Smart City And Bullet Train – Ramaphosa Tells Citizens To Dream Big

SA economic
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address (Sona) in a joint sitting of Parliament on 20 June 2019. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to dream big, in spite of the social and economic challenges facing the country.

He’s set out ambitious goals for the next decade, including his personal dream of a smart city full of skyscrapers and a bullet train linking megacities with remote rural areas.

Ramaphosa’s first State of the Nation Address after the May elections was long on what the country should be reaching for but short on concrete plans on how to get there.

“I dream of a South Africa where the first entirely new city built in the democratic era rises with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories.”

There was more: “We should imagine a country where a bullet train passes through Johannesburg as it travels to Musina and it stops in Buffalo City on the way from eThekwini to here in Cape Town.”

Ramaphosa set out five goals for the next 10 years: no-one going hungry, the economy growing faster than the population, jobs for two million young people, violent crime halved and 10-year-olds able to read and understand the meaning.

All worthy goals, but hopes for his speech pivoted more on the need for plans and timelines to achieve them, rather than building more castles in the air.