Youth development and jobs, housing and boosting small businesses are among the things citizens want President Jacob Zuma to speak to when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
President Zuma, who recently took time out to rest after a busy election period, is expected to deliver his speech at 7pm on Tuesday, June 17.
Shortly after Parliament’s presiding officers announced that they were prepared to host the President and many other guests at the event next week, SAnews took to the streets to ask what Cape Town residents expected President Zuma to announce.
Martin Dirk, from Mitchells Plain, said he would like to hear the President outline how jobless and unskilled youth with matric would be helped.
“Our children have passed matric and are still struggling to find jobs for years. My son and daughter both have their matric. My daughter passed matric when she was 18 and she is now 27, still struggling to find a decent job,” he said.
Earlier this month, Statistic SA released a trends survey that found that young people of today were likely to struggle to find employment despite being more educated than the older generation.
Sakhile Malinga, a local entrepreneur, said he would like to see President Zuma spending some time talking about how government would make it easier to do business.
When the President announced his new cabinet, he announced that a new Ministry of Small Businesses would be formed to focus on ensuring that small businesses are given a chance to survive, and that red tape is reduced.
“As an entrepreneur, I would like to see what the benefits are for small business. I think there are tax benefits and initiatives on receiving contracts. I think the biggest support we would require would be for government to make it easy to do business, proper business, not tender business,” he said.
Nwabisa Lindi, a young professional, said housing has in recent weeks dominated headlines and she felt government needed to ensure that enough was done to scrap housing list corruption to allow older citizens to be given houses before young people.
“I would actually like the President to look into human settlements because we find that in most cases, in each and every province there will be youngsters getting houses. From my experiences, what I know based on recent media reports, Vukani – an area in Gugulethu in Cape Town
– you will find that the identity numbers written there were that of young people born in 1991 to 1986.
“My issue is that there are older people who don’t have houses. I would like the President or the Department of Human Settlements to prioritise old people.
“Now that we are experiencing this kind of weather, it is very hard and it is traumatising to wonder how old people live in these conditions,” she said.
Nondumiso Matuntuta, a teacher from Khayelitsha, said she would like to hear the President announce new projects around schooling.
She said she wanted to hear what the President will say about supporting struggling independent schools, as the ones from her area were struggling.
Meanwhile, Parliament announced on Thursday that it was ready to host the President’s SONA.
The theme for this year, “20 years of democratic Parliament”, was kick-started with the unveiling of former President Nelson Mandela’s bust in front of the National Assembly entrance in April.
A red carpet would be rolled for the President on Tuesday when he arrives to deliver his speech.
The order of the day will see the following activities taking place, including:
· A mounted police escort and a military ceremonial motor escort;
· Lining of the President’s route to Parliament by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF);
· A red carpet at Parliament lining the President’s route to the National Assembly building;
· Public participation along the walk by the President, accompanied by Parliament’s Presiding Officers and the Secretary to Parliament, from the Slave Lodge to the saluting dais in front of the National Assembly building;
· Cultural performances along the red carpet route;
· National salute by the Ceremonial Guard of the SANDF, a military band, a salute flight by the South African Air Force and a 21-gun salute.