SONA 2021: South Africa’s first smart city ‘a reality in the making’

It’s that time of the year again, folks. Yes, it’s time for President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver the State of the Nation Address for 2021. We’ve also been updated about SA’s first smart city. Follow our blog for live updates.

This year’s SONA address is different. COVID-19 restrictions meant that red carpet events and 21-gun salutes are things of the past. The event was broadcast virtually, with a limited number of people in attendance.

South African’s first Smart City

President Ramaphosa confirmed during SONA 2020 that South Africa would be getting a smart city. At the time, the location was still a surprise. Tito Mboweni later confirmed that two hubs were at “advanced stages of implementation”.

As revealed at the 2020 State of the Nation Address, the yet-to-be-named smart city would also be 5G ready. It is believed to be a leading benchmark for green infrastructure as well, in both South Africa and globally.

The project is being led by the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency alongside provincial governments, working together with the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Madibeng.

What this means for South Africa

Ramaphosa on 11 February 2021 said that South Africa’s first Smart City in Lanseria “is now a reality in the making”. The Lanseria Smart City will accommodate between 350 000 and 500 000 people by 2030.

The draft masterplan for this smart city – which will become home to between 350,000 to 500,000 people within the next decade – was completed in November 2020 and is now out for public comment.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2021.

The Lanseria smart city will also allegedly self-fund the bulk sewerage, electricity, water, digital infrastructure and roads that will be the foundation of the new city, while driving cost-effective solutions and meaningful skills transfer.

The focus of SONA 2021

This evening, the president focused on four points: Defeating the coronavirus pandemic, accelerating our economic recovery, the implementation of economic reform to create sustainable jobs, and to fight corruption.

Ramaphosa said we will, as a country, “continue to use a science-driven approach which has served us so well since the earliest days of the pandemic.” He adds that will “overcome this challenge again”.

However, we have to defeat more than just a disease.

“We must overcome poverty, hunger and joblessness in South Africa, as well as a legacy of exclusion which continues to impoverish South Africans”.

Now read | SONA: COVID-19 Ters benefit to be extended until 15 March 2021

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Presh JM Reporter

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