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The state of social media conversations and media coverage around #SONA2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of The Nation Address (SONA,) held on 7 February 2019, was mostly a subdued affair compared to the previous years' major disruptions and theatrics. With SONA being one of the key annual events in the country's business, government and public calendar, citizens and the media made their voices heard around some of the most pressing issues facing the country.

Brand Intelligence® firm, Ornico, analysed conversations from 1 February 2019 until 12 February 2019, across leading media and social media sources to provide a sense of how this year’s SONA influenced opinions.

Eskom was the leading topic of discussion across social media, online, print and broadcast with both business and the public voicing their concerns. The power utility was seen as a major contributor to business and society’s woes, with business media and influencers raising alarm about the potential loss of jobs and production. Some of the dominant themes on social media in relation to Eskom included unbundling and the Numsa strike following the president’s announcement.

South Africans particularly took to Twitter to voice their opinions and thoughts with over 11,000 mentions of #SONA2019. These were mentions by accounts that are geographically tagged as being in South Africa. Accounts that were not tagged as being from South Africa and ones without locations were excluded in this research to make sense of how the country responded to the address and all its themes.

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News and analysis following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address in traditional media was led by largely five key topics being Eskom, Corruption, State-owned Enterprises, Unemployment and the creation of a new unit in the National Prosecuting Authority to combat corruption. Most of the coverage talked to how the president would handle existing challenges to help steer the South African economy towards better performance.

Mining and the banking industry were among the most vocal and prevalent across social media and other media sources, which could have been the result of President Ramaphosa’s address at the Mining Indaba two days before SONA. Corruption, in light of Bosasa and State-owned Enterprises, also made the news and this was in relation to what the president will do to root out corruption.

Please download the full report here: http://bit.ly/sona2019

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