President’s state-of-the-nation address outdated

2010-02-16 15:13

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma is the most modern South African president,

however, his state-of-the-nation address last Thursday lacked any trace of


His address was extremely shallow and didn’t inspire confidence.

It put far more emphasis on the past and the temporary, yet urgent,

matters of the present and says nothing about the future.

The president’s speech emphasised the lack of respect the

current government has of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

There is no mention of SMMEs in the sate of the nation address by

Zuma. I was disappointed by his silence on this issue.

It was his chance to address the issue of how Cipro, Sars and

government abuse SMMEs.

The rapid growth of the economy will be facilitated by SMME’s. If

well supported and respected by government, SMME’s can create sustainable


Zuma hasn’t the luxury to copy presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo

Mbeki whose task it was to unite the country and make the economy strong.

He needs to look to the future and prepare his state of the nation

address differently.

In his speech, he emphasized treatment and not prevention and

failed to emphasise abstinence, faithfulness and the use of a condom as great

ways to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.

It made me think the president was ashamed of his inability to


One of the things that the President could have introduced was a

clear vision to rally all South Africans.

He could have gone beyond the “Developmental Sate” emphasis and

come up with something clear and attractive that all South Africans could

immediately grasp and identify with.

A vision that could clearly be vocalized – being an economic power,

safe country, moral capital of the world – and which goes beyond BBBEE, race and

gender (although, ofcourse, these are important).

The President then needs to encourage all South Africans to work

day and night to achieve this vision.

His speech failed to articulate our interaction with the world and


He talks a lot about spending our money and failed to tell us how

the country will generate income, apart from taxes. It failed to touch on the

issue of exports and what South Africa will do to maintain a positive current


We need to hear success not rhetoric.

The address correctly touched on the successes of the government.

It, however, failed to talk about the contribution of South

Africans in the arts, business and other sectors.

I truly believe that, the President could have done better.

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