SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

19 February 2013

South Africa: NDP Will Determine SA's Direction - Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has hit back at opposition parties, who criticized him for his lacklustre speech, on the last day of debate of the State of the ... ( Resource: Jacob Zuma's Day at the State of Nation Debate

The National Development Plan (NDP) is a crucial policy-making tool that will help South Africa develop and determine the direction the country takes, President Jacob Zuma said on SABC's Sunday Live broadcast on the weekend.

The NDP is a a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. It seeks to do this by drawing on the energies of the the country's people, growing an inclusive economy, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.

In his 2013 State of the Nation Address last week, Zuma said the NDP had set the ambitious target of creating 11-million jobs by 2030, which will require teamwork to get the economy growing at a rate of more than 5% a year.

"There are sectors that we have identified that will create these 11-million jobs by 2030," Zuma said on Sunday. "These include infrastructure and the tourism sector, among others. These sectors have already created jobs and employed people."

On the issue of land, Zuma said the government was committed to resolving issues around this. This would be done within the ambit of the country's Constitution. He added that while progress had been slow, compensation for land would be equitable. The matter needed to be looked at "differently", he said.

On the issue of education, Zuma said education had be treated as an essential service. However this definition should not be seen as denying teachers the right to embark on strike action. "We are talking about the importance of education," he said, adding that education was a key element to the country moving forward and developing.

For non-performing municipalities, the government was following up on the non-submission of financial reports.

On the issue of councillors who received tenders, Zuma said that some had already been fired, and the government was looking at how it could review the tender system.

On the matter of the abuse of women and children, Zuma said that a national response was necessary, adding that the government cannot fight this scourge alone.

"We need to work together as a nation, government cannot do it alone. We need to have specialised courts that will be ready to deal with such situations and convict perpetrators speedily."

On talks of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, the President said: "I haven't said anything on it, I haven't said whether it will happen or if it will not happen. I have not spoken to anyone about this. I don't know where people are getting this."

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