President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night has been called a big dream by politicians who feel his speech lacked detail.
The president wants to achieve many things, from lower data costs to the creation of in excess of 100,000 jobs, and his theme is “Let’s grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom”.
His seven priorities are outlined as follows:
1. Economic Transformation and job creation
The private sector is committed to investing R840-billion in 43 projects over 19 sectors which will produce 155,000 jobs over the next five years.
The president is putting together a comprehensive plan to create around two million new jobs for young people, as well as tech-enabled platforms for self-employment in rural areas.
2. Education, skills and health
The National Reading Coalition which is aimed at improving reading will ensure that every 10-year-old will be able to read.
Foundation and intermediate educators will be trained to teach reading in both English and African languages.
The president promised to lower the cost of data to allow for skills development.
The National Health Insurance will be rolled-out with advances in 3-health, robotics and remote medicine and address the issues with South African clinics and hospitals.
3. Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services
Ramaphosa said government will focus on the 44 districts and 8 metros to ensure better service delivery and support for municipalities.
Research will be conducted on the impact of the minimum wage on employment, poverty, inequality and wage differentials before the end of September 2019.
Governments aim is to strengthen the social wage and decreasing the cost of living.
4. Spatial integration, human settlements and local government
Over the next five years government will increase the provision of well-located housing and land to poor South Africans.
5. Social cohesion and safe communities
Ramaphosa’s goal is to halve violent crime over the next decade by increasing the police force and community policing forums.
The president has promised to improve the success rate in investigating and prosecuting of crimes and the implementation of the National Anti-Gang Strategy will combat the drug syndicates.
6. A capable, ethical and developmental state
Corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money will not be tolerated and to prevent this the NPA, SIU, SARS and State Security Agency will be strengthened.
The new SIU Special tribunal will fast-track civil claims over the next few months in order to recover about R14.7-billion.
7. A better Africa and World
Government will promote all South African products and services to the rest of the world in order to integrate South Africa’s economy with other countries as well as encourage more retailers to stock South African products.
Development of key sectors like energy, mining, manufacturing, mineral beatification, infrastructure and agri-processing will be prioritised within the SADC.