As it happened: Sona 2014

2014-06-17 16:06


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"We support each other" - family rallies around Zuma ahead of SONA

2014-06-17 12:21

News24 Live spoke exclusively to First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma who shared some insight into the Zuma family ahead of the State of the Nation address and the President's stint in hospital.WATCH

President Jacob Zuma is expected to make his first public appearance in over a week when he delivers his seventh state of the Nation address on Tuesday evening.

21:06 - And that's where we'll leave it for Sona No 2. Though I might just sleep at the office if the road closures are hellish. Cheers.  

21:03 - This is how opposition parties feel about the speech according to Sapa: President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address was once again underwhelming, United Democratic Movement chief whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said.

The address was full of promises but lacking in substance, African Christian Democratic Party leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said.

Zuma adequately detailed the main areas of focus for the next five years, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said.

Zuma was responding too late to some of the country's problems, reckons Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.

Zuma seemed "muted" during his address on Tuesday, Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said.

"I experienced the president as muted a bit," Mulder said after the address in Parliament.

20:51 - 

20:44 - City Press editor Ferial Haffajee tweets: "There wasn't a single story or person in the speech - made it lack emotion and passion. Cut. Paste. Bamboozle by numbers."

President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation 2014 address was filled with pomp and ceremony. Watch the highlights here:

Subscribe to News24's latest videos here.

20:33 - The main topic of conversation in this Sona? Zuma's health, according to those on Twitter.

Sapa reports: Speculation over President Jacob Zuma's health was a topic of conversation on Twitter on Tuesday evening after he spent a week resting from an exhausting election programme.

Tuesday's state-of-the-nation address was the president's first public engagement since
Many Twitter users commented on how Zuma's voice sounded and his physical appearance.

"#SONA2014 As someone who listens to voices very carefully, I can't help but feel Zuma's voice is not as powerful as it normally is," Eyewitness News reporter Stephen Grootes wrote on Twitter.

ENCA's Nickolaus Bauer also commented on Zuma's voice: "#SONA We always read too much into these sort of things... But is it only me that hears the crackle in #Zuma's voice?"

City Press's Carien du Plessis wrote: "Zuma's voice sounds very very tired and even sad, but FF Plus gets him laughing by greeting him in Afrikaans #SONA2014"

Ranjeni Munusamy tweeted: "President Zuma looks noticeably thinner, voice quivering a bit. Not sure he is "frail" though. #SONA2014".

On Zuma's appearance others said he looked tired.

?@OmenMchunu wrote: "President #Zuma looks emotionally and physically strained. Sick in actual fact. I wish him a speedy recovery. Maybe it's time to step down."

Another user @sbo_k said: "President Zuma looks tired and worn out nje #sona2014"

"Why sideline Ramaphosa when Zuma doesn't look so well. Preventing public appraisal?," @EazeyO said.

"Zuma doesn't look so good. He looks tired and weak. #StateOfTheNation," said another.

Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk wrote: "Is it only me?… Zuma really looks tired. Not someone that was on ‘leave’ for a week. #SONA"

Zuma was discharged from a Pretoria hospital on June 8 after spending a night there. African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the time said that Zuma, 72, went for a routine health check.

Mantashe said the ANC's election campaign had been punishing and all senior members of the party would take time off one after another to "re-energise".

Zuma had taken time off to rest leaving many of his duties in the hands of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

20:27 - South Africa needs drastic intervention to jumpstart the economy and overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality, says Zuma. Read more here.

20:27 - Zuma has put the need to boost economic growth at the centre of his State of the Nation address, saying he hoped to lift annual growth to 5% by 2019. Read more here.

20:18 - If you're into that kind of thing, read Zuma's full speech here.

20:16 - Political analyst Xolela Mangcu tells eNCA Zuma's Sona was "painful". Judith February says Zuma seemed somewhat "disengaged".

20:15 - Zuma concludes with "let us move South Africa forward". Everyone cheers. And then takes their seats. Mbete calls for order.

20:14 - Zuma says small steps such as cleaning your front yard or your neighbour's front yard will go some way towards cleaning up our country.

20:13 - Remember Mandela, Zuma says: Next month the country and the world will mark International Mandela day.

All South Africans should dedicate at least 67 minutes on the 18th of July, to clean South Africa, which is our theme for this year.

Zuma says this is to clean everything, cities, municipalities... everything. And then he chuckles.

20:12 - We will continue to build inclusive heritage over the next five years through building monuments and other symbols that honour the heroes of the struggle that delivered the freedom and democracy we enjoy today.

20:10 - We must continue to build understanding, tolerance and reconciliation, and together fight racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all related intolerances.

20:09 - Each minister will sign a performance agreement with the president outlining what each department will do to deliver on the programme of action. - Zuma

(Er, they didn't do this before?)

20:08 - Zuma says the SA National Defence Force is a source of national pride for its peacekeeping missions around the continent.

20:07 - We will continue to deepen economic development, trade, and investment partnerships with the BRICS through the work of the BRICS Contact Group for Economic and Trade Issues. - Zuma

20:06 - Mumblings of approval (or disapproval) as Zuma says: "Measures will be introduced to prevent public servants and public representatives from doing business with the state."

20:05 - Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly becoming a more important trade partner for South Africa, says President Jacob Zuma.

Read more here.

20:04 - President Jacob Zuma says the government is determined to work with the private sector to remove obstacles to investment, which is a key constraint to economic growth. Read more here.

20:03 - Zuma: Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing the levels of serious crime such as murders, aggravated robberies, crimes against women, children and other vulnerable groups, but they remain unacceptably high.
We will work to further reduce levels of crime.

20:02 - Zuma - The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women’s development, Ms Susan Shabangu, will work with other Government departments, agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organisations, to promote women’s socio-economic empowerment, development and human rights.

20:01 - "In the area of health, we will work harder to increase life expectancy at birth from 60 years in 2012 to 63 years in 2019.
The campaign to reduce child and maternal mortality ratios will continue.
This will require the  implementation of the National Health Insurance and the improvement of the quality of care in the public sector.
We will build on the success of our HIV and AIDS treatment and support programme by expanding our mass HIV prevention communication campaigns."

20:01 - How many times has Zuma said compatriots now?

19:59 - Zuma: Contractors will move on site in September to build new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

19:56 - Zuma: We will continue to invest in education and skills development as that is the key to economic growth and development. We need engineers, electricians, plumbers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals to build our country’s economy.

We will increase the number of Grade 12 learners who can gain entrance to university, moving from 172 000 in 2013 to 250 000 in 2019.

19:54 - By 2011 almost 63% of our population were residing in towns and cities and this trend is expected to continue over the coming decade.
Our government’s Integrated Urban Development Framework will be finalised by 30 July 2014.
It will provide a new deal for South African cities and towns. - Zuma

19:52 - Zuma says work is under way to eradicate the bucket system which, yes, is still an issue in 2014. 

19:51 Big cheers as Zuma announces there will be assistance for City of Joburg's billing crisis. Zuma chuckles.

19:49 - Zuma details how particular municipalities countrywide will be assisted.

19:48 - We will provide assistance to the following municipalities amongst others: In Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, our Development Bank of Southern Africa has approved funding to develop infrastructure.

19:46 - Zuma: We are pleased that eleven municipalities stand out for consistent good performance in audits, expenditure on municipal infrastructure grants and service delivery.
The eleven municipalities are the following;
1. Nkangala District Municipality.
2. Cacadu District Municipality.
3. Zululand District Municipality.
4. Umzinyathi District Municipality.
5. Ilembe District Municipality.
6. Knysna Local Municipality.
7. The West Coast District Municipality.
8. Matzikama Local Municipality.
9. Mossel Bay Local Municipality.
10. Breede Valley Local Municipality and
11. Steve Tshwete Local Municipality.

19:43 - We are encouraged that SA investments in the continent increased from R5.5bn in 2002 to R32.3bn in 2013.

19:42 - Zuma says that South Africa needs drastic intervention to jumpstart the economy and overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality.Read more here.

19:40 - Zuma: Identified agriculture as a key job driver. Our target is for the agricultural sector to create a million jobs by 2030.

19:40 - Zuma: Postbank will be supported so that it can play a leading role in the expansion of banking services to the poor and the working class.

19:38 - We are building on the success of the last five years, says Zuma. 6 million work opportunities by 2019.

19:38 - Zuma: Youth empowerment will be prioritised in economic transformation programme.
Further measures to speed up the employment of young people, consistent with the Youth Employment Accord.

19:36 - President Zuma was greeted by ululating MPs as he entered the chamber, while EFF members remained seated as others stood up out of respect.

19:36 - Zuma: We will sharpen implantation of amended Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and Employment Equity Act

19:34 - Zuma speaks about BEE and black entrepreneurs. 

19:32 - People love our country and continue to visit us, says Zuma. Target to increase number of tourists to SA by 15 million annually by 2017.

We are also looking at increasing the contribution of tourism to the country’s revenue to more than R125bn by 2017.

19:32 - Zuma:Will continue to support through incentives, the competitiveness of the car, clothing, leather, footwear and textile industries

19:32 - Zuma: Will promote local procurement and increase domestic production by having the state buy 75% of goods and services from SA producers.

19:31 - We will promote regional economic development over the next five years, says Zuma.

19:31 - Zuma: Radical socio-economic transformation programme will be taken further with the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan

19:29 - Zuma: We will expand, modernise and increase affordability of information and communications infrastructure and electronic communications

19:28 - Zuma moves onto the Square Kilometre Array. Zuma: In the next five years, we will finish building more than 60 MeerKat dishes.

19:27 - Zuma: We Signed hydro-power deal with DRC last year, potential for 40 000 MW of electricity.

19:26 - "We are a nation at work."

19:25 - Zuma calls for restructuring of legislation with regards to the energy sector.

19:24 -  Coal 3 will be sped up - Zuma

19:24 - 

19:22 - Work needs to be done at a technical level on all forms of energy, especially nuclear and shale gas, says Zuma.

19:21 - Zuma: We had a successful election, we look forward to working with all parties to move SA forward.

19:21 - Zuma: The energy plan calls to the injection of capital and human resources in the energy sector.

19:18 - Zuma: We like to see private sector showing as much confidence in economy as the public sector.

19:17 - Politicians call for focus on economy:

19:17 - Zuma: On mining, companies expect to upgrade hostels into family units.

19:16 - Zuma announces a multi-department operation to improve working & living conditions of all mine workers in South Africa

19:15 -  Zuma: We will during this term investigate a national minimum wage to address inequalities

19:13 - Zuma: We must embark on a radical socio-economic transformation

19:12 - Zuma: We look forward to working to working with all the parties in parliament as we move South Africa forward...

19:12 - Zuma: Slow growth due to global slowdown, and locally - highlights strikes, violent nature of, and duration.

19:11 - Zuma: Economy grew below potential over last 3 years. Many households suffering.

19:09 - The economy takes centre stage, says Zuma. The best weapon against poverty is decent work, this need faster growth, he says.

19:09 - Change will not come about without some far-reaching intervention, says Zuma.

19:09 - Zuma: "The lives of millions of our people have improved since 1994". 

19:07 - Zuma recalls the "good story" he told at the last Sona in February.

19:06 - Zuma sends condolences to Epainette Mbeki's family after her death as well as Michael Coetzee's loved ones. 

19:05 - 

19:04 - Zuma starts with greetings for everyone.

19:03 - Zuma, who still sounds a bit sick (a little bit of a frog in his throat), starts his second Sona for 2014.

19:02 - Zuma moves to the podium amid much applause. MUCH applause.

19:01 - MPs take their seats.

19:00 - National Speaker Baleka Mbete starts proceedings. She notes that secretary of Parliament Michael Coetzee has died. The Assembly observes a moment of silence.

18:58 - 

18:56 - Zuma has entered the National Assembly. The praise-singer does his thing. 


18:53 - And now the national anthem.

18:51 - Many cheers for Zuma as he steps from his vehicle.

18:42 - President Jacob Zuma's motorcade is now making its way through the streets of Cape Town toward Parliament.

18:38 - The Speakers of Provincial Legislatures are now entering the National Assembly, tweets reporter Tracy.

18:37 - "This military band is playing Toto's Africa so often our Canadian intern is starting to wonder if it's not really our national anthem," tweets Jerusha Raath.

18:34 - 

18:33 - "A very disorganized #sona2014 - not a lot of order in the normal way of proceedings," tweets Dan Calderwood.

18:24 - A praise singer has flung his stick and beads about as a warm-up ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the nation address at Parliament. Read more here

18:18 - 

18:13 - Meanwhile, Eskom has started load shedding. The state utility said on its website: "We are currently load shedding in Stage 1 in some areas due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations."

Read more here.

18:12 - 

18:02 - 

17:59 - The parliamentary precinct is a sea of colour as MPs started arriving ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address. Read more here.

17:56 - The third band now making its way down Adderley Street. I have to say, there aren't as many people watching the spectacle as there usually are.

17:50 - Traffic coming into Cape Town's CBD looks a bit rough:

17:43 - Now hearing the military parade making its waydown Adderley Street towards Parliament. Pictures will be up soon.

17:39 - 

17:35 - 

17:28 - 

17:25 - The DA's Mmusi Maimane working it.

17:19 - 

17:15 - Love the white dress...

17:13 - You can also check out our gallery of State of the Nation gallery here.

17:11 - 

17:04 - News24's Jerusha Raath and Dan Calderwood are also at Parliament:

16:59 - Winter ready...

16:56 - The Congress of SA Trade Unions wants President Jacob Zuma to address an array of issues in his State of the Nation address, including tolling and minimum wages. Read more here.

16:55 - 

16:52 - StatsSA's statistician-general Pali Lehohla wears some super blue shoes...

16:41 - 

16:31 - 

16:29 - News24 Live spoke exclusively to First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma who shared some insight into the Zuma family ahead of the State of the Nation address and the President's stint in hospital.

16:26 - Yes, that's Shivambu upfront in the red overalls.

16:23 - If you haven't already seen it, find all the details here about road closures in Cape Town.

16:20 - A double blow from ratings agencies last week underlined the precarious state of the economy, which contracted in the first quarter, Fin24 reports. South Africans will also be closely watching Zuma himself after he was hospitalised this month with fatigue.

Read more here.

16:17 - 

16:05 - 

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  elections 2014  |  politics  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation 2014

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