Security tight ahead of SoNA
Authorities are out in full force to ensure a smooth State of the Nation Address
CAPE TOWN – President Jacob Zuma is likely to make announcements on firms hiring young people and what government will do to implement the National Development Plan during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday.
But it appears Zuma may have the political power to push through his own priorities.
He will probably be in the strongest political position of sitting President in at least the past eight years.
After winning the ANC leadership, Zuma doesn’t seem to have any political rivals on the horizon.
But with Zuma knowing there is a general election next year, he would want to make statements that change people’s lives.
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
The plan is seen as a blueprint to create jobs, eliminate poverty and boost economic growth in the next 20 years.
Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said there is practical steps government and citizens can take to ensure these goals are realised.
"Beyond just general support for the plan, there are practical steps we can take. Government has a role to play to support these processes. If the President can allure to that, i think we well on our way to seeing the plan implemented soon.
UNEMPLOYMENT, CRIME & EDUCATION
Meanwhile the DA wants Zuma to put forward a clear plan to tackle unemployment, crime and problems in the education sector.
The party’s Watty Watson said, “He must put education first above his relationship with Cosatu and ensure that teacher accountability exists at all times.”
'BUSINESS SHOULD FUEL ECONOMY'
Nedbank's chief economist has urged Zuma to use his address to persuade business to help fuel the economy.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants the President to restore local and international business confidence.
Nedbank's Dennis Dykes agrees with this.
"There’s just absolutely no doubt, we’ve got to get the economy working. I think a key message that the President needs to deliver is that it’s not all about government.
"It has got to be about persuading business to start cooperating and delivering."
Police, traffic officials and the defence force will be out in the streets of Cape Town on Thursday to ensure the 7pm address goes off without a hitch.
Authorities are warning motorists that traffic in parts of the CBD will come to a standstill because of a series of road closures around parliament.
The event has been months in the making and over the last few days, there've been a series of rehearsals in the city centre.
The ceremony, carried out with military precision includes a mounted police escort and a 21 gun salute.
There will be tight security around the parliamentary precinct, to ensure the safety of all those attending.
Police's Andre Traut said, “Adequate numbers of law enforcement officials will be deployed in the city centre and surrounding suburbs to deal with any eventuality.”
There will be a series of road closures and parking restrictions in the city centre.
Some of the roads including Roeland Street and Government Avenue will be closed from 11am.
For all road closures, click here