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Sona 2019: Less talk, more action expected from Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa will deliver the first State of the Nation Address of the sixth administration at 7pm.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, and NCOP chairperson Amos Masondo did a quick walkabout of the parliamentary precinct on 19 June 2019 to see how the preparations outside and inside the National Assembly Chamber were going for the Sona 2019. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa will take to the podium in Parliament on Thursday night in the knowledge that he is no longer a caretaker president but enjoys the mandate of millions of South Africans.

He’ll deliver the first State of the Nation Address of the sixth administration at 7pm.

But it also comes at a time when he faces a pushback within his own party.

Pretoria University’s Dr Sithembile Mbete said the speech would be challenging for Ramaphosa.

“Now he is the president of the republic in his own right and so this is not the time to be announcing fact-finding missions. This is actually the time to be saying, on the basis of what I have heard, this is what we’re going to do to act.”

But while Ramaphosa got the backing of around 10 million South Africans in the May elections, the party he leads is riven with divisions and factionalism.

Mbete said this would make it more difficult for Ramaphosa to come across as having his hand firmly on the tiller.

“I think that the strategy of the people that are pushing back against him is to make him look like he is not in charge.”

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