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Corruption, jobs, State Capture: Daily Maverick readers...

South Africa

SONA 2022

Corruption, jobs and State Capture: The hot-button topics for Daily Maverick readers

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Esa Alexander)

The pervasiveness of graft has made corruption and related issues the top worry factors for Daily Maverick readers.

We asked you to tell us what you’d like to hear in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on 10 February, and the answers are clear. 

A bouquet of issues around corruption emerged as hot topics, including the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture report and what happens to it. The National Prosecuting Authority, prosecutions, security, the South African Police Service and the future of effective prosecutions is a cluster that readers want the President to address.

The struggling economy is next, with jobs the second-biggest concern. South Africa is in the ignominious position of being the country with the highest unemployment rate and therefore the highest inequality rate in the world. 

There’s another statistic where the country leads too. Across the continent and much of the developing world, South Africa’s social solidarity system is recognised as a pack leader. This is the collection of grants that are paid to struggling compatriots. In the Covid period, the government added about nine million Social Relief of Distress grants to the 19 million grants paid monthly, while the Presidential Employment Stimulus has added 500,000 publicly funded work opportunities to the mix.  

All eyes are on Ramaphosa to see if he will announce a clear direction on a basic income plan to this mix. Michael Sachs, an economist and the former head of Treasury’s Budget Office, has written that it will have to be funded by tax increases, and has said that Ramaphosa will have to govern the tough trade-offs required to implement it. 

The third major cluster of concerns is about the state of education, government and service delivery. The Department of Home Affairs received a specific mention. Ramaphosa, who will deliver his sixth national address, is still the most popular politician in South Africa, but his rankings have slipped fast. He faces two big dates that will determine his political future. In December, the ANC meets to decide whether it will renew its mandate as party president for a second term. If it does, then he will also seek a second-term mandate from the people of South Africa at the national election in 2024. The November 2021 local election results, which saw the ANC lose its majority for the first time since 1994, suggests a second term as President is not a given. DM

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All Comments 12

    • Socialism has never been successful. China and Russia are virtual dictatorships. China (a bit wobbly right now) does it better due to total focus and no real freedom. Africa will never do that.

  • It’s the dysfunctional and corrupt ANC (well the un-holy tripartheid alliance) to blame for all those ever enlarging dots, with Corruption and State Capture the elephants in the room.

  • I’m surprised that the failing State Health system didn’t get a mention. I guess most of DM’s readers enjoy medical aid cover unlike me and my husband. I’m now a full-time care giver to my husband who had a stroke two weeks ago – the hospital discharged him in less than 24 hours and I learned the govt has no frail care facilities. Private care facilites are way beyond my means. I wonder how many millions of South Africans like us suffer the stress of no health care support and their voices are not heard.

    • This might simply be a reflection that most people understand that corruption has drained the system, the PPE tender scandals, etc. so that lack of delivery is a symptom of what is wrong with the system. Does not help you but there is certainly serious cause for concern with the State Health system as well!

    • Dear Caroline….reading your post was like putting a sword right into my heart. I bleed for you, having experienced similar experiences some years ago. Please find a support group if you can! Greatest of love! Coen

  • I read the article on the 2020 .Sona when Ramaphosa still enjoyed 62 per cent approval rating. I didn’t realize it was written two years ago and therefore simply could not understand the optimism it exuded. What a difference to the reality of today! It is a most sobering comparison and one wonders what the popularity statistics are now.

    • Unfortunately Sandra, CR is still the most popular politician in South Africa, by a long shot! DM opinions, articles, etc. are really the opinions of a miniscule percentage of the population

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