Two events dominate the South African political calendar in February. First, the president addresses the nation and lays out the government’s priorities for the year. Then two weeks after the state of the nation address (Sona), the finance minister outlines how we are going to fund the programmes outlined by the president.

The most memorable of these events was FW de Klerk’s 1990 Sona announcing the unbanning of liberation organisations and the release of political prisoners, among them Nelson Mandela. That Sona changed everything. Will this year’s Sona have even a tenth of its impact?..

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