SONA So What: OUTA suggests disengaging from SONA 2024
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has decided to ignore this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Ramaphosa on 8 February 2024.
“OUTA’s decision to “check out” of SONA wasn’t taken lightly, as we don’t want to send the wrong message when it comes to citizen participation in democracy”, says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Sometimes it is necessary to visibly disengage with government in a manner of protest, in instances where the message being communicated is not authentic and appeals to clear political agendas. SONA has become one such event of political posturing and empty rhetoric, when in fact the public need to hear the real issues of the State of our Nation.”
This year, more than ever, we anticipate that the President’s SONA will be focussed on his and his party’s political spectacle, as a tool for electioneering rather than addressing the nation’s critical issues. For this reason, 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. The public will merely be sparing themselves wasted time listening to empty promises, which has consistently happened year after year in this address.
This collective disengagement serves as a powerful message to government about the 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 a SONA does not place them in an uninformed position but will probably make them wiser.
OUTA believes that disengaging from 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.
A voicenote with comment by OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage is here.
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SONA 2024 is at 7pm on Thursday 8 February. Show your dissatisfaction with government by not watching or listening to it. Switch off your television or radio, ignore the online streaming and find something more productive to do.
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