Zuma ‘should outline jobs plan’

EASTERN Cape opposition parties would like a detailed plan from President Jacob Zuma on how government intends creating jobs and growing the economy.

Zuma delivers his state of the nation (sona) address in parliament today.

All eyes will be on Zuma, who was rested by the ruling party last week because he was “tired” from crisscrossing the country during the election campaign trail.

The province’s state of agriculture should also be prioritised in order to prevent people from migrating from rural to urban areas, opposition parties Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Congress of the People (COPE) said yesterday.

Democratic Alliance (DA) provincial leader Athol Trollip said he did not expect Zuma to have plans of growing the economy and creating jobs.

“I think what the whole nation expects him to do is say what he’s got to do differently in addressing the backslide in our economy and the losing of jobs.

“But I don’t actually anticipate much in that department because I don’t think Jacob Zuma has what it takes. In his last term, it looked like he had no idea what he was doing.

“Job creating and growing the economy – that includes mining and agriculture across the board – should be prioritised,” Trollip said. UDM provincial chairman Mongameli Bobani predicted that Zuma would not say anything he had not said before. “We expect him to elaborate more on job creation, education and the hospital crisis because there are no medicines and people are dying every day, and also on how he will fight crime because people are just getting killed while having fun in New Brighton.

“We see he has appointed a small business minister and that’s all good and perfect because SMMEs can be the entry level into business.

“We expect him to be hands-on economic and social wise so that South Africa can move forward, but we I think he won’t say anything different except to make more promises,” said Bobani.

EFF provincial convener Themba Wele said the party wanted the question of land redistribution to be prioritised. “He should talk more about how people’s lands would be returned to them and we don’t need theories,” Wele said.

“Children should also be taught about agriculture from an early age.

“Black people’s dignity should be brought back through agriculture and take the Eastern Cape to its former glory.

“Let us respect poor people and not just go to them when we want their votes.

“We want implementation with a timeframe.”

COPE MPL Bishop Lievie Sharpley said Zuma need to “clarify in clear terms the question of job creation and it must not be ambiguous”.

“Uplifting rural areas is very important because the pressure on urban areas would diminish.

“We need clear-cut directions on rural areas,” Sharpley said.