Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The State of Nation Address

At 7 pm yesterday I listened to the State of Nation Address, delivered by President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. The link to the Address is here. It was not exciting. He speaks very slowly. As far as I can see his manuscript consists of more than a hundred sheets of paper. I don’t think there are more than 2 sentences on each sheet. It gives a strange impression.

It all started with a traditional praise singer, who performed in traditional clothes, in isiZulu, but still holding a microphone in his hand. I like that part. Old and new in a nice mix. In walks the procession with people in tail coats and then the praise singer. The members of parliament dressed in suites and dresses. Except for the EFF MP's. They dress in red overalls. It’s a colourful parliament.

But the State of Nation Address was not so colourful. The president only describes ”the good story”. It is about all the good things the ANC has done after 1994. Of course the party has done many good things. But a State of Nation Address should deal with the challenges ahead. The Address was not visionary. When for instance talking about the support to municipalities there was no plan reported. Just a number of names of municipalities that were to get support.

The end was almost pathetic.
Next month the country and the world will mark International Mandela day.All South Africans should dedicate at least 67 minutes on the 18th of July, to clean South Africa, which is our theme for this year.Let us begin planning for a major clean-up of our cities, towns, townships, villages, schools and beautify every part of our country.Fellow South Africans,This programme of action is aimed at making South Africa a better place for all.
Yes, it would be nice if streets were cleaned from litter. But is this really how a President should end his State of Nation Address? Are  we not hearing another need for cleaning up? It's not only about the litter in the streets!

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