Job creation tops the State of the Nation Address (SONA) wish list of people on the street in Cape Town. President Jacob Zuma will deliver his fourth address in parliament today.
Michael Ndlovu says he wants President Zuma to address the job crisis in the country. “He must say something on jobs. People are struggling.” Ndlovu has been working in a fish and chip shop for about four years and says that he is not really happy but “it’s better than not working.” He adds that he has to support about eight people on his meager salary.
Parliamentary worker Banll Kloopman says people are “crying for jobs” and President Zuma needs to talk about this. Gerhard Bothma says Zuma must lay down his plans on creating opportunities for people to start jobs and also deal with crime and corruption.
In his wish list, Peter Jansen says Zuma must speak about plans to create employment especially for the youth as this will solve the crime issue in the country.
Business owners in the area also want the President to talk more about jobs. Business owner Iliyas Sunge says the President must look after the poor. He says he used to employ six people but had to cut the number to three because business was too quiet. “We can’t pay rent in time and waitresses in time.”
Sunge says everything is expensive and people don’t have money to buy food and they have to settle for snacks such as chips and chocolate in order to fill their stomachs.
Businesswoman Riziaq who refused to give her name says the President needs to help single women who work and uplift them. She adds that salaries remain the same but everything else increases on a daily basis, referring to the ever increasing petrol price.
She also says she is forced to sell her food at low prices because people can’t afford to pay exorbitant prices. Her shop has a staff compliment of 12 people and she has not laid off anyone but “it’s getting there.” She adds that the crime level is high.
President Zuma is under pressure to fulfill his promise of creating 500 000 jobs which he announced in his previous SONA. This has been difficult for him to achieve as South Africa had to deal with the recession which hit a large number of countries, last year.
Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko recently criticized President Zuma for not fulfilling his promise to create jobs. She joined a chorus sung by civil society organizations and other labour movements. Yesterday, a survey was released which shows that President Zuma has failed in his bid to create jobs.
– By Palesa Kobedi, Parliament