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Vol 55 No 13

Published 27th June 2014

South Africa

Unsteady state of the nation

Zuma failed to inspire in his nationwide address yesterday. Many unknowns still surround the ANC’s promised 'radical economic transformation'

President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address to parliament was a disappointment to many. He did not expand on the African National Congress's plans to meet its extraordinary national challenges, while causing concern by his frail appearance and unsteady gait. Zuma stuck to the ANC's election script, focusing on economic transformation, energy, ending the miners' strike and getting local government to deliver. The language made it clear Zuma was reading words prepared by the ANC's National Executive Committee – there were none of his customary rhetorical touches. He was absent in hospital when NEC and Cabinet meetings were drawing up the new administration's plans. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe called it an action-oriented speech but the Opposition was not impressed.

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