Inspire us, Mazibuko tells Zuma

2012-02-09 07:17

South Africans don’t want a bureaucratic checklist of targets and promises. They want to be inspired, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said about today’s state of the nation address.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to focus on economic issues in his address at the official opening of Parliament this evening.

Asked at a news briefing at Parliament this week what he thought the main thrust of Zuma’s address would be, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu said: “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

He added: “Jobs, job creation and the growth of the economy.”

Opposition parties and stakeholders were quick to offer Zuma advice:

» Lindiwe Mazibuko (DA)

President Zuma must use his address this year to reverse this legacy of non-delivery and broken promises by providing bold solutions to key challenges facing South Africans and following through with them.

» Nic Koornhof (Cope)
Zuma cannot ignore the perception that the national Treasury’s grip on fiscal policy is less tight and without his full support during his term of office.

For that reason, the Treasury under the leadership of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan should get his full support to run a tighter fiscal framework and ensure that spending decreases, and the State wage bill is contained and kept below inflation for the next few years.

It is time for Zuma to make it clear he is in full support of the Treasury and will not tolerate bad spending and ineffective implementation.

» Pieter Mulder (Freedom Front Plus)
We expect certainty and hope. Certainty that investments and property rights in South Africa will be safe, and hope that the government will be prepared to review economic measures which are currently dampening economic growth.

Certainty is applicable to especially foreign investors, local mining managers and South African farmers, who in recent times had to listen to comments about the nationalisation of mines and land.

A clear statement against nationalisation and in favour of property rights will help bring back certainty and confidence.

» Patrick Craven (Cosatu)
We expect Zuma to continue rolling out the policies in the ANC election manifesto. These prioritised creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods, education, health, rural development, food security and land reform, and the fight against crime and corruption.

Cosatu hopes Zuma’s speech will contain good news on progress in implementing the plans contained in the New Growth Path and Industrial Policy Action Plans.

These plans – restructuring the economy from one dominated by mining, heavy chemicals and finance, to one that is labour-absorbing and environmentally sound – remain the key to reaching government’s goal of creating five million decent, sustainable jobs by 2020.

Cosatu looks forward to a firm assurance from the president that the Protection of State Information Bill will be radically redrafted to ensure it could never be used to classify evidence of crime and corruption as secret or to criminalise whistleblowers who exposed such information.

» Business Unity SA (Busa)
Busa expects Zuma to give a firm sense that 2012 is the year of accelerated implementation of policies and programmes that have been agreed and funded.

Busa hopes that the state of the nation’s overall message will underpin investor confidence and the role of business to strengthen economic recovery and promote growth.

The prioritisation of job creation, poverty reduction, education, economic transformation, infrastructural development and growth should be invested with a new sense of urgency.

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