South Africans on SONA 2020

Image via: YouTube

Word on the street: What people expect from SONA 2020 [video]

YouTuber DevDonDidIt took to the streets of Cape Town to ask people what they think of SONA 2020 and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South Africans on SONA 2020

Image via: YouTube

The word on the street is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA 2020), scheduled to take place on Thursday 13 February at Parliament in Cape Town, will be filled with more empty promises. 

In collaboration with, DevDonDidIt took to the streets of Cape Town to ask South Africans for their opinion on SONA 2020. 

The comical YouTuber started by asking people what SONA stands for, and believe it or not, most of them did not know that the acronym stood for State of the Nation Address. 

One man knew that it had something to do with the president delivering a speech, but could not get to the official name, saying: 

“It’s that thing of the president.”

SONA 2020 to be filled with empty promises

Another man said he thinks SONA has to do with Ramaphosa talking about how he will improve the economy. 

“The problem with that is that they always over-promise and under-deliver,” he added.

Watch: DevDonDidIt on the streets

Discussions of unemployment predicted for SONA 2020 

The latest unemployment statistics, released on Tuesday 11 February, have shown that the number of employed persons increased from 45 000 to 16.4 million and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 8 000 to 6.7 million in Q4. Don’t celebrate just yet — in the grand scheme of things, the unemployment rate essentially remained the same. 

The South African unemployment rate currently stands at 29.1% — and has been since September 2019. Youth unemployment decreased by 0.1%. However, more than half of those in the age group 15 to 24 don’t have jobs.

“Jobs is the main thing. What’s the use you have matric and all the qualifications behind you, but you don’t get an opportunity?” said another man.   

“He’s going to promise us more jobs again and less crime and communities working together — same old thing. No promises please, just take action and do it,” said one of the women stopped by DevDonDidIt for her comment. 

Load shedding 

Rolling blackouts have been crippling South Africa for many years, but the last few months have been brutal, to say the least. 

It affects everything — from work, to transport, communication and being able to cook when you’re hungry — the entire economy is essentially coming to a halt. 

Most of all, it’s an inconvenience on steroids and Eskom is slowly sucking the life out of our economy and its people. This is why most hope there will be a serious solution included in Ramaphosa’s speech. There are, however, sceptics who predict a bunch of empty promises. 

“He’s probably going to promise something about Eskom,” said a man.  

Another man who was interviewed said he gets load shedding twice a day and uses “the Eskom Se Push app” to check his timetable and stay up to date — something nobody on this planet should still be doing in 2020. 

DevDonDidIt himself said: “Eskom is a problem. I would like to know what we are going to do?” 


There are still millions of South Africans waiting for houses that are slightly bigger than a shack. For some, the government has continuously made promises, yet they have been kept waiting for years.

Back in 2018, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature revealed that the housing units backlog stood at more than a million people. Imagine where we stand now, just two years later. Also, that was only Gauteng, there are eight other provinces to take into consideration. 

“He’ll talk about jobs and housing, something like that,” one of the interviewed men said. 

We truly hope Ramaphosa will address this at SONA 2020.


The bad news is that South Africa is still a corrupt society. The good news is that we’re marginally less corrupt than what we were this time in 2019.

That is the essence of the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, released in January by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. 

South Africa has improved marginally from a score of 43 in 2018 to 44 in 2019. The higher the score, the less corrupt a country is perceived to be.

When citizens were asked what they think South Africa’s biggest problem is right now, many of them said corruption and lying. 

“Lying, there’s too much lying,” a woman said. 

A Zimbabwean man said flatly that it would be “corruption”. 

Here’s to hoping SONA 2020 will implement the real concerns of South African citizens.