It’s that time of the year again when President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address (SONA), outlining government priorities for the year ahead. This year’s SONA takes place on 14 February. It is an opportunity for the President, as head of state, to assess the country’s domestic and foreign outlook and to outline key projects to improve government’s efforts to achieve a better life for South Africans. Vuk’uzenzele caught up with ordinary South Africans to find out what issues they expect the President to address.
Job creation should be at the forefront of the President’s speech. We also want to know how the Eskom issue will be resolved. Eskom wants to increase electricity by 16 per cent and this will result in job losses. The President must say something about this.
Government should focus less on hand outs and more on teaching people how to fend for themselves. Job creation is mentioned year after year but it is becoming a cliché. Education should look at empowering students and learners, rather than fighting over lost textbooks. Technology is here, use it! Why wait for textbooks when everything is available online. Don’t tell me this is not possible for rural schools. There is always a way. Lastly, maybe government should start living by example - the change starts with you, government.
The President must give us a clear view on the state of education in our country. There are too many learners dropping out. We want to know what government is going to do about it. We also hope there will be an improvement in the salaries of teachers.
As citizens of this country, we want and deserve decent service delivery. Government should beef up attempts to ensure that service delivery is taken seriously, as the mandate of government is to effectively deliver services to its people. I hope the President provides a resolution to the education debacle and hopefully announces some reshuffling of deadwood within government.
I would like to see President Zuma address the corruption in government. Government serves people and should provide total transparency to the public on how every cent of our tax money is spent. This will increase accountability. We also desperately need to overhaul our education and healthcare systems. Standards of education and at public hospitals are shocking.
I think President Zuma needs to be truthful about the state of our country. Things have not improved much in the last 18 years. President Zuma needs to explain how he plans to combat crime, reduce taxes, improve healthcare, address improper spending, eradicate corruption, improve infrastructure and raise the standard of education in South Africa.
As a mother, I'm expecting some kind of outcome and resolution to the education system going forward from the President’s SONA. Education is a right, not a privilege. Even though it will take time, the foundations must be laid now. I would also like to see actual plans to fight crime on a grand scale.
We want to know how government will create jobs for the youth and women. We need the President to elaborate on figures as well, not just pronounce on issues but explain too.
It would be really nice if the President announced a decrease of the petrol price. Perhaps they can bring it down by R4 a litre. It would save us a lot of money.
LUCAS ABSALOM MABUNDA
I would like to see service delivery improve. We need the best service delivery, not only to rural areas but to the suburbs as well.
Follow President Zuma's State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 14 February, at 7pm