Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

Show your dissatisfaction with broken promises by switching off Sona − Outa

If you think about it, the president’s “fellow South Africans” hear the same promises year after year in his Sona, but nothing ever changes.

You have to forgive South Africans if they give a cynical laugh when you ask them if they will watch the president deliver the State of the Nation (Sona) speech on Thursday night. Now, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is also encouraging citizens who are tired of broken promises to switch off when the Sona starts or change the channel.

The president will also deliver another Sona this year after the election − if the ANC wins.

The civil organisation has decided to ignore this year’s Sona, says CEO Wayne Duvenage.

“Outa’s decision to “check out” of Sona was not taken lightly, as we do not want to send the wrong message when it comes to citizen participation in democracy, but sometimes it is necessary to visibly disengage with government in a manner of protest when the message is not authentic and appeals to clear political agendas.”

He says Sona has become an event for political posturing and empty rhetoric, when in fact the public needs to hear about the real issues of the state of our nation.

“This year, more than ever, we anticipate that the president’s Sona will focus on his and his party’s political spectacle, as a tool for electioneering rather than addressing the nation’s critical issues.”

ALSO READ: Sona: Hope that Ramaphosa will refrain from sloganeering

Sona must be more meaningful and accountable discourse – Outa

Therefore, Outa calls on fellow South Africans to join in this act of disengagement, emphasising the need for a more meaningful and accountable political discourse.

“We are quite sure that missing out on this year’s Sona will not harm or place citizens in a worse-off position when it comes to what is happening in South Africa, or what the ruling party and its president has in store for the nation.”

Duvenage says the public will merely spare themselves from wasting their time listening to empty promises, which has consistently happened year after year in this address.

This collective disengagement will serve as a powerful message to government about citizens’ demand for genuine leadership and a focus on addressing the nation’s pressing issues.

“The public have enough information to decide on who they want to vote for in the forthcoming elections. We believe that not participating in this Sona does not place them in an uninformed position but will probably make them wiser.”

Outa believes that disengaging from this Sona is a collective step towards demanding a more accountable and purposeful political discourse.

“South Africans have the power to send a clear message that the nation expects more from its leaders.”

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits