Zuma's speech was vague: public

2010-02-12 13:23

Cape Town - Although many people on the streets of Cape Town feel President Jacob Zuma touched on a lot of important issues in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night, they felt that he didn’t really elaborate on them.

Bookkeeper and economics student, Trust Gonyora told News24 that people will have to wait and see if the contents of the address are met.

“I’m not being negative,” he said. “I’m just being sceptical.”

He said he hasn’t seen much from the government in terms of dealing with the meltdown. “Many companies have been streaming down on staff, we’ll really just have to wait and see what is done.”

Gonyora said he felt some of the goals that Zuma set were unattainable, and could not be reached by 2014. “People are growing up, and by then, there will be more issues that need to be dealt with."

'Solving issues for today'

He said he didn’t really support the idea of increasing social grants as it created a situation of dependency.

“We are solving issues for today, and not for tomorrow.”

Neels Otto, a banker, felt that a lot of the speech was vague.

“I think the issue of unemployment was touched, there was no clear plan,” he said. “I also would have liked to see more money being put in Aids research.”

“Overall, he did well, he is different to a lot of the presidents we’ve had in that he is a man of the people,” he added.

Crime was something the President should have spent more time on, said Rashaad Baker, a financial services manager.

“He basically covered everything but the fight against crime and corruption,” he said. “They have all the plans in place, but we need to see something happen.”

In the public's interest

He said Zuma’s private life was also something that should have been covered.

“As a public figure, his personal life is in the public’s interest, and we want to know what is going on.”

“It’s very interesting that he can create 480 000 jobs,” said Fezeka Mbali, a public relations officer.

“How can he say so many jobs were created when a lot of people who worked in Parliament before he became president are now unemployed?” she asked.

Mbali said a large number of parliamentary staff were released from their contracts when new ministers and MPs came in last year.

World Cup

Police officer Mali Mbaleki said he had expected to hear more about the government’s security plans especially with regard to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“He said he planned to increase the force by 10%, but that’s all he said about it. He did not get into the issue of remuneration,” he said.

He said he did not feel the president was prepared to do much about the police service.

Security guard Mike Henn said his personal opinion was that Zuma wanted to do a good job, but used the 20th anniversary as a scapegoat to get away with dealing with issues he should be dealing with.

“Mandela’s presence overshadowed the whole thing,” he said.