Parliament readies for State of the Nation address

2014-06-17 05:00
(Rodger Bosch, AP)

(Rodger Bosch, AP)

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Zuma will be ready for SONA - Mantashe

2014-06-12 15:46

The ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe has said said that President Jacob Zuma is resting and that “we want him ready for the State of the Nation” next Tuesday. Watch. WATCH

kalahari.com

Cape Town - Preparations were well under way at Parliament on Monday ahead of President Jacob Zuma's seventh State of the Nation address.

Zuma will delivery his address at 19:00 on Tuesday, following the usual pomp and ceremony.

While marquees were being erected and roads cleaned outside the parliamentary precinct, political parties, and NGOs released their wish lists for the opening.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) called on Zuma to renew his focus on access to quality health care for all South Africans.

"We cannot afford for President Zuma and his new administration to paper over the serious cracks in both our public and private health care systems," the TAC said in a statement.

The TAC said Zuma and his administration should be commended for the massive progress made in the fight against HIV/Aids over the past five years.

However, Zuma needed to set out an "ambitious plan" to rid the health care system of serious problems which were impeding access to health care.

"Unless fundamental changes are made in government's approach to delivering health services, the President and his newly elected administration's worthy goal to enrol at least 4.6 million in the antiretroviral programme will be undone by corruption, poor public administration, a lack of skilled management, cadre deployment and lack of political will at provincial level," the TAC said.

Equal Education (EE) wants Zuma to provide leadership on how problems facing the country's schools will be prioritised.

This included the norms and standards for school infrastructure, which was enacted last year.

"This law requires that we eradicate mud schools within three years, and that schools without water, electricity, sanitation and safety receive priority treatment," EE said.

"Promises about mud schools have been made in SONAs going back to former President Thabo Mbeki in 2004, but for the first time this is now a legal requirement. We are interested to know what are government plans to make sure they comply with this new law within the set time frames."

The Freedom Front Plus said in a statement Zuma's speech could not be "business as usual".

"Zuma will have to come up with new initiatives to grow the economy and to prevent a repeat of the platinum strike," FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said.

"Changes to the labour laws, like the introduction of a secret ballot before every strike, can make a huge difference."

Zuma should provide clear guidance on the way forward for the next five years, which should include a renewed commitment to the national development plan.

Zuma's State of the Nation address will mark his first public appearance in more than a week, after he was booked off by doctors following a gruelling election campaign.

- SAPA
Read more on:    tac  |  ff+  |  eff  |  ee  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2014
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