Zuma puts economy centre stage

Zuma puts economy centre stage

2014-06-17 20:13

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma put the need to boost economic growth at the centre of the first major policy speech of his second term on Tuesday, saying he hoped to lift annual growth to 5% by 2019.

Zuma also said he would take direct responsibility for improving social conditions in the mining industry, which has been beset by two years of crippling strikes.

He said the government still strongly believes that the most effective weapon in the campaign against poverty, is the creation of decent work, and that creating work requires faster economic growth.

"To achieve (the set target growth of 5% by 2019), we will embark on various measures and interventions to jump-start the economy.

He said the economy has grown below its potential over the last three years and many households are going through difficulties. "We have (thus) set this target during a difficult period."

Zuma said the slow growth has been caused in part by the global economic slowdown and secondly by domestic conditions, "such as the prolonged and at times violent strikes, and also the shortage of energy".

Shortly before Zuma was due to deliver his State of the Nation address, state utility Eskom announced it has started Stage 1 of load shedding again as the electricity supply was exceptionally tight.

Also on Tuesday, platinum producers confirmed that they had received a response from mining union Amcu, which could end the almost five-month-long strike plaguing the platinum sector.

Zuma said given the impact of the untenable labour relations environment on the economy, it is critical for social partners to meet and deliberate on the violent nature and duration of the strikes.

The social partners will also need to deliberate on wage inequality, he said.

"On our side as government we will during this term investigate the possibility of a national minimum wage as one of the key mechanisms to reduce the income inequality."

He said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the social partners dialogue, within the ambit of Nedlac.

  • Alan Smith - 2014-06-17 20:19

    Whatever showerhead.

      Jan Scheepers - 2014-06-17 20:53

      Hi Danie, You have shown your pedigree for all to see!

      Jacques Otto - 2014-06-17 20:53

      get growth to 5% by 2019. WTF....Does he know how many Jobs will be los by then. This is the same as setting a pass rate for matrics at 30%. No ambition no calculations. Inflation average the last three years is 5.9%. If we maintain volume, inflation will grow economy above his projection. In short based on inflation vs his growth compounded we will decline the economy by about 20%. Population growth over next 5 years will be 8%. Ok i will stop as this is Zuma projection of a failed state. And people voted for him.

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 21:15

      Run out of good stories in just one month. Fact is this govt has been warned for SEVEN YEARS that they were on an unsustainable trajectory. Par for the course, though. Never listen, never act on good advice, always leave the compatriots to deal with the fall-out

      Zulu Mkhise - 2014-06-17 21:32

      He really impressed me with his reading skills...

      Wayne Piper - 2014-06-18 06:38

      @ Tshivhenga - Don't you think respect is earned? I was tempted to call him far worse things....

      Brian Enslin - 2014-06-18 06:39

      Same old same old story, nothing changes. Every year they promise to spend R800 billion on infrastructure and every year NOTHING happens.

  • tony.koen - 2014-06-17 20:20

    Talk is cheap!

      Tshivhenga Ndoe - 2014-06-17 20:28

      Not as cheap, as making cheap comments here

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 21:15

      And life for us is going to get even more expensive

  • Ian Trenor - 2014-06-17 20:20


  • James Bergwerff - 2014-06-17 20:24

    Uninspiring , Boring not what the World and Business Community was hoping for . Once again he has failed in his Leadership and the Country as a whole . Sadly SA life will get very hard and challenging , fight for survival .

  • Lukhele George - 2014-06-17 20:26

    Hahahaha......now you are talking exactly what the opposition parties were saying during elections campaign. Sies, where are the "Good Stories?

      Ian Trenor - 2014-06-17 20:29

      The good story is the Durban July coming up soon! Drown our sorrows lol

  • Lwanda Mhlauli - 2014-06-17 20:31

    President Zuma has not mentioned how he is going to get this 5% growth so this speech is rather not interesting when you set specific target it is imperative to also mention how you gonna achieve such targets rather hoping and doing nothing, this country is heading for recession and neither this was aforementioned neither the procument of power so this speech not worth my time or ears because promises made in the last state of nation address have not been even started including the year previous from the former

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 20:43

      How, When, How Much are never discussed. It's been this way for 20 years. They lurch from Crisis to Crisis, always putting matters 'centre stage' once it's beyond the point of no return. Then it's "we have a crisis, and you dear compatriot must help us, must bear with us, must swallow more price hikes". Vote now, we will solve the problems later (Jacob Zuma, Municipal Elections, 2010)

      Reality - 2014-06-18 08:08

      > President Zuma has not mentioned how he is going to get this 5% growth The same way he created 4 million jobs before 2014.

  • Thembela Maqungo - 2014-06-17 20:31

    He said nothing...it did not move me at all. What a waste of money...

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 20:43

      And electricity :)

      Armstrong Dreadnaught - 2014-06-17 21:37

      This man must go. This government must go! The only way to get out of the pit that we are in is by running successful business, employing additional people and, what is not said in public, reduce the birth-rate. All businesses must be free to generate income for the common good. Boycott the anc Vote DA

  • Rieks - 2014-06-17 20:31

    Does he include the income of government leaders, MP's, provincial leaders etc in the inequality of income between them and the ground level workers? At times it feels as if the ground level workers can actually show the work they have done as opposed to many of the leaders, civil servants and others who are responsible for poor service delivery on all levels of society.

  • ryan.donald.77 - 2014-06-17 20:32

    Another all talk no action fail

  • lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 20:33

    NOT the global economic slowdown. Wanton and profligate spending by this government which has created R2TRILLION National Debt. And what do we have to show for this R2TRILLION? 36% unemployed, 1x palace and daily rock-throwing.

  • Christiaan Smith - 2014-06-17 20:35

    Oh YAY Zuma are going to save the economy........

  • Mbuti Manopole - 2014-06-17 20:36

    LOL . Wow ZUMA welldone !

  • Bay Biscotti - 2014-06-17 20:36

    Zuma in a suit is the main reason why I have trust issues.

  • Musa KamaShobane - 2014-06-17 20:41

    Cheap pronmises, shame. Our tax monies going down on waste for the next five years

      Gareth Jones - 2014-06-17 21:18

      Actually monies is acceptable to use.

      Naas Du Plessis - 2014-06-17 22:04

      And the worst part is the people who put them there don't pay tax.

  • desneyhughes - 2014-06-17 20:42


  • Justin Pretorius - 2014-06-17 20:47

    Waffle waffle blah blah blah Oh Zumbo, how are you going to achieve 5%? You say a lot but mean zilch. Form a committee about a committee for something that you should have the nuts to make a decision yourself. This old man must be put to pasture near Nkandla so he can swim everyday in his fire pool

  • PeterJohn - 2014-06-17 20:48

    .....and in other news, the streams of South Africa all turned into Whiskey........

  • Archie Dempster - 2014-06-17 21:00

    Not by stupid ideas

  • Patrick Bruintjies - 2014-06-17 21:01

    Why are the rest of Africa growing at +5% and we are going negative?Its not the unions its wrong policies.We follow policies that are meant for developed countries not a third world country.High interest rates,e-tolls,wage restraint etc=low consumption=low growth=high unemployment.Let's work together on a social pact to make this country a winning nation.Stop the blaming game.

  • FanieBrink5 - 2014-06-17 21:02

    Why must the agricultural industry always be the only industry that must create employment?? It is a big structural problem in the economy! The more people are dependent on the agricultural industry for their livelihood the more the country will become a underdeveloped or even a non-developing country. Growth and employment should be created in the secondary and tertiary industries. The agricultural industry cannot accommodate more people while the threat of land reform and minimum wages are not conducive to the creation of employment and economic growth.

  • Archie Dempster - 2014-06-17 21:02

    Any economy should grow at least 5% a year

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 21:19

      Well even the most advanced economies are struggling with 2% let alone 5%. But they also have <10% unemployment and a (largely) rational electorate

      Andrew Terr - 2014-06-17 21:44

      The humped head should have started by immediately announcing a 5% pay cut to all in parly as a gesture of sincerity.

  • Archie Dempster - 2014-06-17 21:03

    Not5%in 5 YEARS

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-06-17 21:24

      Nice to dream. Dear citizen, please note your 5% whooshing down the freeway in a vehicle built by foreigners, surrounded by blue light vehicles (also built by foreigners). In all the awe and amazement of the trappings of being The Government, few have grasped that someone in Asia, Europe or South America got to keep their job and feed their family, so you could stand on the side of your pot-holed, rock- and tyre-strewn road, to see this awesome spectacle. Now return to your shack and terminal joblessness

  • Happy Seretse - 2014-06-17 21:12

    Negatively will get you all no where. Go to the country you feel you will live the life of luxury without Zuma's promises. Tsek

  • Carl J Lotter - 2014-06-17 21:17

    The most disappointing comment: He said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the social partners dialogue, within the ambit of Nedlac.

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2014-06-17 21:21

    Still the most incompetent president this country has seen.

  • Siphiwo Khuzwayo - 2014-06-17 21:25

    A focused SONA by Zuma. Balanced on social revolution including the mine sector. A SONA giving energy and hope in the lives of the ordinary. Though not much on crime and unemployment. But a hope is rising as Ministers now will have to account directly. We therefore trust as we put Zuma back into office and he must put up a mark as, this is his last term. We ought to remember him thereafter .

  • Prego George - 2014-06-17 21:30

    Ho do these people think. SAA wants me to get credit card with Nedbank and refuse to let me select my home language as Afrikaans. Then they spell Voyager wrong. The arrogance, incompetence right to the top cannot be described. Then "dew to deliver" how can you make anything grow on this. Then minimum wage and only 2 million people pays 80% of the taxes for Nkandlas. Let them work for food to the extend they tired not to get into trouble. No we sell out to the Chinese for that smart car.

  • Potzo Merwe - 2014-06-17 21:31

    Same ol song, time to put the plan into action Mr President b4 it's too late

  • Matome Molefe - 2014-06-17 21:31

    Why is everybody so negative, throwing insults at the President? I think what you say tells us more about you than about the President. Why can't we just move forward as a nation needing progress, rather than be absorbed by regress?

      Prego George - 2014-06-17 21:42

      Matome this President does not have the education of a 12 year old. Everything he says makes no sense. Minimum wages with a dying economy and Nkandlas is not going to work. Whatever he says is the total opposite of what he is doing. In Europe just about every person you meet talks about what a sad president SA have.

      Jack Thomas - 2014-06-17 21:42

      Because after 20 years they still blame apartheid, same old story with nothing new. Many empty promises as per usual. Recession looming due to incompetence on all levels and an uneducated mass supporting this chaotic zoo. All this going on while many rides the gravy train. What is there to be positive about?

      Naas Du Plessis - 2014-06-17 22:08

      Cause zuma is taking us backwards. When he leaves office our figures will be the worst ever. The last time the rand was so weak was 9-11.

  • Karl Conradie - 2014-06-17 21:33

    Not even Cyril (the Squirrel)Ramaphosa can mend this ! SA now relying on Sub-Saharan Africa for trade and repairing the economy, its like the blind leading the blind......

  • Jaco Ehlers - 2014-06-17 21:53

    Zuma is prick.Stealing our money To hell with Zuma

  • jungleboy - 2014-06-17 22:36

    What a load of bull. The president is so clueless all he can do is provide lucky packet politics.

  • Dlamini Jessica - 2014-06-18 03:32

    The only thing S. African should do, is to welcome foreign investors, improve your import and export sectors, every country that has been through these crisis has done this so SA is no exception,SA can`t bet on Sub-Saharan trade, when she is closing down all doors for black foreigners and privatizing Home Affairs to Indians, what a country

  • Herbert Smith - 2014-06-18 08:16

    The momentum of the old regime has finally grounded to a halt. Blame the previous regime for not developing the country to such an extent that the momentum could have carried us for a few years more.

  • Byron Wright - 2014-06-18 09:56

    Wait I am confused, we need more investment and the way to achieve this is by increasing the minimum wage and the burden on private companies to provide more suitable accommodation for workers? Increase the cost of doing business and that will attract more investment? Interesting strategy that one Jacob

  • Lunetic Mental - 2014-06-18 10:13

    Here is what he and cANCer should do : stop AA and BEE. Reduce the public service to halve its size ; ban unions

  • Grump White - 2014-06-18 10:47

    First point of order should be the restriction of any and all government minister's (and MP's)salaries and perks to be legislatively restricted to the economic growth of the country - NOT CPI, but growth %

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