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Zuma 'still working' on State of the Nation address

Janice Roberts

The president is likely to focus on the need for South Africa to move decisively on programmes and policies that have served the country well so far.

President Jacob Zuma is "still working" on his State of the Nation address, due to be presented to Parliament on February 9.

The presidency said on Friday that the State of the Nation address primarily provided the president with a platform to communicate to Parliament and the Joint National Assembly, while also allowing him to communicate with the South African public.

The speech was "largely informed by the annual Cabinet lekgotla in January where Cabinet assesses the impact of government programmes and deliberates on the forthcoming programme of action".

The 2012 January lekgotla also served as a mid-term review, during which Cabinet assessed progress made on the six New Growth Path job drivers—infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism, which aim to enhance growth, employment creation and equity.

According to the presidency, the 2012 Cabinet lekgotla also reported that government had made notable progress across its five key priority areas of education, health, rural development, safety and crime prevention, as well as job creation.

The presidency added that Zuma had recently attended the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, "where the threat to the world economy emanating from the seemingly inadequate steps to resolve the eurozone crisis dominated the discussions".

Zuma had also travelled to the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was grappling with the challenge of making the AU "a sharper instrument for the development of the continent".

"In this context the president is likely to focus on the critical need for our country to move decisively and systematically in the implementation of policies and programmes that so far have helped us withstand the impact of the externally generated impediments to our development agenda," the presidency said.—I-Net Bridge

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