No mention of service delivery - analyst

2012-02-10 08:11

  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now
Cape Town - It was very worrying that President Jacob Zuma made no mention of plans to improve local government following many complaints by South Africans, political analyst Steven Friedman said on Thursday.

Friedman said this gap in Zuma's speech raised eyebrows because Zuma had declared 2011 as a year of turning around local government.

"There was no single word on how government plans to improve services. That is key and ignoring it won't solve the problem. Most people don't think that was done [last year]," said Friedman. He welcomed the focus on infrastructure, saying it was expected as it was what the country needed to create jobs.


Zuma put the economy at the centre of his fourth State of the Nation address on Thursday night. He told Parliament the government saw its role as guiding the economy to grow faster and announced steps to stimulate mining, integrate rail and road infrastructure and help exporters.

This year will see a massive infrastructure drive, with Limpopo - which has been recently placed under administration - mentioned first as the focus of infrastructure development.

Friedman said apart from infrastructure investment, the president was "repeating what we already know", particularly on economic transformation. Zuma spoke of government's plan to amend the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. He admitted that the land redistribution process was "slow and tedious" and acknowledged that the willing buyer-willing seller option had not been the best way to address this question.

Only eight percent of land, of the 30% target by 2014, had been distributed.


Another analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi of the Centre for Policy Studies, described Zuma's address as "very ambitious", and said it lacked detail on implementation.

"The targets are not completely related to an agenda for 12 months. It means we'll have to judge the ANC government in terms of promises made in the speech and how much progress is made in the short to medium term," said Matshiqi.

He was struck by what Zuma said on land redistribution and was waiting to see what the government was doing to change direction in that regard.

"We are mourning 100 years of the deposition of black people from their land. It would be interesting to see what specific measures will be put in place to accelerate land restitution," he said.

Matshiqi said Zuma reiterated what former President Thabo Mbeki had said about the willing buyer-willing seller approach being a blunt weapon.

Matshinqi said it was interesting that Zuma made no mention on international relations.

Job creation

However, should the economic plans announced in the speech materialise, South Africa would in the medium term become a haven of economic growth and job creation, he said.

Should plans on infrastructure development materialise, they would depend on a partnership between government, the public sector and civil society. Matshiqi said it would also depend on the performance of the global economy.

"One weakness is the absence of a pact between our social partners like labour, the private sector and the state," said Matshiqi.

"With the absence of these, all plans will come to naught."

Matshiqi hoped Zuma and his successors would in future focus their attention on this "special pact".

Matshiqi said Zuma was correct to avoid any mention of nationalisation but spoke of beneficiation in the mining sector, unlike his two cabinet members, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and Mining Minister Susan Shabangu who made pronouncements on the issue earlier this week.

Corruption, tenderpreneurship

Idasa analyst Judith February said some of the critical issues Zuma did not emphasise were corruption and tenderpreneurship, considering the number of tenders that would be rolled out as a result of this big infrastructure programme.

February also raised the issue of the Budget, saying Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would have to give an indication in his Budget speech.

Political commentator, Susan Booysen, said she expected more detail from Zuma's speech. "It was a typical type of talking, assuring people that government was working on it but not much said on implementation," she said. Booysen said it was going to be quite a few years before South Africa saw any impact from the infrastructure investment plan.

There probably was not a short-term solution to problems in the country.

"Desperate people will be looking around at how they can survive and bring food on the table this year and next year," she said.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.