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Briefing by Mr Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa, on the President's schedule

Thank you, colleagues in the media, for joining this briefing by The Presidency as part of our ongoing, interactive engagement between The Presidency and the media.

It is through you and citizens’ reactions on social media that we have over this weekend been able to see the nation’s response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

We are a listening Presidency at the apex of a listening Government and we welcome feedback and engagement as part of democratic participation and the national discourse.

Leaving no-one behind requires us to listen and respond effectively to the concerns, wishes and experiences of individual citizens and stakeholder constituencies.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, 14 and 15 February, the President will be following the National Assembly Debate on the State of the Nation Address.

This is a platform for all political parties to respond to the Address in which the President outlined government’s vision for ensuring that 2023 is a better year than 2022 and that we emerge more motivated and prosperous as a nation that leaves no-one behind.

On Thursday, 16 February, the President will reply to the Debate and underscore key contributions by Members of Parliament and elaborate on matters arising from his Address last Thursday.


On Friday, 17 February and Saturday, 18 February, the President will participate in the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union from 17 to 19 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 Africa’s political leadership will convene under the economically focused theme, “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement” in a year which marks the the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the continuing 20th anniversary of the creation of the African Union in 2002 as successor to the OAU.

The President will also chair the AU Peace and Security Summit - on the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The President indicated that our focus will be on collaboration on sustainable development, the just energy transition, industrialisation and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. 
South Africa, together with our neighbours in the Southern African Customs Union, will soon finalise our industrial offer on the African Continental Free Trade Area. 
Once fully operationalised, the Continental Free Trade will provide an unprecedented opportunity to deepen African economic integration, grow national economies, and open up new frontiers and markets for South African companies.


On Tuesday, 21 February, President Ramaphosa will, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, officiate Armed Forces Day in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.

This is an occasion on which South Africans can witness and take pride in the human and technological capabilities of our armed forces.

But it is also an occasion on which we honour men and women who have lost their lives in the course of their patriotic duty in the country or on international missions.

Furthermore, Armed Forces Day is an occasion that fuels the imagination of young South Africans in terms of choosing career paths and exercising their passion and abilities.


On Wednesday, 22 February, the President will attend Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s presentation of the National Budget to Parliament.

This is an important engagement on our political calendar that underscores and allocates the required resources to the plans set out in the State of the Nation Address.


On Thursday, 23 February, President Ramaphosa will officiate the annual Opening of the National House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders.

The National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) is a body composed of traditional leaders who are delegates from the Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, representing the Provincial Houses at national level.

The mandate of the House is to: promote the role of traditional leadership within the constitutional dispensation; promote nation-building; peace, stability and cohesiveness of communities; develop, preserve and promote culture and traditions of communities.

The House also considers Parliamentary Bills referred to it by the Secretary; participates in intergovernmental structures and advises the national Government and make recommendations on any matter that Government may require.

In this regard, the President views the National House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders and the communities they represent as a critical component of our democracy in social transformation and economic development.


President Ramaphosa is looking forward to the honour of hosting a State Visit to Pretoria by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of of Uganda.

This visit will take place on Tuesday, 28 February.

President Ramaphosa will host President Museveni with the aim of strengthening political, economic and cultural relations between South Africa and the Republic of Uganda.

South Africa and Uganda enjoy longstanding historical relations dating back to the struggle against apartheid. Uganda hosted and trained South African anti-apartheid activists and freedom fighters in the late 1980s. Political and economic relations between South Africa and Uganda have been improving since 1994.

The South Africa-Uganda Joint Commission seeks to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, consolidate political, economic and social cooperation, and oversee the implementation of the signed agreements and Memoranda of Understanding.

The Commission is also mandated to explore possible new areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation, including the opportunities for bilateral commercial cooperation, joint ventures and possible collaborative projects presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.


The President’s programme is a central part of the his call in the State of the Nation Address that we undertake various actions and interventions, not only to overcome our immediate challenges, but to renew the promise of South Africa.


The disruptive conduct of members of parliament from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a matter for Parliament to address through its rules and processes. President Ramaphosa retained his composure throughout the evening. The energetic and focused manner in which he delivered his State of the Nation Address showed a President who remains resolute on the task of resolving the myriad of challenges facing the country and importantly, who remains accountable to the nation about the work of his Administration.

The disruptive scenes led by the EFF in Parliament have become an unfortunate and disturbing permanent feature of the SONA and other Parliamentary activities such as The Presidency Budget Vote speech. Out of 400 Members of Parliament, only 44 partake in a behavior that is unbecoming of law makers, in conduct that is harmful to the image of the country and in violation of the rights of the majority of voters who did not vote for the 44, and prefers not to witness any of the troubling scenes that precede the President’s address.      


South Africa is facing an enormous crisis, which threatens both economic and social stability. In consultations with business, labour, interfaith leaders, community organisations and the Presidential Coordinating Council, President Ramaphosa was being urged to take bold measures that will effectively deal with the current electricity crisis. Some of those calls were specific to the declaration of the state of disaster, particularly from Premier Winde and Executive Mayor Gideon-Hill Lewis, who are both senior DA leaders.

The President has responded in a bold manner both in terms of capacity to resolve the crisis through the creation of a dedicated Ministry of Electricity in The Presidency that will work with National Energy Committee (NECOM) and the appropriate enablement through the State of Disaster declaration. The impact of power outages on food security, water supply, livelihoods, people’s health and the economy requires all South Africans to rally behind the efforts that are underway.

This is not the time for finger pointing or politically motivated court actions or law-fare. This is the time to look past ideological and political differences and work together in the interest of our nation, in the interest of growing the economy and sustaining livelihoods. Even those that harbor reservations about the approach the President has chosen, are expected to join in and put shoulder to wheel, because ultimately we are all working towards the same goal. 
With respect to concerns of abuse and corruption around the State of Disaster, President Ramaphosa announced measures to deal with any form of abuse. Over and above the Auditor General keeping a close eye on various processes as they roll out, the President expects law enforcement agencies to be vigilant and to act with speed in dealing with those who will seek to take advantage of the situation.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President - +27 82 835 6315

Issued by: The Presidency