6 February 2012
It’s going to be a busy week for President Jacob Zuma as he prepares for his State of the Nation address, to be presented in Parliament – and broadcast live on radio and television – at 7pm on Thursday.
The State of the Nation Address provides the President with a platform to communicate with the joint National Assembly in Parliament – and, as importantly, an opportunity to communicate with the people of South Africa.
The speech, which is largely informed by the annual Cabinet Lekgotla in January, takes stock of the previous year’s achievements and charts a common direction for the country for the coming year.
The 2012 January Lekgotla also served as a mid-term government review, with the Cabinet assessing progress made on the six job drivers of the New Growth Path: infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy, and tourism.
The Lekgotla also reported that government had made notable progress across its five key priority areas of education, health, rural development, safety and crime prevention, as well as job creation.
Zuma’s office said this year’s State of the Nation address takes place against the background of the celebration of 100 years by South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, which is regarded as part of the celebration of the country’s rich political heritage.
In addition, the President was at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last month, where the threat to the world economy – emanating from the seemingly inadequate steps to resolve the Eurozone crisis – dominated the discussions.
He also recently attended the African Union’s heads of state and government summit in Ethiopia, which was grappling with the challenge of making the AU a sharper instrument for the development of the continent.
“In this context, the President is likely to focus on the critical need for our country to move decisively and systematically in the implementation of policies and programmes that so far have helped us withstand the impact of the externally generated impediments to our development agenda,” the Presidency said.
There’ll be no let-off for the President following his speech, with a number of engagements booked for Friday, starting with The New Age SoNA breakfast briefing at Grand West Casino in Cape Town.
This will be followed by the tee-off of the Presidential Address Golf Challenge at De Zalze Golf Course, Stellenbosch, and the Presidential Golf Challenge Dinner at Cape Town’s Westin Hotel.