South African leader expected to talk about energy, jobs, economy in major address

Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

South African commentators expect President Cyril Ramaphosa to focus on job creation, energy efficiency improvements, and economic growth during his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

There has been speculation that Ramaphosa will announce some job reservations in certain sectors due to high unemployment and foreigners occupying most of the jobs in certain sectors such as restaurants and security.

“There’s a possibility that he could announce that certain sectors could be reserved for South Africans,” Dawie Roodt, an economist with Efficient Group, told Xinhua.

An energy crisis and problems at state utility firm Eskom should be resolved quickly to spur economic growth as frequent blackouts continue to stifle the economy, experts said.

“He will definitely say something about the energy and how the state is dealing with energy problems,” Roodt said.

Prof. Dirk Kotze, of the University of South Africa, agreed with Roodt.

“He will touch on energy, and climate change will be linked to that. Job creation in the private sector, investment (will also be addressed),” he told Xinhua.

Sizwe Pamla, the spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said the federation expected the president to abandon economic policies that hinder job creation, and to come up with a plan for growing the economy, tackling corruption, and continuing the vaccine rollout. Enditem

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