President Jacob Zuma has in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday highlighted various infrastructure projects that have already kicked off and also announced several new measures to speed up land reform.
Delivering his address, during a joint sitting of Parliament, Zuma gave an update on various infrastructure projects, and also announced that a study on the country’s tax policies would be launched later this year.
However, there appears to be no actual plans to address the real crises facing South Africa today – our unemployed youth.
“The President failed to provide a clear message to the millions of unemployed young South Africans that he will prioritise job creation. He did not acknowledge the need to encourage job creation through rapid economic growth.
Instead he cow-towed to COSATU and the ideals of the New Growth Path, which emphasise state intervention as a key driver to create jobs” said Lindiwe Mazibuko from the Democratic Alliance.
“There was no detail on his plan to fight youth unemployment, just a vague pledge to do so. The time for empty promises to young South Africans is over. He promised to do so three years ago – why has he not implemented the Youth Wage Subsidy yet?”, added Mazibuko.
THE STATE OF THE NATION IN NUMBERS:
21% – the proportion of South Africa’s exports accounted for by countries in the eurozone, which is still in the throes of a debt crisis.
2.5% – South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2013/14. This is down from a 3.1% growth rate the previous year – and is half the minimum 5% growth rate required to create the amount of new jobs the country needs.
11-million – South Africa’s target for new jobs created by 2030, according to the National Development Plan (NDP). The country’s economy will have to grow three-fold for this target to be reached.
5 – priorities of the government’s programme of action for 2013: (1) education, (2) health, (3) the fight against crime, (4) creating decent work, and (5) rural development and land reform.
R860-billion – the amount the government will have spent on infrastructure between 2009 and March this year.
675 – kilometres of electricity transmission lines have been laid in the last year to connect fast-growing economic centres and to bring power to rural areas.
R47-billion – the value of contracts for renewable energy projects signed last year by the government and various independent power producers.
28 – the number of wind, solar and small hydro projects that have begun to be developed in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State under the renewable energy programme.