SONA: Economy needs 5% growth

President Jacob Zuma says South Africans have to work together so the economy can grow.

President Jacob Zuma says SA’s economy needs to grow to five percent to create more jobs. Picture:Supplied

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma says the economy needs to grow to five percent to create more jobs.

Zuma, who was discussing his State of the Nation (SONA) Address at a New Age business breakfast briefing in Cape Town this morning, says the weak currency is not the result of poor government policies.

He says South Africans have to work together so the economy can grow.

The president says the global economic climate is affecting the rand's performance and not government's policies.

Looking forward, Zuma says his government has been working on a new medium-term strategic framework so that the new administration after the elections can hit the ground running.

The president also hit back at critics of his administration this morning, saying his government is still dealing with the legacy of apartheid.

"Even today, when people liken South Africa to other countries, they forget that we come from institutionalised racism. If you forget that, you live in your own world."

Zuma says the country is indeed moving forward.


However, opposition parties criticised the president's address for missing the real issues and relying too much on the successes of previous presidents.

African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) rose to their feet in applause in Parliament on Thursday evening after Zuma concluded his synopsis of how the country was faring, while opposition MPs sat on the benches in silence.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the president failed to address, what she calls, the country's real issues.

"Why is our education system in shambles?"

DA leader Helen Zille said Zuma shouldn't have focused on the past as much as he did.

"That is a good story that should be told by former President Mbeki, not President Zuma - it isn't his story to tell. South Africa has gone back under Zuma's leadership."

Congress of the People (Cope) Leader Mosiuoa Lekota was scathing in his criticism.

"He hasn't accounted for Nkandla. He didn't say anything to us about what he did with public money and Nkandla."

But ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa defended Zuma.

"This was not a time for the president to be making any promises. This was a time for the president to report on what we've done over the past five years."

For the president's full SONA, click here.