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South Africa President Zuma to Address Nation Tuesday

  • Peter Clottey

South African President Jacob Zuma is sworn in for a second term in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 24, 2014.

South African President Jacob Zuma is sworn in for a second term in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 24, 2014.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will deliver the state of the nation address on Tuesday following the recent electoral victory of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), said Zizi Kodwa, spokesman for the ANC. The ANC won the vote with over 60 percent of the total votes cast.

Zuma was recently admitted to a hospital where he underwent tests for exhaustion.

Kodwa says Zuma is expected to outline his vision as well as steps his administration will take to implement the party’s agenda, which will include kick starting the economy and creating about 6 million jobs.

“The president will [be] outlining the priorities of his administration for the next term, with regards to why would people voted for the [ANC], what is the state of our economy, what is the state of the country in relation to jobs, housing and so on,” said Kodwa. “You have seen some few protests in South Africa [about] service delivery. The president will outline the plans of how he deals with those issues, issues around education and health.”

Kodwa says six of the top leaders of the ruling ANC including Zuma were given a break to enable them recuperate from the “punishing and grueling” campaigning period ahead of the election.

“This was the most demanding campaign of the African National Congress ever since 1994. And we took many of them to the ground [and] there was no rest since we launched the campaign,” said Kodwa. “We took a decision as leadership that all our officials should take a break… because we need a very energized leadership, we need very energized president.”

Some South Africans have cited concerns about the president’s health after Zuma was recently admitted to a hospital – and missed his first cabinet meeting.

Kodwa disagreed. He says Zuma is well rested.

“The president was given time off by the ANC to go and rest so that he can be very energized when he addresses the nation,” said Kodwa. “We think that come Tuesday, when the president stands before the nation, he will be ready enough to be able to articulate [his message].”

Kodwa says Zuma is expected to address a variety of challenges that face South Africa.

“Everybody in South Africa is looking forward to the president of what will be the ANC’s plan of action, both midterm, short term to a long term of what it is that we have to do to change the economy, given the challenges ahead,” said Kodwa.
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