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Zuma: No progress in job creation

Staff Reporter

There has not been much progress in government's job creation project due to the economic crisis, said President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.

There has not been much progress in government’s job creation project due to the economic crisis that hit the world recently, President Jacob Zuma said during an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday.

“As you may know, this is one of the five priorities ... In the other four we have made progress, but this one still needs to be tackled, ” he said.

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    Speaking a day after addressing the 99th African National Congress (ANC) anniversary celebration in Polokwane, Limpopo, Zuma said the issue of job creation was going to be a central issue at the upcoming ANC congress, as well as how resources would be allocated to see to it.

    He said although there was an economic growth in the country two years ago, this was not enough for the job creation priority.

    However, Zuma said government had clear plans on what it needed to do and that the document of the new growth path detailed what it planned on doing.

    He said the document—brainchild of Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel—was made public for people to record their views and tell government what to do better in its plans.

    The new growth path framework document sets a very ambitious target—the creation of five-million jobs in 10 years. To do this it proposes a host of measures, both macro and micro-economic, that will require a broad social compact between labour, business and the government, if they are to work.

    Zuma warned that these views needed to be expressed quickly as the plan needed to be implemented urgently.

    Education funding
    He also touched on the announcement to financially support last year students in university, saying this stemmed from the 52nd national conference of the ANC in 2007 where the ruling party took a clear view of the importance of education.

    He said the division of the education departments to help government plan and address challenges also resulted from decisions made the 52nd conference.

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    Zuma said the financial assistance was aimed at the most deserving poor students who are doing well in their studies as an incentive to encourage children to study.

    Primary education problems
    He, however, acknowledged that there were still greater challenges in primary, education with some children still attending schools under trees.

    He said plans were under way to eradicate such schools and those operating in mud buildings.

    Another challenging issue Zuma added was the large number of matriculants who could not afford to further their education or find jobs.

    Land redistribution was also mentioned as another area which still had a lot of challenges.

    Zuma said the Department of Rural and Land Affairs was working on plans on how to adjust the law to address the matter.

    He specifically pointed out the issue of foreigners buying South African land as one of the issues and warned that this was dangerous as it might leave the nation without ownership of much land.

    “If we as South Africa allow people to keep buying our land, we will end up with a country where other people own our land. This is why we need to be careful in how we handle foreigners who come to buy land,” Zuma said.

    Crime, and other issues
    Other issues that Zuma briefly mentioned included the national health insurance, which was still to be finalised, and police efforts that led to a decrease in crime.

    He further said the ruling party was planning to campaign “vigorously” to ensure it succeeded in the upcoming municipal elections this year.

    Zuma said plans were also under way to monitor the performance of municipal councillors as the heart of delivery was in municipalities.—Sapa

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