Delivering his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) during a joint sitting of parliament in Cape Town on Thursday evening, Ramaphosa said promised to take “critical actions” this year “to build a capable state and place our economy on the path to recovery.”
“This year, we fix the fundamentals. We pursue critical areas of growth. As we fix the fundamentals, as we deepen the reforms we have made, we pursue critical areas of inclusive growth,” he said.
The president said this as the country’s economy remained constrained due to domestic issues such as load shedding and high levels of unemployment as well as global pressures.
The South African leader said over the course of the last two years – since he first stood in the House to deliver his inaugural SONA – his government had worked to forge unity among South Africans to address the country’s many challenges.
Through the Jobs Summit, the presidency brought labour, business, government and communities together to find solutions to the unemployment crisis.
The presidency continued to meet stakeholders at the beginning of every month to remove blockages and drive interventions that will save and create jobs, he said.
“We have brought business, labour and government together to craft master plans for those industries that have the greatest potential for growth,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “We have been building social compacts because it is through partnership and cooperation that we progress.”
The SONA speech was delayed for about two hours as members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters demanded the ejection of former apartheid-era president F.W. de Klerk from the parliament’s visitors’ gallery as well as the dismissal of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan from cabinet.