President Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation (SONA) address last night.
It went off as you would expect. The EFF disrupted things, but they’ve been making threats for weeks, so we all saw that coming.
Perhaps the most significant change from the Zuma years is a president who appears to have actually given the state of the nation some thought.
Let’s break down some of those thoughts, with the help of the Daily Maverick.
Ramaphosa has a plan to make Eskom less of a drain on the economy (and our electricity). The plan involves increasing the national grid’s dependence on independent power producers.
The ability of anyone to establish limited own-generation of power, and the ability of municipalities to procure non-Eskom power are not in themselves new – Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe indicated as much at the recent Mining Indaba – but have now received the presidential seal of approval.
It’s a step in the right direction, but we aren’t out of the woods yet, and load shedding will continue for the foreseeable future.
Ramaphosa said that he will be “signing performance agreements with all Ministers” before the close of February.
702 reports that Ramaphosa is playing the long game. He has pledged to invest more in early childhood development and early school learning, which will yield rewards over the next two decades. More TVET college campuses are also in the cards.
The president wants to accelerate land redistribution, expand agricultural production, and transform the industry.
To date, 44,000 hectares of state land have been released for the settlement of land restitution claims, and this year around 700,000 hectares of state land will be released for agricultural production.
Beneficiaries will be carefully selected based on a predetermined set of criteria and will undergo training before the land is allocated to them.
National Health Insurance
The legislation that will nationalise healthcare is making its way through parliament. 44 million South Africans have already been registered at 3 000 clinics in an electronic patient database.
Back to the Daily Maverick, who put together this excellent infographic that sums up the rest:
R1,4 billion allocated to rail – I guess that train ride Ramaphosa took in March last year clearly made an impression.
You can read the full Daily Maverick article here, for a deep dive into the speech.
Or, if you’re a real sucker for punishment, watch Ramaphosa’s full speech and make up your own mind:
It’s going to be an interesting year.
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