The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

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

Picture: Stephanie Albert/Pixabay

On this morning, President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa needs a new consensus based on a common understanding of the problems facing the country. He says government, business, labour and communities are discussing what trade-offs will be needed to achieve a new social compact that will allow major economic reforms and address widening poverty and inequality. His sixth State of the Nation Address last night detailed reforms on the economic, labour and energy fronts aimed at reviving our ailing economy and creating desperately needed jobs.

Opposition parties are accusing President Ramaphosa of backtracking on previous commitments, while his allies in the ANC are singing his State of the Nation Address praises and claim he pretty much has another term as party president in the bag. EFF and ATM leaders were left unimpressed by Ramaphosa’s speech last night, with the EFF’s Julius Malema calling for his resignation over the July 2021 anarchy that left more than 300 people dead. Ramaphosa talked tough on corruption, economic reforms and efforts needed to get more people into jobs. But leaders like Malema and the DA’s Natasha Mazzone were left wanting more from the president.

Analysts say they are not satisfied with the president’s State of the Nation Address. Some pundits say President Ramaphosa is still very thin on details when it comes to how he plans to tackle key issues affecting the country. Pressure had been mounting for Ramaphosa to deliver a strong speech that speaks to current problems like our ailing economy, rising unemployment and rampant corruption.

An economist has described President Ramaphosa's regurgitation of the government's intention to renew the economy as a presentation of hope at a time when action is needed. During his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa called for a new consensus that recognises that the state must create an environment in which the private sector can invest and unleash the dynamism of the economy. However, this is not the first time that the president has made such a pronouncement, with the business sector saying that it has had enough of words.

Civil society organisations say they're disappointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa's failure to announce a basic income support for poor South Africans during this year's State of the Nation Address. The universal scheme was one of the most anticipated subjects ahead of the speech which spells out government's plans for the year ahead. But Ramaphosa says more consultations are still needed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledges the ongoing load shedding and unreliable power supply is driving away investment. He says the electricity crisis is one of the greatest threats to South Africa's economic and social progress. Delivering his State of the Nation Address at the Cape Town City Hall last night, he said when electricity can't be guaranteed, the economy won't function properly.

President Cyril Rmapahosa says they have undertaken "far-reaching" reforms to make the country's struggling state-owned entities more efficient. The plan also includes getting rid of certain companies while centralising the shareholding of the remaining companies into one state-owned holding company. Ramaphosa made the announcement while delivering his State of the Nation Address last night.

President Ramaphosa has announced a “red-tape team” to be set up in the Presidency to make it easier for companies to do business. He’s appointed former mining boss and chairperson of the Small Business Institute, Sipho Nkosi, to head up the team. It’s among a number of measures Ramaphosa announced last night to unleash the potential of small and informal businesses, including a review of labour market regulations while continuing to protect workers’ rights.

Another 203 COVID-19-related deaths have been confirmed here on home soil. The Health Department says its ongoing audit of the backlog shows that 12 of these fatalities occurred over the past 48 hours. This means the majority of these people died sometime before Tuesday. Taking these into account, our national death toll now stands at a depressing 96,705. Over the latest daily reporting cycle, we racked up 3,169 infections, which works out to a positivity rate of 8.8 percent. Taking a look at the vaccination picture, just over 30.4 million jabs have been administered in the country since they became available.

Amid the many tributes for media personality 'Kuli' Roberts, her friends, loved ones and people she worked with are remembering her this morning for her brutal honesty. Roberts died on Wednesday night at the age of 49 after an illustrious media career spanning over two decades. Her family confirmed her passing in a statement but there are still no clear details about the circumstances surrounding her death.

Three properties have been withdrawn from an auction in Cape Town. More than a week ago, the ANC in the Western Cape called on the City of Cape Town to halt the auctioning of at least 18 properties in the city. The party said yesterday, its grateful that the national minister intervened to investigate the possibility of using two of the sites for social housing because of the objections they had lodged.

It is not yet clear what caused a light aircraft to crash at Cape Point yesterday. Two people suffered minor injuries when the incident occurred along Link Road after 1 in the afternoon. SANParks spokesperson Lauren Clayton says all emergency personnel were informed and responded timeously.

The City of Tshwane says it has manage to recoup some of the money owed to the metro following its operation to disconnect electricity and water for non-paying clients. The city says some of the government departments, embassies, businesses and homeowners which owe millions unpaid utility bills have started making payments to the metro. The city embarked on an aggressive revenue collection this week, which saw city officials disconnecting services to entities including the defence force, the commercial crimes court in Pretoria and the water and sanitation department. City of Tshwane's Jordan Griffiths says customers still have an opportunity to bring their accounts up to date.

In international news, US President Joe Biden urged Americans Thursday to immediately leave Ukraine, as Russia's live-fire drills and build-up of troops around the ex-Soviet state deepened fears of an invasion.

Trucker-led protests against coronavirus restrictions in Canada shut down another US border crossing Thursday, as copycat movements gathered steam overseas and Washington called on its northern neighbor to use federal powers to end the blockades.


SONA HIGHLIGHTS: Weed, state capture, July civil unrest - President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address on 10 February 2022 at Cape Town City Hall. Here are the highlights.

'The President must resign': MPs react to #SONA2022 - Following the President's State Of The Nation Address, Members of Parliament reacted to his speech. Ramaphosa delivered his address from the Cape Town City Hall on 10 February 2022.

On the red carpet: Members of Parliament arrive ahead of Sona 2022 - Before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the state of the nation address at Cape Town City Hall, members of parliament showed of their outfits on the red carpet.