Zuma seeks to reassure investors

18 February 2016 - 17:11 By Bianca Capazorio

President Jacob Zuma's reply to the State of the Nation reply has focused heavily on the economy and on education.Much like his original SONA address last week‚ Thursday's speech has focused on the economy‚ in an attempt to reassure investors and keep a ratings downgrade at bay.Before he even spoke‚ Parliament was encircled in a massive razor wire fence‚ which had many passersby shaking their heads and questioning what was going on.Zuma said in his speech that the economy had been hard hit by the global economic crisis and low commodities prices.But he said "South Africa's positive attributes far outweigh the challenges and these challenges are being addressed through programmes and plans".Among the plans were the rollout of broadband‚ a focus on new industries such as the ocean economy‚ and the black industrialists programme.Zuma said education remained an "apex priority" as the only way to "ensure a bright future" for the country.On corruption‚ Zuma said "we are strengthening the legislative framework" to clamp down on the problem.He announced two new crime investigation units focusing on drugs and illegal firearms.He said the two units would focus on crime involving drugs and transnational crime‚ as well as with illegal firearms and other priority violent crimes.Zuma also announced that all government tenders would now be advertised free of charge in a centralised tender portal.He said that tenders would no longer be advertised in newspapers‚ as another of government's cost cutting measures.Also on the issue of cost-cutting‚ he said the design of new schools would be standardised in order to curb costs and budgets for these would not exceed R30 million.

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