5 promises made by Ramaphosa in his 2022 state of the nation address

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his 2023 state of the nation address on Thursday evening

09 February 2023 - 14:55
By SINESIPHO SCHRIEBER
A look at some of the promises made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2022 Sona. File image
Image: REUTERS/Shelley Christians A look at some of the promises made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2022 Sona. File image

Load-shedding, unemployment and lack of roads to schools are issues South Africans battle with despite being key service delivery points in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of nation address (Sona) in 2022.

Electricity crisis

In the 2022 Sona Ramaphosa said unstable electricity supply was one of the greatest threats to the economy. 

“During the past year we have taken steps to bring additional generation capacity online as quickly as possible to close the shortfall,” he said at the time.

Government had projects for power generation to reduce the shortfalls.

“1,400MW is being secured by various municipalities, 3,000MW of gas power and 500MW of battery storage, for which requests for proposals will be released later this year [2022].

“2,600MW from bid window 5 of the renewable energy programme, for which the preferred bidders were announced last year.”

Despite this, blackouts remain a problem for South Africans and have intensified in recent months.

Roads to schools

Ramaphosa said the government would build 95 bridges for children who brave flooded rivers to get to school.

“We are therefore upscaling the Welisizwe rural bridges programme to deliver 95 bridges a year from the current 14,” he said at the time.

“The rural roads programme will use labour intensive methods to construct or upgrade 685km of rural roads over the next three years. This social enterprise programme includes access roads in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, gravel to surface upgrades in the Free State and North West and capacity and connectivity improvements in the Western Cape.”

A year later children in schools in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal still swim across rivers and risk drowning due to poor roads infrastructure.

Water

Ramaphosa said water security, investment in water resources and maintenance of assets were a priority.

“Legislation has been prepared for the establishment of the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency and will be published for public comment within the next month.

“The water quality monitoring system has been reinstated to improve enforcement of water standards at municipal level and enable the [water and sanitation department] to intervene where water and sanitation services are failing.”

Recently, residents of Johannesburg and Tshwane suffered water shortages that were blamed on load-shedding.

R350 grant

Last year, Ramaphosa announced the extension of the R350 social relief of distress grant. The grant continues to be paid to unemployed people this year.

Railways

Ramaphosa said the economy could not grow without efficient ports and railways.

“Transnet is addressing these challenges and is focused on improving operational efficiencies at ports through procuring additional equipment and implementing systems to reduce congestion,” he said at the time.

Government would prioritise rehabilitation of the passenger rail network in 10 priority corridors.

Though some railway lines have been operating since then, such as the Mabopane Line in Pretoria and others connecting some communities in the Western Cape and Gauteng, there have been reports of trains not running for several reasons. Theft and failing infrastructure remain a concern for effective freight rail operations.

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