By Dean Phara
President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow (Thursday 07 Feb) present his second State Of the Nation Address (SONA) with citizens calling for the creation of job opportunities as well as putting a stop to corruption which has compromised service delivery in most state-owned enterprises and municipalities.
Residents of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality interviewed on the streets of Bloemfontein believe issues such as unemployment, corruption, poverty, free education as well as service delivery, need urgent attention.
Teboho Majoke (24) believes job opportunities especially for the youth are important if the standard of living of ordinary South Africans is to be improved.
“I think if our government stops focusing on politics and come up with a way forward to provide jobs for the youth it would bring major changes to our country and economy,” Majoke said.
Matatielle Makume (44) believes that corruption, poverty and unemployment should be dealt with as soon as possible.
“Corruption, poverty, and unemployment need to be dealt with. Our people need jobs because they are struggling,” said Makume.
South Africans have been outraged at the level of corruption that was uncovered by the Public Protector’s office where the Gupta brothers looted state resources through public officials. The ongoing Inquiry into State Capture has also unearthed corruption allegedly committed by Bosasa officials.
Other cases of alleged corruption in such institutions as ESKOM, SARS, Public Investment Cooperation (PIC), Transnet, among others, have left Ramaphosa with his work cut-out for him. In recent times, service delivery protests have become the order of the day as residents demand their local authorities to make good on their mandate.
Another young man, Jackson Mawada (23) wants Ramaphosa to address issues such as women abuse and as well as cases of rape that have seen several women and girls falling victims and some even losing their lives.
“Rape and abuse of women should be dealt with more seriously because most of the times you find that victims go to the police to lay charges for abuse or rape and a case is opened but nothing ends up being done about it,” Jackson said.
On average, three women get killed by their partner everyday in South Africa.
Ntswaki Mabusela (57) from Heidedal in Bloemfontein is losing hope in the South African government as she was promised a house at the beginning of last year but is still waiting for it until this day.
“I really don’t know what to believe anymore from our government because they have been making empty promises and we just have to continue voting for them. I have been staying in a shack for many years now and at the beginning of last year I applied for a RDP house and was told that I would have it by October but up to now nothing has been done,” said Mabusela.
Clearly, there are still a lot of challenges facing South Africa as a nation and it would be interesting to hear how Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA seeks to address them as well create investor confidence.