Here's what's on Phumzile Van Damme & Thuli Madonsela's Sona wish list

11 February 2021 - 15:00
The DA's Phumzile Van Damme expects to hear about the SABC in Thursday's Sona. File photo.
The DA's Phumzile Van Damme expects to hear about the SABC in Thursday's Sona. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

As President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to address SA in his fifth state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday evening, DA MP Phumzile Van Damme says she's expecting to hear the government's plan for the SABC.

Ramaphosa will address a hybrid-setting Sona, with no more than 50 MPs in the National Assembly. The rest will join virtually, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

What I am looking to hear from Sona 2021: digital transformation — tech, innovation, digital privacy, strategies against misinformation. And of course, the SABC — what government is doing to make sure the public broadcaster moves towards self-sustainment and digitisation,” Van Damme tweeted on Thursday.

The SABC is in a financial crisis which has threatened the jobs of hundreds of employees.

Communications and technology minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams last week asked the board of the public broadcaster to negotiate the retrenchments with unions. She asked the board to produce a plan to upskill, reskill and train affected staff for redeployment.

The Sunday Times Daily reported that the board rejected the minister's call, instead asking her to employ staff in her own department and in other parts of government.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela also shared her expectations for the address. She tweeted on Thursday that she wishes SA could focus on fostering individual, family and community resilience in its strategy to rebuild the country. 

Ramaphosa addresses the nation during a global pandemic which has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 South Africans.

Since the onset of the pandemic last year, government's fight against the virus has been clouded by allegations of fraud and corruption relating to the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE). Some South Africans have called on Ramaphosa to address the nation on the progress made to mitigate the looting of public resources.

Load-shedding is also among the main concerns for South Africans. As recently as Thursday morning, power utility Eskom implemented stage 3 load-shedding.

This is what other South Africans have to say on Sona: