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

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid