President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his third annual State of the Nation Address, which will be broadcast live from Parliament in Cape Town from 19h00.
The address can be viewed through several channels, including TV services like DStv, news channels, and live-streaming sources like YouTube.
Build-up to the SONA has already begun, with Parliament TV’s SONA 2020 Morning Show. This will continue at 15h00 until the speech is delivered at 19h00.
You can watch the SONA from the following sources:
What to expect from SONA 2020
The SONA serves to provide updates on government’s key policies, and in 2020 is being delivered in a very difficult environment.
A key focus for the president is expected to be job creation, with the address following a release from Stats SA showing that the country’s unemployment rate is stuck at a decade-high level of 29.1%
Other topics the president is expected to address is inclusive economic growth, improving the living conditions of the poor, the fight against corruption, repair of embattled SOEs and improving the capacity of the state.
According to Investec chief economist, Annabel Bishop, Ramaphosa will have to choose his targets carefully because the market will be watching very closely, and reaction – both positive and negative – will be swift.
Notably, the president will have to talk up the economy, where growth is currently showing closer to 0% for 2019, and the risk of possible recession with a Q4 GDP decline already on the cards.
“The substantial economic reforms detailed in National Treasury’s 2019 growth plan have not been implemented,” Bishop said.
Particular market focus will centre on Eskom, with Bishop noting that Cosatu’s recent proposition to use civil servants pension funds to purchase a major stake in Eskom’s debt, could alleviate some of the pressures on the sovereign debt trajectory, and so SA’s credit ratings profile.
On the security of supply of electricity side, another positive in the SONA would be a message that South Africa will proceed with the Integrated Resource Plan – particularly the renewable energy build programme.
However, there is risk for negative market reaction around land expropriation without compensation (EWC).
“Markets will keenly watch for recently-voiced ANC comments that the courts could be bypassed in the EWC process, and deviation from the Presidents previous assurances that only state land, unused land, land on which labour tenants reside and land held for speculative purposes would be considered for EWC,” Bishop said.
Overall, Bishop said that this year’s SONA is not expected to deviate significantly from previous years and could prove market neutral to negative, if none of the key issues for markets highlighted above are decisively addressed.
“Indeed, lack of a reduction of uncertainty on the key issues would further hamper confidence,” she said.