Zuma's speech 'a failure to the nation' - analysts

2016-02-12 05:29
Parliament in Cape Town.  (Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath, News24)

Parliament in Cape Town. (Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath, News24)

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Johannesburg - Political analysts have described President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation speech as dull, ordinary and a failure to the nation.

Political analyst and Wits University Professor Daryl Glaser said Zuma failed to be honest about his own mistakes and the condition of the country.

"It was typical and a familiar Zuma speech delivered in the usual dull way and repeating much of the talking points from previous years... The problem is that South Africa is going through a period of crisis, economically and politically.  

“I don’t think Zuma said enough by providing inspirational leadership by a way of showing self-reflection to persuade citizens, the international audience and investors that this time is going to be different. It didn’t live up to the requirements of the moment," Glaser told News24. 

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said while Zuma's primary audience was the international rating agencies; he was not convinced he did enough to appease them.

"I am not convinced his statement has done enough because I think the main expectation of rating agency was a growth plan. What he did was describe problems in domestic and global terrain and second to talk about what has been achieved in the 9 point plan. I am not clear what has been achieved will be enough beyond the 0.8 % projected growth."

Matshiqi said Zuma had also failed to diffuse the restlessness among the poor and the working class. He said Zuma had failed to articulate a clear plan to create jobs which may become a problem for the ANC as the party gears up for the 2016 local elections.

"In the manner in which the ANC government articulated its speech, it is not clear to me given the current condition that the poor can expect anything different this year. The ANC may not be able to avoid the restlessness among workers and poor come August' local elections. In August voters will tell us whether they were persuaded by president’s speech. We will know in wage negotiations whether workers are persuaded," he said.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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