Cape Town eager to hear Zuma

2011-02-10 14:18

Some Capetonians were eager to hear what President Jacob Zuma had to say tonight during his third State of the Nation address since assuming office in May 2009.

“Yes, I will be watching tonight. It is very interesting to see what new changes we can all look forward to,” 30-year-old Riyaaz Hendriks, a salesperson at a furniture store across the road from Parliament, said.

He hoped Zuma would “detail a plan of action” that included positive changes in education, health and “the foreigners in the country”.

Giovanni Molander, a 50-year-old clothing store manager in Cape Town, echoed Hendriks’ statement.

He said: “We will be watching. I’m eager to hear what the president has to say. Service delivery is not forthcoming and I’m hoping government will do a better job this year. I want to hear what the government’s plans on health, education and jobs are,” said Molander.

Zama Thusi, an architecture student, said she would be in Parliament and was hoping Zuma had something different to offer South Africans this year.

“I want what everyone else wants, not just the same old talk. It needs to be different. For me it’s about education and jobs.”

Her 20-year-old friend from Swaziland, Qew Dlamini, also an architecture student at the University of Cape Town, was hoping Zuma would touch on foreign policy. She was also interested in his views on job creation.

The students, along with many other Capetonians, were standing across the road from Parliament this afternoon watching preparations ahead of the opening.

Police officers were on the street, inside stores and sitting in their cars around Parliament, keeping a watchful eye on happenings around the precinct.

One onlooker, a cleaner for the city, said while it was all very interesting to watch, he was not too upbeat about any changes.

“I will wait to see what he says. I am not expecting much,” said Michael Mabi (46).

Molander said the area was “busier” because of the opening.

“It’s good to see a lot of people here, standing around, watching, but it’s also good for business,” he said.

“After the World Cup, business took a dive. I’m hoping he has some plan to create an upswing.”

Elsewhere in Parliament, reporters, photographers and cameramen milled around chatting to each other and watching the preparations.

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