Zuma leaves opposition 'uninspired'

2013-02-15 07:08
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - Opposition parties were unimpressed with President Jacob Zuma's State-of-the-Nation speech on Thursday.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said it had been a "wasted opportunity".

"The president focused on the right issues - jobs, especially youth unemployment, education, health, crime, and rural development.

"All the right issues, but he hardly came up with a single new plan."

Zille said he had mentioned a lot of old projects, but had failed to detail anything about involving young people in the economy.

He had fudged the whole issue of the youth wage subsidy, focusing on old things such as the expanded public works programme and learnerships in state-owned enterprises.

‘No comment on Nkandla’

"This won't go near to addressing our five million unemployed young people," she said.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said he was left "uninspired".

"When you talk about eradicating corruption and you don't comment on Nkandla, you are not going to solve the problem.

"There [are] still many unanswered questions. There's still a lot of secrecy."

To successfully eradicate corruption, there had to be transparency, Meshoe said.

Pan Africanist Congress leader Letlape Mphahlele, said the president's announcement on the opening of the land restitution process was a welcome one.

Mphahlele said the land question could not be addressed while certain property clauses still existed in the Constitution.

‘Flat’ speech

"Whatever property people inherited from their forefathers, irrespective if that was colonial loot or whatever, they should lay legal claim to it.

"This cannot co-exist with land redistribution in the real sense of the word," he said.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi described the president's speech as "flat".

"The country is in a situation of uncertainty with the problems we face of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

Mantashe excited

"Even though he mentioned those things, I didn't get the impression of the direction and route we should take to solve them," said Buthelezi.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said he was excited that Zuma had listed the progress made with key infrastructure projects.

"For example, he said contractors are on site in this project and that project.

"If you are not inspired about that, it means you want a dream, a pie in the sky," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  ifp  |  helen zille  |  jacob zuma  |  mangosuthu buthelezi  |  kenneth meshoe  |  parliament 2013  |  state of the nation 2013
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