How Zuma’s boat dream will be fulfilled

2014-10-23 14:17

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Regardless of political differences, all South Africans must work together to make the country prosperous, President Jacob Zuma has said.

“Let me remind you that South Africa is open for business. We may be going through a rough period economically, like most economies in the world, but we will survive if we work together,” he said at an South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference in Midrand today.

“As various political parties [and] business organisations ... we may differ on methods. We need to be careful of the methods we use as we push political and economic objectives.

“Let us disagree on issues but ensure that South Africa does not suffer in the process. We all have a duty to make our beautiful country succeed.”

He said all South Africans wanted a prosperous country.

“Some may want to walk on a footpath [to a better South Africa], some may want to take a highway, some may want to fly and some may want to use the oceans, and the time to take to get there is not the same – but we are going to one place,” Zuma said.

“We can’t fight like we live in different countries, and therefore [be] the people who seem to be running the country down.”

Zuma also spoke about the implementation of Operation Phakisa – an initiative aimed at fast-tracking the delivery of the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan.

The first phase of the operation included looking at “unlocking the economic potential of the country’s ocean economy”.

“I think for the first time we are deliberately going to exploit the ocean, which we have never done before,” Zuma said.

He related a story of being in Cape Town and wanting to take a boat trip to Durban. He was told at the time there was no trip between the two cities.

“Operation Phakisa is unlocking that so that ... my wish to have a boat from Cape Town to Durban will be fulfilled.”

Zuma said the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, which he signed into law in January, provided for the establishment of a commission that would help monitor empowerment.

“The process of setting up the commission is at an advanced stage and it is targeted for March 31 2015,” he said.

Zuma said there was an “ambitious programme” to graduate broad-based black economic empowerment beneficiaries to “fully fledged industrialists”.

“Our aim is to promote and enable the participation of black people in the manufacturing sectors of the economy, who become giants through support for government and other related institutions,” he said.

“With the support of big business, this transformative programme will succeed.”

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