Sona: Spot the difference

2014-02-13 18:25

Five years. That’s how long President Jacob Zuma has called the Union Buildings home. He delivers his sixth state of the nation address this evening. We’ve spent some time tracking his previous five addresses for you.

Spot the similarities and differences.


» Outlines 10 priority areas

» Economy enters recession – never really recovers to growth levels of President Thabo Mbeki’s administration. Business, labour and government establish a team to respond to global financial crisis. » Announces R787-billion infrastructure drive

» Promises to bring down cost of telecoms and expand broadband – this promise is consistent across the five years

» Raises transformation of the judiciary


» 10 priorities slimmed to five: education, health, rural development and land reform, decent work and fighting crime

» State intervention in economy emerges as key theme

» Ramps up social grants to children over 14 bringing grants to two million more young people

» Companies in distress fund grows to R6 billion – managed by IDC

» Infrastructure budget grows to R846 billion

» Announces hospitals programme

»Announces Further Education and Training Programme

» Promises to increase broadband speed and lower communications costs

» Local government is an Achilles’ heel


» Praises independent judiciary and media

» Promises to ramp up social grants – consistent across addresses

» Targets six areas of employment growth: infrastructure, development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, green economy and tourism. Green economy, tourism and infrastructure respond but not the other three

» Jobs Fund of R9 billion announced as well as an incentives suite – does not boost growth or employment meaningfully

» Announces state-owned mining company

» Announces digital migration – still far from achieved

» Annual national assessments begin

» Local government is an Achilles’ heel


» Says unemployment structural since seventies

» National Development Plan makes first appearance » Jobs Fund disburses R1 billion

» Mining highlighted – committed to favourable and globally competitive mining sector (this is read as the line that dismisses nationalisation rhetoric)

» Infrastructure raised as positive again – commission and summit announced

» High electricity prices to be tackled

» Promises to amend BEE laws – has been done

» Promises to amend procurement processes – a chief procurement officer is announced


» National Development Plan takes pole position in the speech

» Address adopts the NDP goal of 11 million jobs by 2030 – just under half a million a year. We are way behind

» Infrastructure budget grows to R860 billion – successes include solar water geysers and De Hoop dam

» Train and bus production highlighted as new manufacturing industries – part of Transnet recapitalisation

» Re-opening of land claims announced

» Local government as a weakness is stripped out. Instead, the president announces that cases involving protest violence and vandalism will be fast-tracked across the criminal justice system.

» A systemic response (fix local government) gives way to a law and order response

» The president says mining has faced difficulties and spends only one line on Marikana

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