13 February 2013

South Africa: Zuma Must Bring Certainty, Hope - Mulder

Photo: GCIS
President Jacob Zuma puts the final touches on his 2012 State of the Nation Address (file photo).

Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma must use his state-of-the-nation address to bring South Africans certainty and hope for the future, Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said on Wednesday.

"Unemployment, slow economic growth, lack of foreign investments, and corruption are some of the most serious crises in South Africa at the moment. The government sends confusing messages on all these terrains (sic) which have to be corrected," he said in a statement.

The consequence of these confusing actions was uncertainty about government's policy directions and negativity about the future.

"When a minister threatens to withdraw mining licenses, and it appears as if government doesn't know how to act against violent protests, it frightens foreign investors away."

When government made strong comments against corruption, but there were daily reports about African National Congress leaders and public servants committing corruption, voters doubted government's seriousness about combating corruption.

"When government increases wages in the middle of the agricultural season with 52 percent, it leads to great job losses instead of greater job creation in rural areas," said Mulder, who serves as deputy agriculture minister in Zuma's Cabinet.

He said Zuma, in his address, needed to assure his audience that investments and property rights in South Africa would be safe, and that his government was prepared "to again look at economic measures which at present are dampening economic growth".

The president also needed to make a clear statement and demonstrate "daring new thinking" on job creation, economic growth, labour legislation, and combating corruption.

Mulder called for greater economic freedom for the private sector and intensive infrastructure development by the state.

"This was the winning recipe in other developing countries and the president can give hope by moving in that direction," he said.

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President Jacob Zuma puts the final touches on his 2012 State of the Nation Address (file photo).

In the lead up to the State of the Nation address, business leaders and politicians have expressed hope that President Jacob Zuma will lay out plans to develop infrastructure, ... Read more »