Feb 15, 2010

Afrikaner: President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address 2010

Active ImageThe Freedom Front Plus gives their view of South African President Zuma’s state of the nation speech.
Below is a press release published by Freedom Front Plus:

A part of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address was the repetition of the honeymoon promises with which he started his term with. These proposals were vague and will not solve our problems. On the positive side there were however parts where he had given very specific measurable objectives and targets.

With regard to education, there are for example very specific targets pertaining to literacy and numeracy which have to be met by 2014. The upside of this is that opposition parties could measure the government’s claims of success against the meeting of these targets.

As specific as the education targets were, so vague were the proposals on combating crime. To appoint 10% more police members without any specific measurable targets with regard to their training and success rate, will not solve the crime problem.

It is an accomplishment that 480 000 jobs had been created. It should however be remembered that these are temporary jobs – for example a person standing next to a road construction project with a red flag in his hands. With this the problem with unemployment is temporarily overcome and addressed but no permanent jobs would have been created.

The protection of poor people against the increase in electricity tariffs is positive. It however creates an impression that the government is already preparing for a 35% tariff increase even before Nersa has taken a decision about it. Such an increase will be destructive for the economy, the ordinary consumer and the agricultural sector. The fact that more recognition will be given to independent power suppliers is positive and will hopefully break Eskom’s stranglehold on power supply.

Mr. Zuma tried very effectively to use the excitement around the celebrations of Mr. Mandela’s release and the World Soccer Cup to create a certain euphoria around the State of the Nation Address. The problem with this is that in the short term it hides the unpleasant realities of corruption, the lack of service delivery and other problems. After the soccer tournament these problems will however still be with us.