State of the Nation: 10 things worth knowing

2014-02-14 09:50
President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address. (Rodger Bosch, AP)

President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address. (Rodger Bosch, AP)

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Mixed Reaction to the State of the Nation Address

2014-02-14 06:49

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

Sabelo Ndlangisa, City Press

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address was clearly pitched as an election campaign speech aimed at selling the achievements of the ANC to the electorate, and to keep critics of his record at bay.

It drew heavily from the 20-year report the government is expected to launch next month, and the ANC’s “we have a good story to tell” narrative.

It is a speech that steered clear of controversies such as Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

It sets the tone for his campaign ahead of the May 7 elections.

10 things worth knowing from Zuma’s speech:

1. Zuma says service-delivery protests are not a function of disgruntlement with the government’s service delivery record but a result of the impatience of the few (5%) with the success of the government.

2. The war against corruption continues, and 1 542 public officials have been sacked following tip-offs to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.

3. At 15 million, more people are employed now than there have been in any time in our history. A total 650 000 of those jobs were created last year.

4. A total of 3.7 million work opportunities were delivered over the past five years, creating skills and income for the unemployed.

5. Regulations will be crafted to ensure that the youth wage subsidy does not displace old workers.

6. Land reform, which has seen 5 000 farms being transferred back to black people, has benefited 200 000 families.

7. Mother-to-child HIV transmission went down sharply, and the number of people receiving ARV drugs increased from one million to 2.4 million.

8. The judiciary has been transforming, and now has 61% black judges. However, more needs to be done to get the gender balance right.

9. Ten new hospitals have been built or refurbished throughout the country.

10. Government will hold mining houses accountable for their social plan targets, which include improving living condition for workers by 2014.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  elections 2014  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation 2014  |  politics

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