Big on words, too little detail

2013-01-13 10:00

During his January 8 speech yesterday at Kings Park Stadium in Durban, President Jacob Zuma managed to avoid all the sticky issues which could steal the thunder of his Mangaung victory.

The January 8 statement is supposed to be the marching orders for the ANC collective to understand the priorities of the party and government and how they will be implemented.

But Zuma managed to speak in broad brush strokes and did not mention some key decisions taken at Mangaung, because they are controversial but crucial for South Africans.

One of them is to bring back school inspectors to ensure quality learning takes place in schools.

But with Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini sitting right behind him in the national executive committee seats on stage, Zuma felt it was maybe not the right time to bring that up – teachers hate the idea.

He also neglected to mention the jobseekers grant that was approved by Mangaung as a measure to help with youth unemployment.

But if he did that, he may have been compelled to talk about the youth wage subsidy – another Cosatu bugbear.

Understandably, Zuma was not keen on spoiling the show.

The stadium was packed to the rafters, the newly elected leaders were smiling like they’ve won the jackpot.

But the January 8 statement is more than just an ANC celebration; it is meant to show us all what the governing party plans for this year are.

Zuma’s speech was short on the detail meant to give us hope that 2013 will be better than 2012.

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