The State of the Nation address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma tonight was unimaginative and did not really address South Africa’s serious economic problems, says Dr Pieter Mulder, leader of the FF Plus.
Dr Mulder says an announcement that the public service would be reduced or that Eskom will be privatized, would have been seen as significant and would have sent a very strong message that government is serious about reducing expenditure. The opportunity to do this has unfortunately been missed by the president.
"The state of the nation address was largely a repetition of what has been said in previous years without any new initiatives. The president and the ANC was consistently subdued and without enthusiasm. It is clear that the gas is out of the bottle.
"The president recognizes the seriousness of the drought, but there were no suggestions on how commercial and small farmers will be helped to stay on their farms.
"The proposals of the president that foreign trips, receptions and conferences will be limited, send a symbolic message of saving and are welcomed. This is, however, not really going to lead to huge financial savings, but it is a step in the right direction, " Dr Mulder says.