News / Africa

    Zuma Engages S. African Public with New Media

    Dear Mr President: Jacob Zuma Faceboook

    South African President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver his annual state of the nation speech in which he is expected to outline his government’s job creation initiatives and infrastructure development at the cost of more than $100 billion over the next three years. What is different about this year, however, is Zuma asked South Africans to tell him this week what they hope and expect from his government using social media platforms Facebook and Twitter

    Zuma and his government need to create an environment in which job creation can flourish.  Last year he promised his African National Congress government would deliver five million new jobs by 2020.

    But in the past year job losses in the private sector have continued, and most new jobs have been temporary opportunities in public works programs.

    The South African economy’s recovery from the global recession has been very slow with growth still below three percent.  December’s unemployment figure of 24 percent is likely to increase this quarter as a consequence of new school and university graduates coming into the job market.

    Even before the start of the 2008 recession - during two decades of uninterrupted growth - the economy did not create enough jobs to significantly reduce unemployment nor did it keep pace with new job seekers which have increased exponentially since the end of apartheid.

    Many South Africans are frustrated and angry at the apparent inability of the government to create an environment for job growth.  In addition they feel that corruption has become endemic at all levels of government, and many believe that Zuma’s government is characterized by profligate spending and self-enrichment.

    It seems unsurprising therefore that hundreds responded to Zuma’s call to share their feelings on Twitter and Facebook. Here is a sampling of what South Africans want their president to know.

    Innocentia Mkhize of KwaZulu-Natal wrote" “Mr. President, please address the issue of job creations for people with disabilities, I'm a qualified Chemical Engineer but sitting at home for years not employed. It seems as if both public and private sector are still discriminating against us.”

    Nkosingiphile Cofu of Durban wants Mr. Zuma do something about what he described as the appalling and dysfunctional state of education, particularly in traditionally black schools, which produce high school graduates who cannot read and write.  Cofu said to Mr. Zuma. “If we cannot arrest this divide where one [is] very poor and other is opulent we are running a risk of a class revolution. We can avoid that by bridging that divide. Our education is in a mess you can save our future by acting now Msholozi  [Zuma’s clan name - use demonstrates respect]."

    Ntlatlapa Bokang is particularly angry with Mr. Zuma telling him: “What do you pride yourself with? corruption, nepotism, undermining the courts and off course protection of information bill.  I always honestly ask myself what do you say to God when you pray! how do you sleep at night when you know too well that your government is failin south africans.”

    Thato Nteso pleaded for Mr. Zuma to turn words into actions saying: “We hear of the ways for job creation and skills development in the speech but we see little being done about the matters in regards to youth especially new graduates out of institutions with no experience and still struggling to get employment no matter how many qualifications they have its heartbreaking, having to spend time and money only to come back sit at home with multiple degrees. If something more could be done to tackle that.”

    But some people were complimentary and encouraging.

    Zolani Ndlela of East London wrote: “We are proud of you as the nation, our father. We wish you a good luck on your speech, qina sizwe [isiXhosa: strength to the people].”

    And enthusiastic supporter Sheila Raphunga wrote: “This is one of the million reasons that makes me to be a proudly South African. am an ANC member for life no matter what! Well done Mr. President.”

    Photographs on Zuma’s Facebook page show that he keeps up-to-date with his Twitter and Facebook accounts using an iPad.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora