10 things we’d like to hear Zuma say
City Press political reporter Carien du Plessis imagines what South Africans might like to hear from President Jacob Zuma when he delivers his state of the nation address tomorrow evening.
1. My immense love for the nation means I choose to spend Valentine’s Day with you, the citizens.
2. We’re a bit slow on those infrastructure projects but with some luck we’ll get it right this year, and we’ll try our best not to give contracts to our buddies.
3. We believe in the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers, and to prove it we’ll hand over those spy tapes (the ones that got me off those corruption charges in 2009) as the court ordered and we’ll take Parliament seriously.
4. The police will be demilitarised and become a “service” again, rather than a “force”, and trained accordingly so that we avoid more Marikanas or Andries Tatanes.
5. Ministers and the Presidency have agreed to tighten their belts, travel more humbly and get by with cheaper security measures. We will give the money to feed hungry school children and students instead.
6. We’ll be awarding big state tenders with no more kickbacks and use the money we save to fund the toll roads so that citizens don’t need to be burdened with yet another tax.
7. We’ll call a youth wage subsidy a youth wage subsidy, implement it in a way that doesn’t encourage companies to sack oldies, and support young people to get a foot in the door.
8. Government departments will can their consultants and use the money to train people to do the job
9. We want teachers to be in school, in class, on time, and teaching for at least seven hours a day – and this time we won’t let politics get in the way of a proper education system. We’ll support teachers with proper infrastructure and textbooks delivered on time.
10. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . ” Or really, Mr President, it doesn’t have to be Charles Dickens, as quoted by Thabo Mbeki in 2008. Any inspirational piece of poetry or song will do. Come on, Msholozi, get a little more lyrical about our future. It’s Valentine’s Day after all.
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