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Analysts Not Expecting Big Promises From Ramaphosa’s SONA

Some political analysts are not expecting big promises from President Cyril Ramaphosa when he delivers the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday. 

Rather, they think he will invoke the nostalgia of the past, remembering struggle heroes and the strides that have been made in 30 years of democracy. 

In an election year, some also think this year’s State of the Nation Address will be somewhat of an election campaign speech, as the African National Congress (ANC) looks to improve on its most dismal showing at the polls since the dawn of democracy.

 As the country’s sixth administration draws to a close, President Ramaphosa is expected to focus on the big picture of the success of 30 years in government. 

University of Pretoria political analyst, Heather Thuynsma, said that despite the myriad challenges facing the country, Ramaphosa will also look to put a positive spin on the ANC’s plans for the future. 

“He will want to leave South Africans with hope that things have started to change, and a pledge that things will progress more quickly in the next five years should he and his party be re-elected.” 

Thuynsma thinks the president may even take a swipe at the opposition, who are hoping to make inroads into government this year. 

“I think he will hint at the fact that his opposition is unqualified to face today’s challenges and he might even cite instances where coalitions at the local level has stymied service delivery to these communities.”

Thuynsma expects this final State of the Nation Address of this administration to be thin on detail, with the expectation that Ramaphosa will deliver another one after this year’s election.