From HIV and poverty to tourism and supporting local: five key points from Sona

21 June 2019 - 11:17 By Cebelihle Bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address (Sona) in Cape Town on Thursday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address (Sona) in Cape Town on Thursday.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his first state of the nation address in the sixth democratic parliament on Thursday.

Under the theme "Let us grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom", he outlined his concerns and plans to deal with issues such as HIV, poverty and health care.

Here are five key points from the address:

Tackling HIV

Ramaphosa admitted that HIV remains a threat to society. He highlighted his concern about young women, who are most likely to become infected by the disease, and young men who don't get tested and delay receiving treatment. He said government was working to ensure that 2-million more people receive treatment by 2020. 


The embattled power utility is set to receive more funding from government. This has been outlined in the Special Appropriation Bill on an urgent basis to allocate a portion of the R230bn in funding that the utility will require in the next 10 years. 


"We will make good on our ambition to more than double international tourist arrivals to 21-million by 2030." Ramaphosa said this would be achieved through focusing on the Indian and Chinese markets, and introducing a world-class visa regime. Ramaphosa added that the safety of the country's tourists was paramount.

Jobs creation

The private sector will invest R840bn in 43 projects from 19 sectors, a project Ramaphosa said will see more than 1.5 million people employed.

Support local

Ramaphosa said the government was looking to conclude talks with local retailers to encourage them to consider stocking the products of local manufacturers and designers. This, he said, was integral to growing the economy.

He emphasised the importance of expanding these brands to other African countries and the world. "At the same time, we will promote our products more actively to the rest of the African continent and the world."