South Africa is waiting with bated breath as Cyril Ramaphosa will present the first State of the National Address (SoNA) of the 6th Parliament on 20 June 2019 at 19:00.
The theme for this year’s event is: “Let’s grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom”.
During the SONA, the President will address the nation as both the Head of State and Head of Government. He will present a plan to address South Africa’s needs for the year ahead.
Since it is a Joint Sitting of both Houses, the Speaker of the NA and the Chairperson of the NCOP host the event. All the three (3) Arms of the State, namely; the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary attend this event. It is one of the rare moments whereby all three Arms of the State meet in one place. As one of the important ceremonies of the state, it is broadcasted live on national television so that the general population is afforded the chance to see it.
The State of the Nation Address is important for all South Africans because it tells us what government’s Programme of Action is for the year ahead. The Programme of Action is government’s plans for the country and people of South Africa.
By being aware of what government is doing, everyone can become involved and also take part in government’s plans to build a better life for all.
The State of the Nation Address was broadcast live on: DStv Channel 408, SABC TV, eNCA, ANN7, SABC radio stations and Parliament’s YouTube Channel.
We have been here before: glued to our screens on the promise that Jacob Zuma is about to lose his job. Time and time again, he survives, and we’re left to rue our premature excitement. SONA 2018 may have just changed all that.
President Jacob Zuma could well be on the cusp of a recall. When you think about all his previous scandals, then it becomes apparent this is an incredibly tight spot for the President.
Does no SONA mean no Zuma?
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete stood on the steps of Parliament, and delivered a damaging announcement to Zuma’s bid for survival. Mbete revealed that the threat of disruptions led to her writing to the President asking him to postpone.
At the same time, Mbete said they were informed that President Zuma was already in the process of writing to her to request a postponement.
It seems today like the ANC are finally putting the final nail in the coffin of Count Zuma. Yes, he’s risen from the dead before – staying in a job against improbable odds – but now it seems his political career is six feet under. This judgement on SONA 2018 is something not even the Teflon one can recover from.
Will Jacob Zuma lose his job on Wednesday 7 February?
The ANC NEC cancelled a long-awaited and historic meeting that was to be held-today, in which the future of the President was to be discussed. Don’t be fooled by all the diplomatic language, here. They want Zuma out, and are pushing harder than ever before.
If Jacob Zuma had any long term future with as a leader, he needed to deliver SONA. It would have been a defiant statement of staying power, and a bruising PR defeat for Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to revitalise the ANC.
Will he resign?
Despite the very public lack of support from him in the government’s hierarchy, it is our view he still won’t go of his own accord. And the only way out from here will be a recall, which looks set to be confirmed this week.
In Mbete’s Cape Town Address, she effectively condemned JZ to the politcal wilderness. The Speaker seemingly suggested that SONA cannot happen whilst Zuma is the Head of State:
“The postponement will be no longer than one week. We need to consider the mood of the country, and only go ahead when we know we’ll have a very productive SONA.”
“We have been meeting with ANC stakeholders and participants since last Monday. We aren’t just looking at logistics, we’re listening to our political voices. We are continuing to interact with Cyril Ramaphosa on this, for when we talk about Parliament, we talk to this office.”
When will SONA 2018 take place?
Interestingly, Mbete said she’d expect to see SONA take place next week. So it would seem she feels Zuma hasn’t much, if any, time left. ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu also stuck the knife in, saying that the party “welcomes the decision made in Parliament”. He wouldn’t be drawn on when Zuma would face recall, though.
If this is Zexit eve, then it looks like he’s going down fighting. The certain indignity of a recall may just be the most fitting end to a Presidency swamped with problems.
By Tom Head for The South African