The challenge to deliver a persuasive speech comes firstly in the context of intense doubts as to whether President Ramaphosa is truly in charge of the ANC.
The year ahead promises to be a very difficult but also a very decisive year for South Africa. Is President Ramaphosa equal to the challenge?
The most that may be hoped for from the party's annual statement is evidence of a president who is confident, clear and courageous.
A tumultuous era has ended and there's a silver lining to the cloud that has been hanging over South Africa.
President Jacob Zuma shouldn't be allowed to detract from the momentum that Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of the ruling ANC, has started to build.
President Zuma's speech is historically meaningless in that it is not a milestone of any professed historical mission.
It is unlikely President Zuma will announce a structural changes in his State of the Nation Address. This, despite education being in dire need of fundamental restructuring and an economy in decline.
The 2016 State of the Nation Address provides President Zuma with the ideal opportunity to be statesman-like. That would require bold action of his part, something that he is unlikely to do.