One thing I understand about critics and opposition is the fact that they will never stop complaining. Zuma's State of the Nation Address would not have been different for them.
An article published on City Press on the 10-Feb named Zuma “Mr Delivery” for living up to 85% of his promises made last year. NB it was not The New Age saying this but Zuma's/ANC's rivalry City Press. Only 15% of the projects were not started by now City Press stated.
Kwandiwe Kondlo, a professor at the University of Johannesburg’s School of Leadership, said Zuma’s performance in government had been well.
“The country is not going down and the government is not going to the dogs. With leadership aptitude, the government can perform much better.
“His performance is borderline, but he has disappointed those who expected the worst from him,” Kondlo said.
This has been the case for some South Africans yet again, they did not listen to understand Zuma's speech but they listened to reply, write blogs and complain.
By now, I have read so many articles with people who claim they were left uninspired by Zuma's address arguing it lacked details. Zuma had only 90 minutes to deliver what has been made since his last address and what is to happen for the upcoming years. It is rather lazy for us to expect in-depth detailed speech when there is so much that need to be done and said.
Zuma opened his address by officially adopting the NDP which was handed over to the presidency in August last year. A vision for the next 20 years.
He said “It is a roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment”.
The in-depth detailed plan we wanted on how this will all be achieved is laid down clearly by the National Planing Commission in the NDP document which Zuma or any other minister can read it for you.
Fact is, Zuma spoke to the nation and mentioned all issues we were all talking about and wanted him to address in his speech. Issues we all generally acknowledge their importance. Like his speech that couldn't include everything, my blog can not give you all what Zuma said. If you listened or watched the SONA, i will suggest you go an read the speech.
Corruption and Crime
Zuma said the government has increased its efforts to fight corruption. He added that last year he has signed 34 proclamations SIU to investigate alleged corruption, fraud, maladministration in departments. He also pointed out to the fact that the SIU has grown from 70 staff members to more than 600.
Criminal investigations were initiated against 203 accused persons in 67 cases under investigation by the end of September 2012. In total, pre-trial proceedings have been initiated against 191 persons. A total of 66 persons under investigation are alleged to have received R5-million or more benefits through corruption. Freezing orders were obtained against 46 persons,” Zuma
This shows government commitment in fighting corruption and shows action made giving hope to South Africans.
Zuma has meanwhile said violent acts against women and children, such as the case of the Bredasdorp girl, Anene Booysen, will not be tolerated. Condemning such crimes as inhumane and even less animalistic and unacceptable.
"I have directed law enforcement agencies to treat these cases with the utmost urgency and importance. The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units, which were re-established in 2010, have increased personnel. During the last financial year, the Units secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73% for crimes against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18 years of age"
In 2010, Zuma mentioned the issue of youth employment and how it will be addressed by the youth wage subsidy. Unfortunately, this got stuck in NEDLAC with Cosatu strongly opposing it. Zuma declared youth unemployment as a crisis.
In his address, Zuma said last may he asked NEDLAC to discuss youth employment incentive which is the youth wage subsidy the youth and the DA have long been crying for. The discussions that got stuck in NEDLAC came into a conclusion and parties will sign the Accord later this month Zuma said. Adding that the youth subsidy will be an addition to what the government has been doing to empower the youth.
Its not hard then to understand why the DA is left uninspired by Zuma's address. There is nothing now they can use against the government with regards to Youth unemployment. An agreement had been reached, 3 billion has been set aside and parties concerned will sign an accord next month.
All successful societies have one thing in common – they invested in education. Decent salaries and conditions of service will play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers.Zuma
Linking to 2009 when education was declared an apex priority, Zuma added that now it has also been made an essential service. However not taking away the constitutionally enshrined right for teachers to strike. He said it meant that the government wanted "the education sector and society as a whole to take education more seriously than is happening currently".
Zuma said a Presidential Remuneration Commission has been established to investigate the remuneration of state employees and has been instructed to make teachers its first priority.
He knowledge government still had to be done to improve maths, science, and technology, and the basic education department would establish a national task team to strengthen the implementation of the maths, science, and technology strategy.
Zuma said in 2014 the NHI fund will be created to improve health for all South Africans. The Department of Health will accelerate and intensify progress in the pilot districts.
In that regard, as from April this year, the first group of approximately 600 private medical practitioners will be contracted to provide medical services at 533 clinics within villages and townships in 10 of the pilot districts.
The issues that people want Zuma to raise are administrative which different departments, provinces and municipalities will outline in their own addresses for the year.