SA disappointed by Zuma's address - survey

2014-06-27 05:00
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - More than half of adult South Africans were unmoved by President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address, according to a survey released on Thursday.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda said 52% of people interviewed felt Zuma did not address issues important to them.

The company interviewed 1 104 people aged between 18 and 49 across South Africa who claimed to have either watched or listened to the president’s address.

"It’s clear that Zuma’s State of the Nation address last week missed the mark with many South Africans," spokesperson Shirley Eadie said in a statement.

"The majority of respondents to our survey felt that it did not address the issues that are most important to them, and that it wasn’t inspiring and didn’t make them more hopeful about the future of the country."

Forty-five percent of 18 to 24-year olds felt the speech was aimed at them, compared to 38% of 25 to 34-year olds and 33% of 35 to 49-year olds.

Among the race groups, 41% of blacks said the speech was about issues they cared about. "In comparison, only 29% of coloured respondents and 19% of whites felt the State of the Nation address focused on issues that mattered to them," the survey found.

Eadie said while Zuma spent a significant amount of time on the economy in his speech, he focused on macro-economic issues and broad policy statements, rather than on practical, concrete action.

"Corruption, education and crime are also key areas adults want the government to spend more time addressing, and we hope to see these issues form the core of the next State of the Nation address," she said.

Just more than half of respondents, 52%, felt after Zuma’s speech nothing had changed for South Africa's future.

Thirty-three percent felt more hopeful about the future of the country, and 12% said they had less hope for South Africa after the president’s address.

Interviews for the survey were carried out both on cellphones and online between 18 and 20 June, excluding in deep rural areas. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender, and race.

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