The State of the Nation address (Sona) on Friday February 16, given by South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, heralds a new dawn for South Africa. After a decade of maladministration, venal politics, corruption and the wrecking of a number of important state institutions, any alternative would have filled South Africans with optimism.

But there is little doubt that, even if we are dealing with the same party, the leadership, determination and discipline that Ramaphosa will bring to South African politics will be very different indeed to that which we have become depressingly accustomed over the last decade.

South Africans should be thankful to the persistence, virtue and courage of opposition parties, civil society, the courts and media houses — in particular investigative journalist units such as amaBhungane — but an obvious fact should not be forgotten.