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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation address held great promises for the country and all its people. A review to determine the extent of these promises and whether he and his government have upheld them, indicates that our country is in fact taking steps backwards instead of moving forward.
President Ramaphosa pointed out seven priorities in the previous State of the Nation Address. Sadly, nothing came from the most pressing issues that were highlighted. Those include transformation, job creation, education and quality service delivery.
The World Bank has lowered growth prospects for South Africa to below 1% for 2020. Statistics SA indicate that the official unemployment rate is currently at 29.1%. The true matric pass rate is calculated at 42.2%. According to the Auditor General, the number of municipalities with clean audits dropped from 14% to 8% last year. It has a significant impact on service delivery!
“It is time to take action and to win a few “World Cups” in order for our country to bounce back from its slow economic performance and lack of service delivery”, says Omri van Zyl, Agri SA’s executive director.
The President needs to focus on the following five key factors:
• Expropriation without compensation will mean the downfall of the country's economy and food security status. The government should work with Agri SA to achieve sustainable agricultural development.
• Drought disaster relief should be a national priority and the government should work with the private sector to find solutions for this ongoing problem.
• Use the private sector's skills and expertise to mitigate risks such as foot-and-mouth disease.
• Make rural safety a national priority.
• Privatize state-owned companies such as Eskom and SAA and get experts to do the job.
• Day by day the Zondo Commission is uncovering the extent of state capture. The National Prosecuting Authority must prosecute the culprits and the law must take its course. Cadre deployment must also be nipped in the bud and professional workers who possess the necessary skills, expertise and ethics to passionately serve the country and all its people, must be appointed.
“People are sick and tired of all talk and no action and it’s time for the President to step up to the plate”, says Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s deputy executive director. “We have plans in place to help the economy grow and move forward, but the lack of political will to execute their own businesses creates a lot of frustration in the agricultural sector and the economy”, confirms van der Rheede.
Omri van Zyl
Agri SA Executive Director
(C) 082 417 5724
Christo van der Rheede
Agri SA Deputy Executive Director
(C) 083 380 3492