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#Sona2016: Zuma continues amid disruptions, walk outs

President Jacob Zuma has touched on the economy and cutting costs during his 2016 Sona.

President Jacob Zuma sings the national anthem ahead of his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 11 February 2015. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.
Jacob Zuma,SONA,Sona 2016,SONA2016
Local Politics

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN – Amid the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Congress of the People (Cope) walking out, President Jacob Zuma continued with his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

The president's speech was repeatedly interrupted earlier this evening.

Cope's Mosiuoa Lekota was the first to walk out of the chamber, saying he would not listen to the president speak as he has breached his oath of office.

WATCH: Mosiuoa Lekota: Why I walked out of #Sona2016

He was followed by the rest of his caucus and EFF MPs were next.

Before they could get kicked out of the chamber by parliament's protection services, Julius Malema and his ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTRES walked out chanting "Zuptas Must Fall”. 

LISTEN: Malema exchanges words with Mbete.

Malema addressed the media outside, before he left the precinct.

WATCH: EFF exists Sona: 'Zuma no longer deserves respect'.

ZUMA ADDRESSES ECONOMIC GROWTH

When his speech finally got underway the president said a number of international factors were affecting growth.

“Global growth still remains muted and financial markets have become volatile. Currencies of emerging markets have become weak and they fluctuate widely.” 
 
He says South Africa is not alone with other emerging markets, also affected by poor growth.
 
“The IMF and the World Bank predict that we’ll grow by less than one percent this year. The lower economic growth outcomes suggest that revenue collection will be lower than previously collected.”
 
Zuma says the answer lies with promoting small business and black economic empowerment.

“One of our new interventions is the Black Industrialist Scheme, which has been launched to promote the participation of black entrepreneurs in manufacturing.”
 
The president says government has undertaken to spend public funds wisely preventing wasteful expenditure.
 
This includes looking at the viability of two capitals.

“Pretoria as the administrative one and Cape Town has the legislative capital… we believe the matter requires the attention of Parliament soon.”

He says cutting wasteful expenditure is a joint effort.

“I invite premiers and mayors to join us as we begin to eliminate wasteful expenditure within government.”

He says this will involve cutting travel and other expenses.

“Sizes of delegations will be greatly reduced and standardised.”

Zuma also says that while the government wants 9,600 mw of nuclear power over the next decade, this will be done on a scale and at a pace the country can afford.

The President concluded his speech, indicating that the local government elections could be held in August.

"Local government elections will be held within three months after 18 May - the date of the last elections." 

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)


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