SONA: Zuma will focus on faction rather than on unification – Solidarity

By Janice Roberts

President Jacob Zuma

Trade union Solidarity today said that this year’s State of the Nation Address will not differ much from previous ones.

“The global economy and a lack of transformation will be raised but nothing will distinguish this year’s address from previous ones with President Zuma, guided by infighting in the ANC, who will want to position him and his faction favourably rather than playing a unifying role to some extent,” Solidarity political analyst Dr Eugene Brink said.

According to Brink, Zuma will be in a defiant mood in a bid to prove to followers that he and his faction are still in control. “The deployment of the army already proves this, and to demonstrate his control, President Zuma will make more promises and come up with superficial rhetoric rather than coming up with purposeful plans to ensure progress,” Brink predicted.

Brink furthermore says that this year’s SONA could be summed up by the words “radical economic transformation”. “Although it is a sound goal to get more people to become active participants in the economy the question is how that goal would be achieved, with early indications being that Zuma would rather placate his followers than focus on the real issues,” Brink said.

“Issues such as the unemployment rate, which is at its highest in more than a decade, and economic growth, which has nearly ground to a halt while rating agencies are waiting like wolves at the door, will receive little, if any, attention. The worst is that those issues are largely caused by poor government policy and political risk – self-inflicted wounds,” Brink explained.

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