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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid