State of the Nation 2014 - as it happened

2014-02-13 16:24


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Mixed reactions to Zuma's speech

2014-02-14 06:53

President Jacob Zuma has taken flak from various opposition parties after his State of the Nation address, especially on the jobs issue.WatchWATCH

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has delivered his last State of the Nation (SONA) address as president of the current government.

If you’re um, a big fan of the SONAs (if only for the fashion) well you’re in for a treat this year because we’re getting two with the second one happening after the elections and the establishment of a new Parliament.  

While many people will be watching only to play the SONA drinking game (it really is a thing), more serious-minded folk will be focused on the content of Zuma’s speech.

Analysts were widely expecting Zuma to focus on the ANC government's achievements in the 20 years since the country's first democratic elections in 1994.

20:58 - Well, that's it for the updates. Stay on News24 though for further coverage of this year's SONA. Cheers from me.

20:55 - News24 user Alf Purkiss wants to know: Maybe I missed it, not a word on the most contentious and vitriolic issue? 

20:49 - Madonsela: When we talk about corruption, we need to ensure the public understands we have a multi-agency approach.

20:48 - Mangosuthu Buthelezi is there. I feel it important to point out he's not wearing sunglasses (as he has often done before after sunset). 

20:46 - Zille happy with some healthcare achievementsbut says there's still work to be done.

20:45 - Zille speaks about violence at DA march by ANC supporters. 

20:44 - Zille: Zuma told a story about SA but the story of a better SA belongs to Mbeki and Mandela. He's got very little credibility on corruption. We need to get SA back on path of good story. 

20:42 - Bantu Holomisa says: Typical of electioneering speech. We feel strongly that the ANC continues to mislead SA. I hope voters will punish them. 

20:39 - FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder tells eNCA: It was a brag speech. Preparing for the election. If it is such a good story, why are so many municipalities burning? We didn't hear answers on a lot of our problems.

20:39 - News24 user Keoagile Bee says: I'm reading some of the quotes from Zuma's speech, I must say apart from him making a minor error the speech in overall is a great speech... great points. 

20:36 - Gwede Mantashe singing Zuma's praises on eNCA.  

20:34 - Lindiwe Mazibuko does not have kind words for Zuma. She tells eNCA Zuma's speech was dismal. "Is SA a better place to live in now that in 2009 when Zuma took office? No." "Zuma is piggybacking on others' successes."

20:34 - UCT analyst Richard Calland tells eNCA Zuma showed real leadership on mining matter. 

20:30 - Zuma now walking out of the Assembly. 

20:29 - So what did you make of that? Send your thoughts to 

20:26 - Zuma ends speech with "Nkosi Sikelel’ i Africa. God Bless Afrika. I thank you."

20:26 - "As a country we have scored many successes. South Africa is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994. We continue to face challenges. But life will also continue to change for the better."

20:25 - Zuma: To prepare for that first State of the Nation Address by the incoming administration later in the year, we have over the past year, been working on a Medium Term Strategic Framework.

20:22 - Um, Charlize Theron is getting thanked too. Charlize is the the UN Messenger for Peace. She also champions the fight against AIDS especially amongst the youth and young women, says Zuma. 

20:21 - Big cheer for Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is in Parliament and "doing a lot of good work" for the UN on malaria and other matters. 

20:20 - Zuma congratulates Ladysmith Black Mambaza on their Grammy win. Big applause. 

20:20 - On name changes: More than 2 000 geographical names have been changed in order to correct the ill-naming of places, as well as to give communities the right to determine the names of their areas.

20:18 - Zuma looking back at the World Cup we hosted back in 2010. 

20:16 - Now for BRICS: "...joining the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) group in December 2010 counts as among the key achievements of the fourth administration.

It was also a great honour to host the Fifth BRICS Summit on 27 March 2013 in Durban, which saw the participation of African leaders to discuss developmental cooperation with BRICS."

20:16 - Cyril Ramaphosa appointedas special envoy to Sri Lanka and South Sudan.

20:14 - We have worked hard to strengthen support for the African Union, SADC and all continental bodies whose purpose is to achieve peace and security.

20:14 - Now onto matters Africa... "Africa has remained at the centre of our foreign policy."

20:13 - The amendment of the Municipal Systems Act is intended to improve the capacity of municipalities to deliver services. Qualified and experienced personnel must be deployed in municipalities.
We also need to strengthen existing forums of people’s participation and enable our people to play a greater role in development.

20:10 - Zuma laments loss of life at the hands of police during protests and urges cops to act within the law. 

20:08 - Zuma: "However the protests are not simply the result of “failures” of government but also of the success in delivering basic services." Zuma got some muttering and a little applause for this. 

20:08 - The right to protest, peacefully and unarmed, is enshrined in the Constitution. However, when protests threaten lives and property and destroy valuable infrastructure intended to serve the community, they undermine the very democracy that upholds the right to protest. The dominant narrative in the case of the protests in South Africa has been to attribute them to alleged failures of government. 

20:05 - Violent protests DO get a mention. "The democratic government supports the right of citizens to express themselves. The right to protest, peacefully and unarmed, is enshrined in the Constitution."

20:04 - Government has begun an intensive programme to eliminate  the bucket system as part of restoring the dignity of our people.
Phase One of the programme will eradicate buckets in formalized townships of the Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
Phase Two will eradicate buckets in informal settlements in all provinces.
In housing, about 3 million housing units and more than 855 thousand serviced sites were delivered since 1994.

20:04 - Onto service delivery... Will all the protests be mentioned? Hmm...  

20:03 - The Special Investigating Unit is investigating maladministration or alleged corruption in a number of government departments and state entities, through 40 proclamations signed by the President during this administration. We will keep the public informed of the outcome of the investigations.
In the first six months of last year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit paid a total of R149m into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account and to the victims of crime.
This is 170% above its target of R55m and is higher than it has ever achieved in a full year.
Last year, the competition authorities investigated large-scale price fixing in the construction industry and fined guilty companies R1.4bn.

20:02 - To prevent corruption in the supply chain system, government has decided to establish a central tender board to adjudicate tenders in all spheres of government. This body will work with the chief procurement officer whose main function will be to check on pricing and adherence to procedures as well as fairness.

20:01 -  Some of the successes of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline include the following: 1 542 officials were dismissed from the Public Service.140 officials were fined their three month salary. 20 officials were demoted
355 officials were given final written warnings. 204 officials were prosecuted.

19:59 - South Africans united in wanting a corruption-free society, says Zuma. There was some muttering in the Assembly. I think someone might have mentioned Nkandla...

19:58 - Zuma: Black judges (African, Indian and Coloured) now constitute 61% of all judges. Under-representation of women on the bench still a concern. 

19:57 - Working to arrest scourge of rhino poaching, says Zuma. 

19:56 - We thank the many NGOs that promote the rights of women and children who contribute positively to this important work.

19:55 - Now we're onto matters crime. "Work is ongoing to make communities safer. Eradicating violence against women and children a key area."

19:51 - At a broader level,we'll enter a new phase in implementation of the NHI which will extend quality healthcare to the poor.

19:51 - Zuma: We have a good story to tell in the improvement of healthcare. 300 new healthcare facilities. 10 new hospitals built or refurbished. LOTS of cheering for that one. Zuma is quite proud of this point. 

19:49 - R9bn for student aid. Zuma is also very proud of two new universities. 12 new FET colleges. 

19:49 - For the full speech, click here

19:47 - Now onto the sign language curriculum. Lots of applause. Lots. Lots of muttering in the Assembly. Assume its about THAT interpreter. Zuma chuckles. 

19:46 - Now onto the matric pass rate. Lots of applause. Blade Nzimande is very happy. 

19:45 - A Draft Policy Framework towards Universal Access to Grade R has been gazetted for public comment, with a view to making Grade R compulsory.

19:44 - Next administration will need to take forward policy& interventions,to further redress dispossession of our people of land.

19:43 - Zuma: We have made good progress in the land reform programme.

19:41 - We'll continue to promote fisheries sector,which contributes an estimated R6 billion to the economy and provides 27 000 jobs.

19:41 - In the past 2 years alone, more than 20 000 minibus taxis and 330 buses were assembled locally.

19:38 - 37 000 kms of fibre optic cable will be significantly expanded.

19:37 - Zuma: Ours is a country at work, and a much better place to live in - we must keep the momentum -

19:35 - Zuma: We expect to conclude the procurement of nine thousand six hundred megawatts of nuclear energy.

19:33 - Gautrain now carries 1.2 million people a month, says Zuma.Transnet is implementing its massive R300bn market demand strategy, building much needed transport infrastructure.

19:32 - Zuma remembers Dullah Omar. His wife, Farieda, is a guest.  

19:32 -  Zuma: The Rea Vaya system in Joburg is now used by more than 100 000 Gauteng residents

19:30 - Zuma: we have invested one trillion rand in public infrastructure in the past five years.

19:29 - Zuma: Five other sector to grow the economy. Tourism, agriculture,  the green economy, infrastructure development and manufacturing.

19:27 - We can't have conflict that destroys the economy, says Zuma on mining. Zuma now speaking to union leaders who must focus on getting decent wages for mineworkers. Looks like he's deviating from his speech a bit to make this point on mining. 

19:26 - Zuma 2014 deadline for mining companies to improve housing conditions for mine workers

19:26 - Looking into issues of housing in mining towns, says Zuma. 

19:25 - [From earlier] Zuma: Dep Pres facilitates talks with mining houses, labour. The process is yielding results. 2013 saw fewer strikes.

19:25 - Zuma: We need a mining sector that works. 

19:23 - Zuma: While there are difficulties, know we can cope with this period of turbulence. We'll emerge stronger if we do right things

19:21 - Zuma: During the course of 2013 the rand depreciated by 17.2%

19:19 - Zuma: We are still going through a difficult period.

19:18 - Zuma: Cabinet has set a target of 6 millions work opportunities by 2019 targeting the youth. 

19:17 - Zuma: We have created 3.7 million work opportunities over the past five years. 

19:17 Zuma: The unemployment rate remains high. 

19:16 - Zuma: Jobs are now being created again. There are now 15 million people with jobs in the country. The highest ever in our history. ["How many unemployed," someone in the Assembly shouts]

19:15 - Zuma: Despite the global recession... we nursed the SA economy to recover.

19:12 - Zuma: Our country still faces the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

19:11 - Zuma: We have chapter 9 institutions ... which protect the rights of citizens.

19:10 - Zuma: We have built strong institutions of democracy.

19:07 - Zuma also paid tribute to  Moses Kotane and OR Tambo.

19:06 - A band is now heading back up Adderley Street away from Parliament. 

19:05 - Zuma: We have a duty to take [Mandela's] legacy forward.

19:04 - Zuma pays his respects to Ben Skosana who died this week.

19:02 - The first chuckle is in (isn't that one of the drinking game rules? Every time he chuckles take a shot?). The thanks took two minutes. We could be here for a while... 

19:00 - Zuma starts. Begins with thanks. For everyone. 

19:00 - Max Sisulu now speaking.

18:59 - And now for a prayer. MPs take their seats.

18:59 - The praise-singer is now doing his thing.

18:56 - 

18:56 - Zuma was very smiley earlier. Now he's put his serious face on. 

18:54 - Everything is running according to schedule. The cannons are being fired now. And jets are flying. 

18:51 - "Ja, Jacob Zuma just pointed at me from the red carpet. I am definitely getting a tender after this," says Chester Missing.

18:48 - Schoolchildren waving their flags for Zuma as he walks up the red carpet to Parliament.

18:47 - The Cape Doctor sure is strong today. 

18:41 - President Zuma's vehicle has just arrived at Parliament. It's a big white van. A Merc.

18:40 - Inside the National Assembly...

18:36 - The National Guard (Photo: Dan Calderwood)

18:35 - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is heading up the steps of Parliament. 

18:28 - All nine premiers have arrived. The Constitutional Court judges are heading down the red carpet. (Photo: Dan Calderwood, News24)

18:26 - Another band. I don't know what number it is. I'm not counting anymore. 

18:23 - 

18:19 - Zuma's wives are arriving outside Parliament one by one in separate cars, says News24's Dan Calderwood.

18:18 - Speaker Max Sisulu is making his way down the red carpet. 

18:17 - 

18:16 - And another band. This is the fourth. Or fifth. I've lost count. Clearly. 

18:09 - That yellow dress again. This really does not work.

18:08 - I like this. 

18:05 - 

18:00 - And the third band is now heading down Adderley Street. 

17:57 - "Minister Gigaba came dressed as a pilot. Minister dressed as if he IS the SAA turn around strategy," tweets Chester Missing

17:53 - Another band is making its way down Adderley now. Our government sure knows how to do pomp and ceremony.

17:53 - 

17:51 - All dignitaries are inside the national assembly except the presidential parade.

17:50 - Er... I like the tie. 

17:47 - 

17:43 - The band is making its way down Adderley Street.

17:40 - This is hideous. I love it. 

17:34 - I like it. 

17:34 - 

17:32 - 

17:27 - 

17:25 - 

17:23 - 

17:21 - 

17:17 - 

17:10 - Some people will be skipping the speech... "#SONA is gonna suck... I'm gonna go read Bolano instead and drink wine," tweets Benjamin Glyn Fogel.

17:09 - I don't know what's happening here... This dress looks a bit ill-fitting: 

17:08 - 

17:05 - Mandla Mandela and his partner bring the tradition (Dan Calderwood, News24)

17:03 - Parliament has got onto the selfie bandwagon and encouraged guests to tweet their pictures. Which of course they did. Take a look here.

17:01 - 

17:00 - 

16:59 - Take a look at our gallery of Cape Town getting ready for the SONA.

16:56 - Thuli Madonsela is there too. (Dan Calderwood, News24)


16:54 - 

16:51 - No politician is safe with Chester Missing at Parliament. (Photo: Dan Calderwood, News24)

16:48 - The police are certainly prepared for every and any possibility... (Photo: Wallace du Plessis, News24)

16:48 - Um...

16:41 - 

16:40 - For now, it's all fashion, fashion, fashion. At 19:00 we get to the serious business of Zuma's speech: 

16:37 - 

16:36 - News24 user Thabo Sevule reckons: "Nothing to expect apart from false promises."

16:35 - Capetonians are showing little interest in listening to President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address, citing a lack of trust.

16:33 - 

16:32 - 

16:31 - Ms Mazibuko sure looks shiny:

16:29 - 

16:28 - The barricades are up (Wallace du Plessis, News24)

16:26 - Rolling out the red carpet (Wallace du Plessis, News24)

16:23 - Guests have started arriving at Parliament, the barricades have been put up and the police officers are out around Cape Town's CBD. State of the Nation 2014 is good to go.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014  |  state of the nation 2014

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.