Sorry folks for the delay in some of these posts.
This year South Africa’s State of the Nation Address stems the marking of the 16th Anniversary of the South African Constitution which will now include the Khoisans.
This year’s theme for the opening of Parliament was “The Knowledge Economy & Development Opportunities” and the President’s speech clearly reflected this.
According to President Jacob Zuma, this year’s focus will be on education, jobs, rural development and health .Jobs Creation was at the top of the list with 60 companies committing to promote or rather create jobs and over 1billion will be spent on IDC for job creation. There have been 5 major projects that will be put in place to focus on health, basic education, infrastructure, information and communication technology and regional integration.
The emphasis on infrastructure development was massive as the President pledged to develop remote areas where government neglect has been evident. President Zuma also read some heart wrenching letters of the inhumane conditions under some people live in South Africa for instance lack of basic citizen needs such as water, electricity and decent shelter not to mention food and clothing. These letters where sent through the Presidential line, that was made active almost a year ago. He assured the country that everyone’s grievances will be sorted out in due time.
Relief has been brought unto those who earn between R3,500 and R15,000 and they will enjoy government subsidies in seeking housing loans.
Plans have also been put in place to develop rail, road and water infrastructures in places like in the province of Limpopo. Clinics and hospitals will also receive a major boost.
Load shedding might be a thing of the past as the President pleaded with Eskom to find ways to promote slow increase in electricity prices. He also warned the country to be more careful with how they use up electricity for the benefit of all and that citizens must see this as an opportunity to use renewable energy sources. He also addressed the exports channels of ore saying it will increase from 60 millions tons per annum to 82 million tons per annum.284 million is to be invested in dealing with the acid mine drainage problems and real progress has been made in developing small businesses.
Great emphasis has always been put on education but this year the government has allocated 300 million to build new Universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. This intensive focus on the education is paying off as there has been an overall increase in the matric(Grade 12) pass rates and enrolment for grade 1 has doubled since 2003. Statistics show that over 8 million children attend schools without paying for fees and the government pledges to invest more in Mathematics, Science and Languages.
Lastly he urged teachers to dedicate 7 hours to teaching their learners and grooming them.
Besides infrastructure the government is also committed in creating a competitive mining sector to the benefit of the whole society. The President also invited the whole nation to a massive government development drive. The crime stats in the country indicate that there has been a 5% reduction in serious crimes reported. Finger Print verification will be included in banks to prevent fraud. Talking of crimes, to ensure that corruption is eliminated and government spending is accounted for state procurement systems will be reviewed. There will be an implementation of anti corruption programs between government and businesses and COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) will be extensively involved in this.
The President also said that there will be more focus on heritage projects relating to national heroes and memorial sites will be prioritized in remembrance of the fallen heroes. The successful hosting of the 2010 world Cup and this year’s COP17 on climate change was historic and in the next year the country will host the African Cup of Nations competitions and the president humorously encouraged sports men and women to perform better. He then emphasized that Government alone cannot solve the country’s problems but that working together we can achieve more.
He ended the Speech by quoting the great Charlotte Maxeke who was the founding president of the ANC women’s League:
“This work is not for yourselves – kill that spirit of self, and do not live above your people, but live with them. If you can rise, bring someone with you”.
For the entire transcript of President Jacob Zuma‘s State of the Nation Address, CLICK HERE.
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