Opposition: What SA was Zuma talking about?

2014-02-14 13:41
(Rodger Bosch, AP)

(Rodger Bosch, AP)

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Mixed reactions to Zuma's speech

2014-02-14 06:53

President Jacob Zuma has taken flak from various opposition parties after his State of the Nation address, especially on the jobs issue.WatchWATCH

Cape Town - Opposition leaders had harsh words for President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address on Thursday evening, while members of his party and Cabinet heaped praise on their leader.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba told News24 that Zuma gave an “excellent speech” as he recounted the strides the country has made since 1994.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said Zuma spent about 80% of his address accounting to the nation about the work done over the last five years.

“He touched on elements of the last 20 years because those constitute the foundation of the work done in the last five years.”

Zille: Zuma reversing progress

But Democratic Alliance leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said instead of giving a SONA, Zuma gave “an election address”.

“He looked over 20 years and told some parts of the South African story.... But the story of progress was not Zuma’s to tell. It was Mandela’s and Mbeki’s.”

Zille said that the progress made under Mbeki and Mandela was actually being reversed under Zuma’s administration.

She applauded the roll-out of antiretrovirals but said on jobs, the president had no credibility.

“Five years ago he promised 5 million jobs and only 500 000 had been delivered.”

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said the address was a cleverly written speech as Zuma started by getting the sympathy of the public by referring to “many dead people”.

‘What South Africa was Zuma talking about?’

“When you talk about people who have died in the struggle, people sympathise with that. He very cleverly took that route because he knows that many people are not happy with government,” Meshoe said.

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said this year’s SONA was one of the “most misleading speeches of them all”.

“I don’t think he was talking about the South Africa in which all of us live. I think he was talking about a country that’s unknown to all of us.”

Lekota said Zuma’s claim that the battle of service delivery is being won was unfounded as all the provinces where the ANC are governing are “up in fire” as people protest over lack of water and electricity.

- Watch the video here.

- Watch the State of the Nation highlights.

- News24
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  acdp  |  helen zille  |  mosiuoa le­kota  |  jacob zuma  |  malusi gigaba  |  kenneth meshoe  |  elections 2014  |  state of the nation 2014  |  politics
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