President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on Thursday night — the first state of the nation address (Sona) to be held outside parliament — was a stab at asserting sovereignty in a tenuous time for SA.

It matters that, in the wake of a suspect January blaze that razed parliamentary buildings, Ramaphosa decided to persist with the stately affair. Whatever losses the government incurred, it was evidently worth the cost. Note that Ramaphosa’s government bankrolled the pomp and ceremony, even with the added complications associated with a last-minute venue change to the Cape Town city hall. ..

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