SONA 2016 lacked detail and focus: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber

FEBRUARY 12, 2016

President Jacob Zuma's 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA) lacked detail and a clear action plan, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said on Friday. The Chamber on Tuesday listed issues that it wanted addressed by the President in his speech on Thursday.

While praising the President for placing focus on the struggling economy and listening to business, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, however, said; "...we are disappointed that President Zuma's turnaround-plan lacked sufficient detail and now shifts the pressure onto Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to deliver the detail in his Budget Speech later this month.

"All investment requires police an fiscal certainty and more detail was needed in the  presidential address."

To read the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber's full reaction to President Jacob Zuma' SONA 2016, please click HERE.

In 2015, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber was again somewhat moved by the President's spech and highlighted areas of concern for business and civil society in Nelson Mandela Bay. 

"The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber echoes the sentiments expressed across the country that this was a lacklustre State of the Nation address that failed to tackle issues head on," it said. 

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber expressed concern regarding: 

  • The implementation of new foreign land ownership laws alluded to in the State of the Nation address. We raise a question regarding how this will be implemented against existing foreign ownership, and how this will impact future foreign investment. We also request further insight into the possible impact the maximum land ownership law will have on commercial farming. This is a concern for the agricultural economy, and we believe that the possible detrimental effects on foreign direct investment should be carefully considered. 
  • The indication of the building of further Integrated Public Transport Systems in other cities, while Nelson Mandela Bay languishes with a non-functioning IPTS that has had a detrimental impact on business and the community at large. 
  • The celebration of the building of schools, while the Eastern Cape still deals with mud schools. We hope to see the programme of building lead to school environments conducive to learning. Our biggest concern in this area, however, is the much-needed focus on the teaching fraternity and the upskilling and reskilling of teachers in maths, science and technology. High-calibre teachers are desperately needed if we are to equip our children for the growth sectors of the future economy.