Zuma announces R23 billion plan to resolve electricity crisis

President Jacob Zuma.

Following some disruptions during the first few minutes of his speech, Zuma looked unfazed as he continued from where he left off and stated that the government had many interventions in place in order to resolve the energy crisis. Zuma said this crisis continued to stunt economic growth and caused frustration among the public.

He said, “We are doing everything in our power to resolve the challenge of energy constraints.”

Zuma also insisted that gas would play a bigger role in energy generation. “Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy [in order] for the utility’s generators to avoid blackouts.” The president also urged households to also use gas instead of electricity.

Zuma said foreign nationals would not be allowed to own land in South Africa, but would be eligible for long-term leases. The government has come under increasing pressure of the exceedingly slow pace of land reform. Frustrated communities have started invading unoccupied state and private land, some being lead by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The president said, “The process of establishing the Office of the Valuer-General is underway, which is established in terms of the Property Valuation Act. Once implemented, the law will stop the reliance on the willing-buyer, willing-seller method in respect of land acquisition by the state.”

He said the government was also working with the private sector to develop an agricultural policy action plan to bring one million hectares of under-utilised land into full production over the next three years.

Last year, the government re-opened the second window for land claims. More than 36 000 claims have been lodged. The cut-off date is 2019. The president also stated that currently it was a difficult economic climate globally but stated that latest employment figures looked promising.

Zuma also stated that government would invest more on education and boost the country’s economy. He said the government would also re-vitalise agriculture and put in place a more effective industrial policy which can contribute to a major boost of the economy.

Lastly Zuma said, “We will continue to promote healthy lifestyle, urge people to stop smoking and not to abuse alcohol.”

Watch EFF members forcefully removed from SONA 2015


Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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