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Zuma promises jobs for Westonaria residents

The president delivered the keynote address at the Westonaria Agri-Park on Tuesday where dozens of people gathered.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has told residents in Westonaria that he is proud of them for taking agriculture seriously and has promised them government will work hard to ensure that they have jobs.

The president was delivering the keynote address at the Westonaria Agri-Park on Tuesday where dozens of people gathered to listen to him speak.

There was no talk of the current political developments, marches planned against him or any reaction to the divisions within the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners.

Zuma seemed to send a clear message to his detractors, showing no signs of stress as he shared jokes with those gathered.

ANC supporters sang “Happy Birthday” ahead of his birthday on 12 April.

When he returned to the podium to sing, those gathered here were excited to sing along.

Zuma turns 75 years old on Wednesday when numerous opposition parties plan to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand that he steps down.

SMALL HOLDER FARMERS

President Zuma says government wants to bring 300,000 new small holder farmers into the agricultural sector and to create 145,000 new agro-processing jobs.

The president says government's Agri-Park Programme, which aims to create over 89,000 jobs by 2019 in identified rural regions in the country, is very important.

“It brings millions of African people, including women, youth and people with disabilities into productive activities and ownership within the mainstream economy.”

He said he was proud of what he saw there on Tuesday and promised residents that he would come back to the area to purchase fruit and vegetables that they would have planted.

“Thank you very much to all of you and I would want to come back and buy some vegetables.”

Those gathered there chanted his name, saying they are behind him no matter what decisions he makes.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)