President Cyril Ramaphosa discusses his SONA address with Sinoyolo Qumba, a 17 year old Grade 11 leaner from Gibson Pillay Learning Academy in Lenasia, Johannesburg at Tuynhuys on February 12 2020. She was invited to comment on elements of the speech pertaining to free education, safety at educational institutions and employment. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa discusses his SONA address with Sinoyolo Qumba, a 17 year old Grade 11 leaner from Gibson Pillay Learning Academy in Lenasia, Johannesburg at Tuynhuys on February 12 2020. She was invited to comment on elements of the speech pertaining to free education, safety at educational institutions and employment. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE/GCIS

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we take time to explore issues that may be relevant to the business community when President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the year’s state of the nation address (Sona) this week.  

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec for this discussion.

This is what the SA economy can expect: 

Bishop says the Sona has traditionally been used to gain clarity on the government’s policy agenda for the year. For this week’s address, she says the business community will likely be focused on economic growth, unemployment and energy.

With state-owned enterprises (SOEs) being a constant feature in the headlines, Bishop says Eskom will probably be a main talking point on the night. She says ratings agencies such as Moody’s will likely be paying attention to this well as the power utility remains the largest economic risk for SA. 

It remains to be seen how the president will address these issues, Bishop says, adding that the business community will likely see the Sona as an indication of what finance minister Tito Mboweni will focus on when he delivers this year’s budget, expected at the end of the month.

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