No mention of service delivery - analyst

2012-02-10 08:11

Cape Town - It was very worrying that President Jacob Zuma made no mention of plans to improve local government following many complaints by South Africans, political analyst Steven Friedman said on Thursday.

Friedman said this gap in Zuma's speech raised eyebrows because Zuma had declared 2011 as a year of turning around local government.

"There was no single word on how government plans to improve services. That is key and ignoring it won't solve the problem. Most people don't think that was done [last year]," said Friedman. He welcomed the focus on infrastructure, saying it was expected as it was what the country needed to create jobs.


Zuma put the economy at the centre of his fourth State of the Nation address on Thursday night. He told Parliament the government saw its role as guiding the economy to grow faster and announced steps to stimulate mining, integrate rail and road infrastructure and help exporters.

This year will see a massive infrastructure drive, with Limpopo - which has been recently placed under administration - mentioned first as the focus of infrastructure development.

Friedman said apart from infrastructure investment, the president was "repeating what we already know", particularly on economic transformation. Zuma spoke of government's plan to amend the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. He admitted that the land redistribution process was "slow and tedious" and acknowledged that the willing buyer-willing seller option had not been the best way to address this question.

Only eight percent of land, of the 30% target by 2014, had been distributed.


Another analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi of the Centre for Policy Studies, described Zuma's address as "very ambitious", and said it lacked detail on implementation.

"The targets are not completely related to an agenda for 12 months. It means we'll have to judge the ANC government in terms of promises made in the speech and how much progress is made in the short to medium term," said Matshiqi.

He was struck by what Zuma said on land redistribution and was waiting to see what the government was doing to change direction in that regard.

"We are mourning 100 years of the deposition of black people from their land. It would be interesting to see what specific measures will be put in place to accelerate land restitution," he said.

Matshiqi said Zuma reiterated what former President Thabo Mbeki had said about the willing buyer-willing seller approach being a blunt weapon.

Matshinqi said it was interesting that Zuma made no mention on international relations.

Job creation

However, should the economic plans announced in the speech materialise, South Africa would in the medium term become a haven of economic growth and job creation, he said.

Should plans on infrastructure development materialise, they would depend on a partnership between government, the public sector and civil society. Matshiqi said it would also depend on the performance of the global economy.

"One weakness is the absence of a pact between our social partners like labour, the private sector and the state," said Matshiqi.

"With the absence of these, all plans will come to naught."

Matshiqi hoped Zuma and his successors would in future focus their attention on this "special pact".

Matshiqi said Zuma was correct to avoid any mention of nationalisation but spoke of beneficiation in the mining sector, unlike his two cabinet members, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and Mining Minister Susan Shabangu who made pronouncements on the issue earlier this week.

Corruption, tenderpreneurship

Idasa analyst Judith February said some of the critical issues Zuma did not emphasise were corruption and tenderpreneurship, considering the number of tenders that would be rolled out as a result of this big infrastructure programme.

February also raised the issue of the Budget, saying Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would have to give an indication in his Budget speech.

Political commentator, Susan Booysen, said she expected more detail from Zuma's speech. "It was a typical type of talking, assuring people that government was working on it but not much said on implementation," she said. Booysen said it was going to be quite a few years before South Africa saw any impact from the infrastructure investment plan.

There probably was not a short-term solution to problems in the country.

"Desperate people will be looking around at how they can survive and bring food on the table this year and next year," she said.

  • Ian - 2012-02-10 08:16

    well of course not, back to the trough we go, gravy gravy lots of gravy slurp slurp

      Bernd - 2012-02-10 09:15

      gravy slurp slurp .....burp.

      Jason - 2012-02-10 09:59

      "government saw its role as guiding the economy to grow faster and announced steps to stimulate mining, integrate rail and road infrastructure and help exporters." They cant even get service delivery right, how on earth do they see themselves guiding economic growth. Private business will guide the economic growth.

      Ian - 2012-02-10 10:08

      Of course there was no mention of service delivery......there is none!

      John - 2012-02-10 22:16

      Zuzuma Jesus loves you, Zuzuma, Your mother loves you, Zuzuma, Your father loves, Repent, Manpara, repent, Repent, Ignorant, repent, Repent, Negligent, repent, Repent, Liar, repent, Repent, Thief, repent, Repent, Baby Killer, repent, Repent, Genocider, repent! Okai, stop the bus, how can you say that? Lets have a look: Zuma is Ignorant that the Failed Communist Countries like the USSR, China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc, employed Central Control Economies ( CCE ), with full and total nationalization. Negligent - as the head of an organization, it is his duty to be fully informed of the economic history of total disasters of CCE. He does not know that Gorbachov announced reforms away from nationalization – in the early 1980’s! He is a Liar, because these are not his ideas, these ideas have been around for over 100 years. Thief, he has stolen the PEOPLES money – that is how bribery and corruption works. Baby Killer, as a member of the ANC – Abortion Murder Genocide, is guilty of the Genocide of 800 000 black babies in government hospitals! Genocider, as a member of the ANC – Abortion Murder Genocide, is guilty of the Genocide of 5 Million Aids sufferers which were refused medication. Repent, Manpara, Repent!

  • Prudence Pelembe - 2012-02-10 08:19

    Basic service Mr President, and please stop hiring those crooks, look whats happening in Limpopo!! The illiterate is in power and the literate is unemployed!!!

      Bernd - 2012-02-10 09:17

      Birds of a feather flock together.....

      Spyker - 2012-02-10 12:32

      Bernd - rather they f**k-up together...

  • braamc - 2012-02-10 08:20

    A new era of tenderpreneurs, theft and corruption, who knows where the funds are going to come from - I am seeing a lot to do with China and little with our people.

  • anthro45 - 2012-02-10 08:25

    To improve service delivery, you must actually first have it.

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-10 08:33

    Why would he talk of service delivery if he does not have a plan?

  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:39

    is it just me or is zuma losing weight? sweating eh?

      kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-10 08:46

      Your right! The hot sit is heating up

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 09:05

      dude i think we offended someone's president... - 2012-02-10 09:37

      or does he have a slow puncture - maybe the shower didn't work.

      Dalai - 2012-02-10 09:44

      @Charmian, May be he is bothered about with whom of the five wives and fiancees he has to spend his Valentine's Day with? Let's help him choose through a vote! mantuli, Makhumalo,thobeka,etc

      Dennis - 2012-02-10 09:45

      Any time now it is going to be "fletblek" !!

  • betsy.compaan - 2012-02-10 08:49

    Hmmm let's see so no talk about local government improvement, nothing about service delivery, no mention about international relations, nothing about corruption or stopping tenderpreneurship. Are we as South Africans not even a little bit concerned?

  • Andrew - 2012-02-10 08:51

    It does not affect him in any way as he has everything laid on for him including private aeroplanes and blue light cars with a myriad of guards so why should he care. He is also visitng overseas more often than not where all is about JZ and not the people of RSA.

  • Keith - 2012-02-10 08:53

    The State of the Nation Address in a few years time will be very short: All the taxpayers have left the country, the farmers have all gone, there's no more money left for the government to steal. We're stuffed. The end.

      Petrus - 2012-02-10 09:31

      Yes Keith you are so right,others dont want to see it.....things will get better i hear every day by the uneducated around us!

  • Jerry - 2012-02-10 08:57

    Which speech where u listening to? Is water not under service delivery? He mentioned houses, where does this fall? Please if you don’t have anything to criticize do simple thing, applaud.

      Jacque Raymer - 2012-02-10 10:12

      you are an idiot, what the anc says in public and what the facts show are 2 very different things, they have failed on ALL promises since 1994, to believe a word that they say is just stupitidy by the uneducated.

      hester.ferrezuelo - 2012-02-14 11:04

      Dear Jerry Obviously you and I do not live in the same country. Potholes the size of craters and rubbish not collected - that is also part of service delivery. so please, if you feel the need to voice your opinion think first.

  • Sechaba - 2012-02-10 08:58

    does anyone know why Mangosuthu Buthelezi is always wearing sunglasses? yeaterday he seemed to have even stole Gadaffi's outfit

  • sorryson3 - 2012-02-10 09:26

    Typical of the ANC & Govt spending R6m on a " PROPAGANDA FASHION SHOW" non-event ! Maybe, just maybe, as a sign of truthfull commitment in taking positive action, Zuma could have released his "State Of The Nation Stating The Obvious" diatribe via inexpensive media channels and then made it public knowledge that the budget of R6m was to be spent directly on investment....... EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN by teaching them how to learn. Read Prof Jonathan Jansen's latest press release " FIGHT DRIFT TO MEDIOCRITY ".

  • Lourens - 2012-02-10 09:28

    I would like to see the country grow, all of us can benefit. But Zuma has clearly no idea how to do it. Same speech, empty promises.

  • errol.wagner - 2012-02-10 09:30

    Let us face it, the implementation is beyond the ANC government. One would wish it were different, but the reality is there for all to see, if we are honest. The ANC government would get more support if we could see some action, for example, the corrupt officials put in prison and their assets forfeited - use the proceeds to help the poor.

  • Dalai - 2012-02-10 09:37

    Why should they mention about service delivery as if they SHALL deliver?

  • Sweetness - 2012-02-10 11:11

    FAT CATS!!! Just look at the pics - dressed up super obese fat cats. That is so wrong!!!!!

  • mabotjak - 2012-02-10 15:38

    Prof Steven Fredman think he knows it all. He is old and he probably out touch with reality.

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