Cape Town - The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Friday it would have liked President Jacob Zuma to give greater detail on how the state hopes to nurture an environment in which the private sector can unlock job creation potential.
"We would like to have seen greater focus ... on what role government will play in creating and maintaining a nurturing environment for business so that employers can contribute to job creation," Sacci said.
It was one of 10 areas in which Sacci faulted the president's third state of the nation address for not providing greater clarity on the government's plans, although it welcomed his overall focus on job creation.
Sacci said there was a need for more detail on how the government intended to form partnerships that will help private power producers enter the market, and on the establishment of an independent system operator in the electricity industry that was mentioned last year.
It wanted to know more about the national health insurance policy, tourism and green economy strategies and on the initiative to encourage youth employment.
Also missing was an indication of when the green paper on land reform would be published and feedback on whether ministerial performance contracts were working.
Sacci said it had hoped to hear of progress in implementing the local government turnaround strategy, and a commitment to ensuring water supply security and sustainability.
The chamber said it welcomed Zuma's "recognition that the government needs to work with business and other social partners to achieve its objectives and that job creation is a prime function of the private sector but that government will play its role".
It also hailed a R20bn allocation for tax breaks for manufacturing, but cautioned that controversial new labour legislation published for comment in December could curtail job creation by the private sector.
"Government cannot call on business to play a stronger role in employment when there is restrictive legislation in the offing," it said.
Business Against Crime SA also endorsed the commitment to job creation, as well as the president's promise to keep the fight against crime a national priority.