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Tag: Sona 2021

Ramaphosa wants South Africans to ‘buy local’ – starting with these seven items

Cyril Ramaphosa has ambitiously claimed that the ‘great recovery’ can be led by a host of local purchases, encouraging the general public to buy items that are manufactured on our shores. The president believes that a change in mindset – encouraging South African consumers to buy South African goods – can add a whopping R200 billion to the fiscus.

SONA 2021 took place amid a backdrop of Level 2 lockdown restrictions. It was an eerie affair, as Ramaphosa spoke from a near-empty National Assembly. The life had seemingly been sucked out of the event, but Cyril went his own way, and presented a State of the Nation Address that saw SA’s glass as half-full.

Ramaphosa, often accused of being a dreamer, shared his plans to reduce the country’s imports by 20% over the next five years. This fantasy may become a reality – if enough people get onside with the ‘buy local’ approach. The head of state aims to revive an ailing manufacturing industry, with a plan to make Mzani’s exports ‘globally competitive’ once more.

“The second priority intervention of the Recovery Plan is to support a massive increase in local production and to make South African exports globally competitive. This will encourage greater investment by the private sector. Key to this plan is a renewed commitment from the government, business, and organised labour to buy local.”

“This commitment should lead to increased local production, which will lead to the revival of our manufacturing industry. All social partners who participated in the development of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as part of our social compact have agreed to work together to reduce our reliance on imports by 20% over the next five years.”

“If we achieve our target, we will significantly expand our productive economy, potentially returning more than R200 billion to the country’s annual output. These efforts are supported by robust manufacturing support programmes.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

WHAT ‘LOCAL PRODUCTS’ SHOULD SOUTH AFRICANS BUY?

Ramaphosa said there would be ‘dozens of items’ recommended for local purchase. However, he listed only seven of these products during his SONA speech. They include the following:

  • – Edible oils.
  • – Locally–produced furniture.
  • – Fruit concentrates.
  • – Personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • – Steel products made in South Africa
  • – ‘Green economy inputs’.
  • – South African-made sugar
  • – There is a total of 42 products – to be named fully in due course – that will be encouraged for ‘local purchases’.

 

Ramaphosa to deliver Sona 2021 – here’s what to expect

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at exactly 19:00.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having undoubtedly rattled the world, Ramaphosa will detail how government plans on navigating this global health crisis. The president’s Sona is expected to touch on a number of key areas for the country and elaborate on government’s plans for the year.

COVID-19

South Africa has recorded 1 482 412 cases of COVID-19, and counting, while more than 47 000 people have succumbed to the respiratory disease. Ramaphosa’s Sona will further elaborate on government’s latest efforts to counter the further spread of the virus, including the vaccination rollout phase. Government is already facing sharp criticism for acquiring the AstraZeneca vaccine, as a study found it was ineffective. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has since said the drug can be used against the new COVID-19 variant.

Corruption

The extent of rot never fails to make it in the Sona and this year will be no different, particularly a week after an explosive report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) showed how laws and processes were disregarded in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts. The COVID-19 pandemic also gave rise to grand looting, leading the SIU to probe R13 billion worth of PPE tenders. To some extent, strides have been made in fighting graft, as the Hawks have managed to make a number of arrests over the past several months.

Growing the economy and attracting investment

Ramaphosa will also outline the progress made in the implementation of his contentious economic recovery plan. Government recently announced a commitment of R100 billion to support and create over 800 000 employment opportunities over the next three years. This will be done through the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan aimed at steering the country back to desirable growth levels in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, proceedings will be watered down as only a limited number of Parliamentarians will be allowed in the chambers. A total of 30 MPs representing the two Houses of Parliament from various parliamentary political parties, will be physically in the National Assembly, with 14 coming from the ANC, five from the DA, and one each from the IFP, FF+, ACDP, GOOD, COPE, NFP, ATM, AIC and Aljamah-ah.

All other MPs will connect through a virtual platform.

PARLIAMENT: SONA WILL RUN SMOOTHY

At the same time, Parliament has said it was confident the proceedings will run smoothy.

“Yesterday, the Presiding Officers received a final briefing about Parliament’s preparations to host the 2021 State of the Nation Address from the institution’s SONA Project Team. We are confident that all will proceed smoothly tomorrow for the hosting of the first ever Hybrid State of the Nation Address,” Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

“The sitting will be hybrid, with limited numbers of Members of Parliament (MPs), distinguished guests and media in the National Assembly (NA) Chamber and others linking up through virtual platforms.”

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