Demonstrations planned in major cities ahead of #Sona2016

While the president delivers his toughest Sona yet, #ZumaMustFall demonstrations will take place across SA.

FILE. Protesters march down Somerset Road towards Cape Town Stadium in support of the Zuma Must Fall movement on 16 December 2015. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The #ZumaMustFall movement, which gained momentum after the president fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene late last year, will be back in action in several major cities ahead of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) tonight.

Demonstrations will take place in Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

President Jacob Zuma will deliver his speech in Parliament at 7pm.

#ZumaMustFall spokesperson Neziwe Manaka believes the campaign is growing in popularity.

"We are more convinced that this is the campaign to support, whereas before there was that grey area to say is this a white capitalist movement."

She says people are rallying behind a single cause.

"We will not wait for 2019 for him to move out of power."

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Demonstrations are planned in several cities, but there are concerns about possible disruptions at some of the protests.

"The ANCYL has been very vocal to say they will disrupt the march. Hence the security and the police are very much aware and prepared to make it a point that the #ZumaMustFall campaign people are protected.

The African National Congress has dismissed the campaign, saying it can only polarise society.


Zuma's rapid-fire reshuffle of finance ministers in December knocked the rand for six, and he's had to finally concede that he does owe some of the money spent on his Nkandla home.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) President Bantu Holomisa says, "He is weakened politically. He has scored many own goals, which has weakened him, his party and the country."

Zuma must also move to revive confidence in the economy.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s David Maynier says, "Ratings agencies will be focused on what the president says. Unless he announces significant economic policy changes, I suspect a ratings downgrade is almost inevitable."


The Banking Association South Africa says reassuring international ratings agencies must be a priority.

The association has been involved in several meetings held between Zuma, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the private sector.

The association says government must send a clear message to the ratings agencies, addressing all of the major concerns they have.

It says South Africa is in need of foreign investment and must create an environment more conducive to this.

Some of the fundamental issues it wants Zuma to address range from interventions aimed at growing the manufacturing sector, to funding solutions for tertiary education.

Government is being urged to manage its budget carefully, support municipalities and bring the private sector into the fold more.

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Meanwhile, the EFF has threatened to interrupt Zuma's speech if he doesn't explain why he fired Nene, causing the currency to plummet.


But National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says she will not allow any disruptions to the president's speech, adding if anyone doesn't abide by parliamentary rules they will be removed from the house.

Mbete says Zuma should be allowed to present his speech without any interruptions.

"You can always just evoke every rule but different occasions have different protocols. As people, we respect that and over time you just don't do anything else but allow the statement to be delivered."