Zuma speech livelier - analysts

2014-02-14 09:50
(Photo: Screengrab, eNCA)

(Photo: Screengrab, eNCA)

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Mixed reactions to Zuma's speech

2014-02-14 06:53

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

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's State-of-the-Nation address was a bit livelier than last year's and touched on relevant subjects, analysts said on Thursday.

"I thought it was a lot better than last year and had a bit more life in it than last year," said Prof Roger Southall of Wits University's Society, Work and Development Institute.

"It was upbeat and... it was in many ways an election speech highlighting the last 20 years."

Head of the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences, Jannie Rossouw, said the speech was good.

It focused on the country's struggle history, which should not be forgotten, job creation and focus areas such as mining, tourism, and green economy.

He said the president's speech would instil confidence in investment which was needed for job creation.

"This was the best we could have hoped for at the end of an administration heading into an election."
Southall said mentioning the mining industry early in the speech was a positive.

"The mining industry is pretty central to the economy. People from outside will look at that in a good light."

Confusion

The emphasis on infrastructure such as roads and rail was welcomed.

"There was constant emphasis that South Africa is a better place to live in since 1994, but couldn't it be a lot better than it is?" he asked.

Rossouw said he became confused when Zuma, later in his speech, said the new administration would announce its plan for the country after the elections. This was after highlighting some new plans.

He said he was happy to hear about the stance taken against corruption and that action had been taken against public service officials, but more needed to be done about corrupt politicians.

"What we missed is that we still need decisive action taken against politicians. I don't see political will to act," said Rossouw.

Southall thought Zuma handled the matter of community protests well and agreed that sometimes rising expectations contributed to these. It was not always the poorest of the poor that took part in protests, he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation 2014
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