A screengrab of President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly in Parliament on 7 February 2019. President Cyril Ramaphosa had MPs in stitches when he kicked off his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) with a joke.
Julius Malema challenged him to sing “Thuma Mina” after he invoked the Hugh Masekela song at last year’s Sona. He hesitated, so he claims, but in the end, decided that doing so would be unwise. If however, he said, the EFF wins the election, he would come on stage and sing.
Mmusi Maimane would also be a member of the band. So, with the tension palpably lifted, he began his speech. Jobs, as always, featured prominently this year.
He referred to the Presidential Jobs Summit which, when implemented, he promised, would double the number of jobs created every year. He punted his brainchild, the Youth Employment Service, which places unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the country. Ramaphosa committed to “cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption”.
He acknowledged that corruption and mismanagement have severely damaged many state-owned companies.