On 12 February 2015, Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his addess, Zuma speaks about the current economic situation in various industries of South Africa and he also states how the government plans to boost the economy with various plans of action in place.
According to Parliament’s website, this is what the SONA is defined as:
- The State of the Nation Address is an address to the nation by the President of the Republic of South Africa as the Head of State. It is commonly referred to as the annual opening of Parliament.
- The President uses this occasion to set out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead in a wide-ranging address to Members of Parliament, which is the basis for executive action during that calendar year.
- Since 1994, the tone of the State of the Nation Address has been inclusive, joyful and informal. The Opening of Parliament became an opportunity to showcase the country’s cultural diversity and a chance for ordinary citizens, especially children, to become part of this special day. (Source: http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=7001)
The SONA is supposed to cover the government’s key policy objectives and what they plan to deliver in 2015, it’s supposed to be very important to the entire nation as a whole. South Africans will be made aware of the challenges and achievements of the government in 2014, and government will present the Programme of Action for 2015.
According to News24, here is the 9 point plan to boost South Africa’s economy
The priorities were:
1. Resolving the energy challenge;
2. Upping the agricultural value chain;
3. Beneficiation through adding value to mineral resources;
4. More effective implementation of higher impact industrial policy action plan;
5. Encouraging private sector investment;
6. Moderating work place conflict;
7. Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, townships and rural enterprises;
8. Reform of state owned companies, broad band roll out, water sanitation and transport infrastructure and
9. Operation Phakisa which aims to grow the ocean economy – such as the shipping and storage of energy products.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Directing R23billion to Eskom to boost the balance sheet
- Procuring gas supplies from neighbouring countries
- Movements to procure nuclear power in the long term
- The hydro electric power scheme with the DRC aims to procure 15 000MW
- 200 000 jobs have been created in 2014
- Unemployment has decreased in the last quarter of 2014
- Youth employment is progressing well
- Government plan to create 1 million jobs per year
Unfortunately, this year’s SONA was overshadowed by EFF outbursts and cell phone jamming. Naturally, South Africans took to social media networks to express their shock and horror at the pandemonic State of the Nation Address.
We wanted to monitor the online conversations surrounding #SONA2015. The following keywords were put into Tracx: [#SONA2015] OR [#SONA] OR “state of the nation address” OR [#SONA15] OR [#zuma]
Overall there were:
- Over 12 000 posts about #SONA with over 60 000 interactions
- There were 5 855 conversations generated resulting in an engagement rate of 48%
- The SONA was mentioned over 13 000 times with a reach of 36 000+ unique people
- On average the conversation density was 9.8 people per conversation
There were more males (59.9%) interacting online than females (40.1%). The dominant age group involved in the online conversations were between 25-34 years old. In the activity volume we can see the amount of posts and interactions generated over 3 days, namely, the day before the address, the day of, and the day after the madness.. I mean address.
Twitter made up the majority of the activity with many using to the social network to get up to the minute tweets about the parliamentary processions.
These were the top words used in the online conversations.
We looked at Tracx’s heatmaps to give you a visual, as well as geographic representation of the online activity that took place in South Africa around #SONA2015.
- Majority of activity came from Johannesburg and Cape Town, respectively
- Johannesburg had the most amount of activity with 26 902 posts and interactions
- 22 859 posts and interactions came from the Mother city
- Whilst Durban generated 3 042 posts and interactions
The unruly behaviour by members of parliament has left many South Africans in dismay about the future of our country. We are not going to allow the soapie, sorry, SONA awards as cause to immigrate, but rather we can now see the passion bubbling up from South Africans who have had enough. After all, if government cannot control the behaviour of their own members how do we as South Africans place our trust in their ability to gain control over our economic position. Just some food for thought 🙂