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Zuma address gets thumbs down

Opposition parties say President Jacob Zuma failed to inspire during his State of the Nation Address.

DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane attend the State of the Nation Address. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties on Friday united to express disappointment at President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address.

They said Zuma's speech on Thursday night cemented their view that he is not fit to run the country.

In an unprecedented move, eight opposition parties joined forces in 2012 to bring a motion of no-confidence in the president.

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said Zuma failed to provide an inspiring vision for the country and a realistic plan to get there.

"He had an opportunity to give us an indication of his plans to create more jobs for young South Africans, but instead he just paid lip service."

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosioua Lekota said once the Constitutional Court rules on the matter, opposition parties will pursue a motion of no-confidence in Zuma.

He said the president can no longer be trusted to deal with the pressing concerns.

The eight political parties believe the extravagant spending on Zuma's Nkandla home will make it difficult for South Africans to take his pledge on corruption seriously.

According to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, a government investigation revealed the state paid over R206 million for security upgrades to Zuma's private residence.

It found "no evidence that public money was spent to build the private residence of the president or that any house belonging to the president was built with public money".

Over R20m of this was allegedly spent on private security consultants.

Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce described the address as "incredibly disappointing".

Cape Chamber President Fred Jacobs admitted while they were mostly displeased with Zuma's address, there were some highlights.

"I think one must give him credit for admitting that we need GDP growth in excess of five percent to create 11 million jobs by 2030. I think that was refreshingly honest.

"I suppose one could look at the increase in teachers' salaries, which I think has been long awaited."