3 June 2009
President Jacob Zuma has called on all South Africans to work in partnership with the government to realise the vision of a better, more prosperous nation.
“Fellow South Africans, working together we can do more to realise our common vision of a better and more prosperous nation,” Zuma told a joint sitting of Parliament during his first State of the Nation address in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Referring to the turnout at the recent general elections, Zuma said South Africans had confirmed, in overwhelming numbers, that working together “we can do more to fight poverty and build a better life for all”.
Working in partnership
He said that while the South African economy had not been affected by the global economic downturn to the extent that a number of other countries had been, its effects were now being clearly felt.
“It is more important now than ever that we work in partnership on a common programme to respond to this crisis.”
He said the government’s starting point in the response to the international economic crisis was the framework concluded by government, labour and business in February this year.
Zuma was firm that, since the implementation of government’s programme would take place in the face of the economic downturn, the administration would have to act prudently.
“No wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size,” he said.
He also told South Africans that in an era of renewal, the government would become more interactive.
To this end, work has begun on the establishment of a public liaison capacity in the Presidency. In addition to receiving letters and e-mails from the public, the government would establish a hotline for easier access.
“Staff will handle each public inquiry as if it was the only one, following it through all the channels until it receives the attention it deserves.”