Expropriation of land without compensation, continuing power cuts, National Health Insurance and job losses are some of the issues opposition parties expect President Cyril Ramaphosa to tackle when he delivers the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
According to the SA Citizens Survey (Sacs), unemployment, crime, and corruption remain the most pressing problems.
The survey’s figures for November-December last year show just 28% of South Africans believed the country was heading in the right direction.
This was 10% down on May-June when 38% of South Africans felt positive about the direction in which their country was headed.
Sacs research director Reza Omar said: “Despite the drop in the belief that the country is heading in the right direction, the Eskom load-shedding crisis, and a slowing economy, South Africans continue to throw their weight behind President Ramaphosa.”
Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said the president needed to assure the country that his government’s strategies and interventions were the same as those of the ANC.
“Our country needs a growing economy that creates decent jobs, we need a reliable electricity supply, we need a public transport network that operates, we need to address homelessness and landlessness, and we need governments that serve instead of being served,” he said.
Herron said South Africans, the international community, investors, opposition parties, rating agencies, and international funders could engage with a single plan for rescuing the country from deep trouble if the president presented one that wasn’t contradicted or undermined by the ANC.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said the president had to urgently address the issue of rolling blackouts.
“There is clearly a divide within the governing party as to how to fix the issue. We must have the assurance that the president will put politics aside and act in the best interests of South Africa.”
Mazzone said using the PIC pension fund to bail out failing state-owned companies should be denounced urgently.
Omar said South Africans would be turning to the president “to hear the plan that will help navigate the nation through these troubled times”.