President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020

SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 13 Feb 2020 by Iraj Abedian

After over 90 minutes of delays and disruptions caused by an orchestrated EFF interruptions, and following a short break in the parliamentary procedures, President Ramaphosa was finally given a chance to deliver his 2020 SONA. He presented a realistic and somewhat determined message to the nation. He acknowledged the damage that a decade preceding his presidency had done to the economy, to the fiscus, and in particular to the integrity of the sate owned enterprises (SOEs). on the economic policy front, his most important messages were reserved for an emphatic support for Minister Mboweni's Growth Strategy - a somewhat controversial policy package insofar as the ANC and its alliance partners are concerned. The Minister has been vocal and at odds with many of his ANC colleagues and even with some of his fellow Cabinet Ministers in regard to the opening up of the economy and the urgency of structural policy reforms. President Ramaphosa has been fairly quiet and even ambivalent thus far with regard to his support for Minister Mboweni's Growth Strategy. Officially, now he has thrown his weight behind the strategy. Most urgently, he announced the opening up of the national energy market. With immediate effect, municipalities can procure energy from independent power producers, and a host of other measures introduced to free the energy market and materially reduce its dependence on the struggling national electricity utility - Eskom. With regard to Eskom itself, the President confirmed the restructuring of the entity and its divisionalization into three distinct and independent entities, namely: Generation, Transmission and Distribution. Eskom's debt of R450 billion will then...

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