The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

Eyewitness News previews a selection of the news that you will find on the website today.

Picture: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay

On this morning, analysts say the answer to President Cyril Ramaphosa's fight against corruption lies within his own political party. An expert panel he appointed has identified the ANC's factional battles as having contributed to last year's anarchy in Gauteng and KZN that left over 300 people dead. Ramaphosa has continuously called for an end to corruption and the stabilisation of state institutions that were hollowed out. Last year, he said critical leadership positions had been filled and there was improved cooperation between law enforcement agencies. But analysts say South Africa's efforts on anti-corruption have become stagnant and that Ramaphosa has failed to deal with the party apparatus that enables corruption.

President Ramaphosa's been advised to be honest with the country and show how he can lead the nation out of the crisis we're in. Political analyst Professor Richard Calland says this year’s State of the Nation Address will be very different for Ramaphosa. He'll address the country in the wake of the July riots, the fire at Parliament and the release of two state capture inquiry reports detailing the extent of the rot in government. Calland also says Ramaphosa can’t be sure he will get a second term as president to steer South Africa back on track.

Energy experts hope government announces tangible steps to support local manufacturers in the green energy sector. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address South Africa's power generation headaches during his State of the Nation Address tonight. Over the years government has announced steps to eradicate load shedding, but many say not much has changed to practically make a difference in generation capacity.

Meanwhile, there have been numerous calls for an increased and permanent basic income grant. There are questions about where this will come from and Business Leadership SA CEO Busi Mavuso says there needs to be clarity. But Charles de Wet at ENS Africa says don't increase the tax rate to raise the money needed for BIG. Turning to employment, Ravi Naidoo of the Youth Employment Service says there needs to be a plan for youngsters to get jobs. There have also been calls to improve the country's infrastructure to improve trade and investment. Justin Chadwick of the Citrus Growers' Association says our ports need urgent attention.

Nurses at the Tembisa Hospital are worried about their safety at work after their colleague was gunned down by her policeman boyfriend. The 30-year-old constable drove into the facility's grounds yesterday while on duty with his lights flashing. He summoned his girlfriend, Lebo Monene, into the parking lot where he shot and killed her and then turned the gun on himself. He survived and was rushed to Milpark Hospital. Monene's family said that they were aware her relationship with her alleged killer was toxic. That's why she had moved out of their home.

The Justice Department is hoping its consultations with organisations and representatives that advocate for the decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work will start the process to legitimise the industry. The department held closed meetings yesterday to explore the subject after the South African law reform commission released its report on adult prostitution in 2017. Currently, the buying and selling of sexual services is criminalised in South Africa while those in the sector still have very little protection and few means of support.

Carl Niehaus claims that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is one of several members of the ANC who are selectively targeted through the courts for not toeing the line of the current leadership. Niehaus made the unsubstantiated allegations outside the Johannesburg Magistrates Court where he and Tony Yengeni showed their support for Dlamini who is facing perjury charges. The former minister and president of the ANC Women's League is accused of lying under oath during the inquiry into the 2017 Sassa social grants crisis, which left vulnerable beneficiaries uncertain if they would receive their money. Without putting forward any evidence, Niehaus insists the case against her is politically motivated.

Members of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature have found that some police stations in the province are operating in poor building structures, affecting their work. The members have conducted two days of inspections at police stations across the province to assess their state and functionality. They've been told about major issues such as capacity, leading to a pile-up of serious cases like murder, rape and drugs.

In international news, President Joe Biden declared victory too early the last time that Covid seemed to be ending in the United States. This time, he risks being late. The Democrat, elected on a promise to defeat the pandemic, finds himself in an increasingly tricky position as the receding Omicron virus spurs Americans into dreaming of a return to normal life.

The Omicron variant coronavirus entered Tonga for the first time in the wake of last month's volcanic eruption, officials confirmed on Thursday, as the number of Covid-19 cases in the kingdom almost doubled to 64.


A look back at the State of the nation address over the past ten years - Ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address, EWN takes a look back at memorable SONA moments over the past decade.