is a Cabinet minister and serves at the behest of the president. “The President has spoken and said Cabinet takes collective responsibility and I agree with that,” says Cele.

He adds that calls for him to step down are premature and also throws his national police commission under the bus. Cele says some of the senior vacancies within law enforcement being vacant, which led to the disastrous response to the unrest were because of Khehla Sitole.

- Juniour Khumalo

10 February 21:37

Ramaphosa extends social relief grant to March 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that government's Social Relief of Distress Grant will be extended by one year, meaning it will continue into March 2023.

Addressing a joint sitting of Parliament during his sixth State of The Nation Address, Ramaphosa said the grant had been a critical buffer to millions of South Africans whose livelihoods were devastated by the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The R350 monthly disbursement has been met with a strong demand, highlighting the impact of the pandemic on poor South Africans in an already underperforming economy facing record unemployment levels and subdued growth.  


10 February 21:35

Dressed in Foschini brand and SA shoes, Ramaphosa punts local goods

Wearing local clothing and shoes, President Cyril Ramaphosa punted localisation in his State of the Nation address on Thursday evening.  

During his speech, he pointed out that he was wearing a suit manufactured by The Foschini Group's Prestige brand. His shirt was also produced by the group.

His "genuine leather shoes" were manufactured by members of the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers who work at Cape Town-based Bolton Footwear and Dick Whittington Shoes in Pietermaritzburg. 


10 February 21:32

FULL TEXT | 'Let us forge a new consensus, let us get to work' - Ramaphosa calls for unity in SONA speech

10 February 21:31

DA leaders John Steenhuisen and Natasha Mazzone say it's a shame that security cluster ministers including Police Minister Bheki Cele still hold their position after such a damning report by the panel that was put together to investigate the July unrest. They say the lack of action being taken inspires a lack of confidence in the president and his administration.

- Juniour Khumalo

10 February 21:28

Malema says the appointment of Sipho Nkosi - an ex-mining boss - as the person in charge of cutting red tape in government is an admission that the department of small business has failed. He says Ramaphosa is centralising a lot in his office and expanding it quite a bit.

- Juniour Khumalo 

10 February 21:22

EFF leader Julius Malema has lambasted the "lackluster " SONA address by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He says the address did not inspire any confidence and Ramaphosa has conceded that his government has failed to provide jobs, a promise he had made during the previous addresses. Malema added that it appears that Ramaphosa has now outsourced job creation to the public sector.

- Juniour Khumalo

10 February 21:01

Sasol chair Sipho Nkosi to head Ramaphosa's new team tasked with cutting red tape for business

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that business leader Sipho Nkosi would head a team in the Presidency tasked with seeking out and eliminating red tape in government regulations that hamper business growth.

Delivering his sixth State of The Nation Address in the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday evening, Ramaphosa stressed that government's role was not to create jobs, but to facilitate an environment in which business could serve this purpose.

Sasol chairperson Nkosi was previously CEO of Exxaro and president of what was then the Chamber of Mines of South Africa.


10 February 20:59

New law to end Eskom's monopoly drops as Ramaphosa delivers SONA

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced the beginning of the end of Eskom's monopoly on selling electricity, by publishing legislative amendments that will enable the trading and reselling of electricity among private players. 

Amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act were gazetted by Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe on Thursday. The regulations are open for 30 days of public comment. 

The amendments also make provision for the licensing of an independent operator of the national electricity grid – the Transmission System Operator – which has been legally established by Eskom, in the first of several stages of splitting the company. 


10 February 20:58

10 February 20:54

Ramaphosa ends his address : "I ask every South African to rally together in our fight against corruption, in our fight to create jobs, in our fight to achieve a more just and equal society. We have faced many crises in our past, and we have overcome them. We have been confronted with difficult choices, and we have made them. In trying times, we have shown courage and resilience. Time and time again, we have pulled ourselves back from the brink of despair and inspired hope, renewal, and progress. Now, we must do so again. Let us forge a new consensus to confront a new reality, a consensus that unites us behind our shared determination to reform our economy and rebuild our institutions. Let us get to work. Let us rebuild our country. And let us leave no one behind."

10 February 20:51

Ramaphosa says this is the time for us to work together. He says it is not the time to tear the democracy apart. "We must all move together as one as South Africans."

- Qaanitah Hunter

10 February 20:51

10 February 20:48

Ramaphosa says the SA Revenue Service has made a remarkable turnaround after being hobbled during the State Capture-era.

He says that SARS collected R16-trillon since its formation (in 1997), which enabled government to improvement the lives of millions of South Africans. Ramaphosa said a capable state is not only about public servants – but the efficiency of its institutions.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:43

10 February 20:42

"Resign!" yells EFF MPs as Ramaphosa talks about the July unrest and the report's findings. There-s also loud growls from the opposition when Police Minister Bheki Cele is shown on the big screen behind Ramaphosa.

- Jan Gerber

10 February 20:40

Ramaphosa announces that he will make changes to the heads of security institutions. This is after the report into the July unrest found that the security cluster was woefully inadequate during the violence last year.

- Qaanitah Hunter

10 February 20:37

Ramaphosa talks about the report by Professor Sandy Africa on the July unrest. He said it paints a disturbing picture. He cites the report that the police response was poor, there was no coordination between police and intelligence. Ramaphosa says the panel found that the Cabinet must take overall responsibility for the events of July 2021.

“This is a responsibility that we acknowledge and accept,” he says.

- Qaanitah Hunter

10 February 20:34

COMMENT | Ramaphosa's tough talking on corruption should be taken with a pinch of salt. Last year his administration slashed the budget of every entity fighting corruption over the medium term.

- Jan Gerber

10 February 20:34

10 February 20:29

COMMENT | Ramaphosa sticks to his commitment that he will respond to the State Capture Inquiry report by the end of June.

He says they will act on the recommendation to protect whistleblowers. He says they are doing a comparative study to see what other countries are doing in this regard. Ramaphosa goes on to say law enforcement agencies will immediately act to safeguard whistleblowers.

- Qaanitah Hunter

10 February 20:28

Ramaphosa says companies involved in State Capture, as named in the report, should face the law.

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:26

By no later than June, Ramaphosa will present a plan to deal with State Capture. He will present it in Parliament.

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:26

Ramaphosa says State Capture has weakened the ability of the State to deliver services.

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:25

Ramaphosa emphasises that there was indeed "State Capture".

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:23

Ramaphosa says none of the efforts to revive our economy will succeed if we don't deal with corruption.

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:21

10 February 20:20

Ramaphosa talks about extreme fiscal challenges and how it impacts South Africans. He also announces that Social Relief of Distress grant has been extended to end of March 2023.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:19

Social Relief of Distress Grant gets a one year extension until March of 2023.

- Khulekani Magubane

10 February 20:19

10 February 20:15

Ramaphosa says government will expand the employment tax incentive – and give more young people a chance at jobs.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:13

10 February 20:11

Over 850 000 job opportunities have been supported in the Presidential Employment Stimulus program since it was announced in 2020, assisting mostly young South Africans, Ramaphosa told the joint sitting.

– Khulekani Magubane

10 February 20:11

Last year, during the COP26 conference, France, Germany, the UK, US and the European Union agreed to raise $8.5 billion (about R132 billion) to help South Africa reduce emissions.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:10

Ramaphosa says even with the best businesses environment, it will take time for businesses to create the jobs needed for millions of South Africans.

- Jason Felix

10 February 20:09

Ramaphosa brings up appointment of former Absa CEO and erstwhile SA Reserve Bank deputy governor Daniel Mminele to deal with the finances necessary for a just transition.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:07

Ramaphosa says SA is one of the regions in the world most affected by climate change as we had droughts and now recently floods. He said since he created the Presidential Climate Change Commission it has done much work towards a just transition.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 20:02

COMMENT | The speech thus far is hitting all the right notes, identifying areas for reform, announcing new initiatives, and putting the private sector at the centre of economic recovery. Let's hold out for his full-throated defence of the judiciary and a commitment (with tangible plans) to exact accountability from the perpetrators of state capture and corruption.

- Pieter du Toit

10 February 20:01

The hemp and cannabis sector has the potential to create 130 000 new jobs.

– Ahmed Areff

10 February 19:59

COMMENT | Ramaphosa talks passionately about the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which allows for easier intra-Africa trade. He prompts business to make use of this mechanism for trading across the continent. Ramaphosa has pinned a lot of his economic growth plan on intra-Africa trade.

- Qaanitah Hunter

10 February 19:58

The 4th investment conference will take place from 24 March, Ramaphosa says. There will be feedback on commitments from previous conferences.

- Ahmed Areff

10 February 19:54

Ramaphosa brings up the localisation plan – and makes special mention of the Foschini group – where his SONA suit comes from.

– Ahmed Areff

10 February 19:52

10 February 19:50

Around 2 500 schools still need to be built and at the current rate it will take about 75 years to close that gap, Ramaphosa said.

- Jason Felix

10 February 19:49

10 February 19:48

The Infrastructure Fund continues to work with SOEs with a R100 billion war chest and plans for infrastructure investments worth R96 billion in telecommunications, water, student accommodation and other targets.

– Khulekani Magubane

10 February 19:48

Sipho Nkosi will head a team in the Presidency tasked with cutting red tape in business regulations in the South African economy. He is a former captain in the mining industry and has worked with business lobby groups championing the interests of small business.

– Khulekani Magubane

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