As South Africa’s economy is still in the doldrums and numerous companies laying off thousands of workers, experts said President Cyril Ramaphosa should prioritize the economy and job creation when he delivers the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.
“I do think that there’s no way that he can avoid focusing mainly on the economy, It’s clear that the economy is gloomy and businesses are not doing well,” Prof. Somadoda Fikeni of the University of South Africa told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa’s address comes after the economy failed to create any meaningful employment opportunities in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Prof Fikeni said the president would likely focus on what his government would do to fix the economy in the medium-to-long term.
He said while the state was able to come up with great policies, implementations was lacking.
“The key challenge facing the government which is starting to create legitimacy crisis is that they come up with good policy initiatives which often fail at the level of implementation and that is a differentiator from other developmental states which do have the coordination and conviction to see things through,” he said.
“Maybe some focus on the state capacity to deliver might be good at this stage,” Fikeni added.
Labor federation Cosatu on Wednesday also said the economy required urgent attention.
“The nation is facing its greatest economic, fiscal and governance challenges since 1994. The latest unemployment figures from the 4th quarter of 2019 are further proof that the economy is bleeding, and we need decisive intervention now. The fact that in the 4th quarter no new jobs were created shows how deep our economic crisis is,” Cosatu’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.
The State of the Nation Address is about the plans that the state would focus on during the year. Enditem