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SONA in numbers

The State of the Nation Address (SoNA) was recently delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa who provided feedback on government programmes over the previous year.

The President also unveiled new plans for 2023 and beyond. Vuk’uzenzele unpacks the programmes in numbers.


• One and a half million – new jobs created in our economy between the third quarters of 2021 and 2022.

• More than one million – people provided with work and livelihood opportunities by the Presidential Employment Stimulus.

  • 50 000 – participants recruited by the Social Employment Fund in its next phase to work for the common good.

  • 36 000 – opportunities to be created through non-profit and community-based organisations by the revitalised National Youth Service.

  • 10 000 – the first cohort of unemployed young people appointed by the Department of Home Affairs to digitise more than 340 million paper-based civic records.

  •  More than 340 million – paper-based civic records to be digitised by the first cohort of 10 000 unemployed young people appointed by the Department of Home Affairs.

  •  More than three million – users registered on SAYouth.mobi, a zero-rated online platform for young South Africans to access opportunities for learning and earning.


  • 4 000 to 6 000 – megawatts of electricity shortfall to be addressed.

  • 80% – electricity produced by coal-fired power stations.

  • R400 billion – Eskom’s debt burden.

  • 300 – megawatts of excess power from private generators already secured from neighbouring countries.

• 43 – arrests made through intelligence-driven operations at Eskom-related sites.

• More than 100 – projects of private developers allowed to generate electricity.

• 6 – months within which Eskom can deploy emergency power.

• Over the next 12 to 18 months – period for a massive increase in power to the grid.

• R1.5 trillion – money to be invested in the economy through the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan over the next five years in new frontiers such as renewable energy, green hydrogen and      electric vehicles.

• Over R100 billion – value of investment in renewable energy projects attracted by the Northern Cape.

Agriculture and land

• Around 140 000 – small-scale farmers who received input vouchers to buy seeds, fertiliser and equipment, providing a boost for food security and agricultural reform.

• 640 000 – hectares of cultivated land of small-scale farmers.

• 68% – percentage of women among around 140 000 small-scale farmers who received input vouchers to buy seeds, fertiliser and equipment, providing a boost for food security and agricultural reform.

• 250 000 – more vouchers government aims to provide to small-scale farmers in 2023.

Investment and economy

• R367 billion – investment commitments raised at the 4th South Africa Investment Conference in 2022.

   • More than R2 trillion – value of a new 2028 target in new investment to be mobilised at the 5th South Africa Investment    Conference in April 2023.

   • Almost 1 000 – black industrialists participating in the Black Industrialist Programme.

   • More than 400 000 – workers who own shares in the firms they work for.

   • Over 90 000 – entrepreneurs set to benefit from the R1.4 billion that government, through the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, plans to provide.

   • R10 billion – value of the fund government plans to establish, in partnership with the SA SME Fund, to support small, medium and micro enterprises’ growth.

   Social security

   • More than 25 million – people who receive some form of income support.      

   • Around two million – indigent households receiving free basic water, free basic electricity and free solid waste removal.    

• Around 60% – budget government spends on the social wage, providing various forms of support, basic services and assistance to households and individuals to combat poverty and hunger.

• Around 7.8 million – people who continue to receive the Social Relief of Distress   Grant to counter the rising cost of living.

Safety and security

• 12 000 – new police personnel government undertook to recruit in 2022.

• More than 10 000 – new recruits who graduated from police academies since 2022.

• 10 000 – further new recruits to be recruited and trained in 2023.

• 20 – identified hotspots in which Multidisciplinary Economic Infrastructure Task Teams are now operational.


• 13 – commuter rail lines reopened by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, significantly reducing the cost of travel for many workers.

• 90 – days of the reduced turnaround time for applications for water-use licences.

• R600 million – money allocated to Infrastructure South Africa for project preparation, specifically in rural and under-resourced areas.

• R232 billion – value of infrastructure projects under construction, by January 2023.

• Nearly R4 billion – value of completed infrastructure projects, by January 2023.

• R18 billion – value of South African National Roads Agency road construction contracts awarded over the last three months.

• 24 – bridges under construction in KwaZulu-Natal, by February 2023.

Crime and corruption

• 187 – accused persons taken to court by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate in 32 state capture and corruption cases.

• 32 – state capture and corruption cases of 187 accused persons taken to court by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate.

• Over R7 billion – money returned to the State from state capture cases.

• R12.9 billion – funds and assets frozen by February 2023.

• R27 billion – a potential saving that National Treasury estimates government could   achieve in the medium term if it deals with overlapping mandates, closes ineffective programmes and consolidates entities, where appropriate.


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