Reflections on SONA 2024

Cabinet Ministers speaking to SAnews have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA), which he delivered last night at the Cape Town City Hall. President Ramaphosa used the State of the Nation Address to outline the successes achieved since 1994, the dawn of democracy. READ | SA counts democratic gains of the last 30 years Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said the President took the nation through the journey the country has travelled since 1994. 'The President also [outlined] what we are going to do as a country to achieve what could not be achieved [so far] and he outlined the measures to be put in place to strengthen law enforcement agencies,' Didiza said. Didiza noted the President's reflections on how the lives of ordinary South Africans have changed since 1994. 'The President was very clear on some of the challenges we as a country have experienced as part of the rebuilding [process]. He said we have to look at State institutions t o make sure that they are strengthened, and we have to put in place preventative measures by way of putting credible people into positions. 'Since the dawn of democracy, government has created opportunities for the previously disadvantaged people,' the Minister said. Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said the President spoke at length about the successes the country has achieved during the 30 years of democracy. 'The President spoke about the things that as a country we could have done better and [urged] us to look into the next 30 years, and look into the weaknesses and do better,' Zulu said. Zulu commended the President's resolve to end gender-based violence. In his address, President Ramaphosa said as a society, collective efforts must be intensified to bring gender-based violence and femicide to an end. 'Unless we are able to deal with those issues, it would be very difficult for our country to grow even better,' Zulu said. Zulu commended the President's approach to social protection, saying it is a need that everybody should understand. Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, welcomed the President's remarks on the health sector. READ| Somebody give me a pen! - President 'If we could do away with the fragmentation between private and public health services, the future will be even brighter,' he said. The President in his address said the country's policies and programmes have, over the course of 30 years, lifted millions of people out of dire poverty. 'Today, fewer South Africans go hungry and fewer live in poverty. In 1993, South Africa faced a significant poverty challenge, with 71.1% of its population living in poverty. However, under the democratic government, there has been a consistent decline in these numbers. 'By 2010, the poverty rate had dropped to 60.9% percent, and it continued to decrease, reaching 55.5% in 2020, as reported by the World Bank,' he said. Source: South African Government News Agency