An unacceptably high crime rate, load shedding and rampant unemployment. These are the topics that South Africans feel President Cyril Ramaphosa should focus on in his annual State of the Nation (SONA) address on Thursday evening. After running a survey on social media and hitting the streets with microphones in hand, it became clear to us that ordinary South Africans are fed up with the lack of action on a number of fronts.
Trudy Herbst set the tone of South Africa in 2020 with this quip: “I’m assuming there will be no load shedding during his speech”. Dianne Steven added: “These privileged politicians do not have load shedding, they use as much electricity as they want and the people take the brunt. Should have the same for all. Crime and corruption were also among the hottest topics discussed by our readers.
Ricky Johnson said he hoped the President would talk about the rise of crime in certain areas. “Especially with the deployment of the army, they’re still in the areas but nothing’s getting better,” Johnson asserted. “Hopefully that’s going to be part of it because I come from one of those areas”. Sputnik Sihlali added that he wanted the President to talk about the abuse of women and children.
When will justice be served?
Of course, corrupt politicians also rightfully bore the brunt of the crime conversation. When are we going to see people who stole from us in jail, as well as Marikana and Life Esedimeni criminals brought to book?” William Lamola asked.
Jason Croxford echoed those sentiments: “Corrupt politicians still not prosecuted and jailed, as well as right qualifications for the job being the root cause of why RSA is lagging in all departments.”
“He (Ramaphosa) should talk about axing all incompetent ministers, for they are the reason of current status of SA!” said Sipho Masuku. “This country was better during Mandela era! Jane Mfolodi brought up the topic of education in our video interview, which you can watch below.
“Personally I’m hoping he will address youth unemployment, because as we’ve seen, there’s been a massive rise in youth unemployment, regardless of the initiative the youth have taken to go to universities. Abongile Mxakaza also wants Ramaphosa to address the unemployment rate. “There should be more jobs for the youth,” he added.
Is SONA still relevant?
Meanwhile, some felt that SONA itself was no longer relevant, Erna Eygel stating: “They can scrap the whole function, and use the money it costs for more important things. It’s just a whole lot of talk with no action in the end. Nothing ever changes!”
Ntanda Tutuse Jokani echoed those sentiments: “We don’t want issues to be addressed in Parliament during SONA, that’s just a talk shop. We need issues to be addressed on the ground.”
In fact, recent research conducted by Citizen Surveys and the South African Citizens Survey showed that South Africans were losing interest in SONA, with only 48 percent of respondents having watched or read about the February 2019 event.
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