Zuma gives little hope on crime - union
Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address on Thursday has given South Africans "little hope" in the fight against crime, a Solidarity leader whose uncle was murdered this week said on Thursday.
"One of the burning issues of the country is crime and again as in the past this was a huge disappointment," said the union's deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann, whose uncle Frik Hermann was found dead at his farm near Alma in Limpopo on Tuesday.
"There was nothing in the speech to give South Africans hope in the fight against crime."
Hermann wrote an emotional letter to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday pleading with the government to turn their intentions on fighting crime into action.
He appealed to Zuma to recognise the pain and suffering of those who lost loved ones to crime in his State of the Nation address on Thursday.
"I am appealing to you to communicate to us the government's serious intention about crime. I am appealing to you to turn intentions into action," the letter read.
"Violent crime is something all South Africans can mobilise against.
Overall however, Hermann welcomed the speech, calling it "bakgat".
"Bakgat, that's the word I'd choose," Hermann said.
"I think it was a good speech. It was well balanced and comprehensive."
Hermann said Zuma had defined the role of the government as an "enabler" in job creation.
"He emphasised that we need to create infrastructure for the private sector to create jobs."
One factor that worried Hermann was Zuma's failure to emphasise the importance of training.
"First is there far too little emphasis on training and development, that is key for job growth," he said.
Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said the federation "broadly welcomed" the speech.
"Obviously we need to find out who will receive money to make sure it is used for job creation," he said.
Federation of Unions of South Africa general secretary Dennis George welcomed Zuma's declaration of 2011 a year of job creation.
"President Zuma has emphasised that decent work is at the centre of our economic policy," he said.
"We want to create that motivation and enthusiasm for creating jobs like we had in the 2010 World Cup.
"We need to see further announcements and proposals in the next week and a half."
George said it was "vital" to align fiscal and monetary policies to ensure a conducive environment for "massive employment creation".
He praised Zuma for announcing the establishment of a R9bn jobs fund and for setting aside R10bn for the Industrial Development Corporation in the next five years.
The R20bn in tax breaks that Zuma announced would also stimulate job creation.