7 February 2019

South Africa: SONA 2019 Wish List

"Take the issues of domestic violence seriously." That is the call made to President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Annika from Kensington, Cape Town.

Hours before the SONA airs live on TV and radio, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and her Deputy Pinky Kekana went on a SONA awareness drive at the Cape Town train station where they urged community members to watch the prestigious event.

Speaking to the Minister, Annika, a community activist, used the opportunity to express that she would like to see issues of domestic violence being given more attention by the President.

"When you call to report about domestic violence, it's like people don't take you seriously. Every year we have Woman's Day and next week you hear that someone was murdered by a lover, by a husband and these are the women and nurturers of our community. We need to take the issue of domestic violence seriously," she said.

In addition, to domestic violence, commuters making their way through the station expressed the need for more efficient public transport, much needed jobs and initiatives to stimulate the youth.

As the President of the Republic takes to the podium, millions of South Africans are set to be glued to their screens for the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.

The President uses the SONA to unpack various political, economic and social matters within the domestic and global contexts and to account to the nation on the work of government and to set out government's programme of action.

Preceding the President's official address are various ceremonial activities that mark the occasion.

Among them, a ceremonial parade exhibiting the military traditions of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the 21-gun salute.

"Tonight the President will be addressing the nation. You must watch at 7pm along with your parents, and listen to when he announces on issues about education," said the Deputy Minister as she handed over a SONA leaflet to a young girl dressed in uniform at the train station.

The address will be broadcast on SABC television and radio channels, livestreamed on the Parliamentary website and public viewing sites have been set up in various locations in provinces. To find your public viewing area check https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/watch-sona-live-your-area

South Africans can also track the conversation on social media by following @SAgovnews and #SONA2019 on Twitter.

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