Editorial: Sona was a proper, dignified affair

2019-02-10 14:05

The last state of the nation address (Sona) of this session of Parliament might have lacked all the glamour, the extravagance and even some drama, but it was a proper, dignified affair.

For a long time many South Africans tuned in on Sona nights to watch the drama that inevitably resulted when former president Jacob Zuma presented his speech.

They loved watching the spectacle, but switched off or changed channels once it was over.

In fact, again this past Thursday night South Africans were on tenterhooks anticipating action after the EFF threatened to cause drama should President Cyril Ramaphosa not explain his Bosasa donation properly.

But in the end we had a solid speech bereft of the drama, but full of the message of hope and change.

Ramaphosa assumed office with the message to turn things around, to stop corruption and to re-engineer the underperforming economy.

He spent the past year preaching that narrative, despite a lot of questions being asked about his newfound boldness when he kept quiet as the country drifted under Zuma.

He showed signs this week of putting into action his threats to seriously tackle corruption.

After criticism that the Zondo commission would take years to complete, while those against whom allegations were made were walking scot-free, he sought to empower law enforcement agencies with a new unit that will be given teeth to bite on corruption issues.

This week we saw officials of Bosasa appearing in court and being charged for corruption for the first time after years of allegations floating around.

It was a good start, but the day we see serving and former ministers who played key roles in enabling corruption also being nabbed and charged is the day we will believe that justice is fair and blind, and that there is no hiding for anyone.

Ramaphosa has also been preaching the right messages about the economy and has seemingly embarked on promising initiatives to unblock barriers to the performance of the economy.

It is trite to say he will not be judged on the sound bites.

On many other levels, Sona set the right tone for Ramaphosa, but it is his actions and those of his administration that will determine whether we move to a higher notch.

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May 19 2019