Status update of the nation: Zuma is listening

President Jacob Zuma will use social media to find out what is troubling South Africans ahead of his State of the Nation address on February 9, his office said on Sunday.

Zuma used Facebook last year to encourage citizens to speak directly to him and to highlight the needs of communities.

This year his social networking has expanded to include Facebook, Twitter and email, the presidency said in a statement.

Last year Bongokuhle Miya from uMzimkhulu used Facebook to tell Zuma about sewerage overflow, floodwaters and stray animals in his town.

According to the presidency, the town’s sewerage system was being upgraded, roads were being realigned to deal with flooding and an animal pound is being built.

Portia Mrwetyana from Bekkersdal in Gauteng wrote on Zuma’s Facebook wall asking for houses for her community.

A government investigation found the informal settlement where she lived had high concentrations of dolomite in the ground, which made it prone to sinkholes.

“Government has begun a programme of resettling Ms Mrwetyana’s community to the neighbouring municipality of Mohlakeng where land is suitable for building houses and providing basic services,” the presidency said.

This year South Africans can email their problems to or connect with the president through his Facebook page, PresidencyZA or use his Twitter account @SAPresident, or the hashtag #PresidentSona.—Sapa

For news and multimedia on the State of the Nation address visit our special report.


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