Stop being so negative – Zuma

2012-10-19 12:36
Sabelo Ndlangisa
President Jacob Zuma has pleaded with media commentators and opposition politicians to “stop talking our country and the economy down”.

Addressing a conference of business and government on the multibillion rand presidential infrastructure programme in Sandton, Zuma said opinion-makers should also acknowledge the progress the country has made over the past 18 years.

He told South Africans to create the right environment for economic growth.

“We have to promote our country and boost confidence in the economy so that it can grow and create jobs. We have to give many of our people hope as indeed a lot is being done to create a better life, even though things may not be moving as fast as we all want them to, given the frustrations and the legacy of the country.

“No country should be made to withstand such negativity and total disregard of progress being made or any positive attribute,” Zuma said.

He listed progress in areas such as housing, the provision of electricity, social grants and school nutrition as an example of what the ANC-led government had achieved in the past 18 years.

Zuma also lamented that the media had only focused on the call for a freeze on top management salary increases and bonuses when it reported on his economic intervention plan.

He said the social pact was “comprehensive” and entailed more than salaries and bonuses.

Government will contribute R844 billion of the R1.3 trillion needed for the presidential infrastructure projects over the next three years. The infrastructure development would benefit future generations, Zuma said.

“The infrastructure on the scale needed to transform our economy and social landscape will not come cheap. The cost of the strategic infrastructure projects or SIPs are estimated at R4 trillion over the next 15 years,” Zuma said.

Infrastructure projects that are under way include the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape, the Lephalale power station in Limpopo, and the Dube trade port in KwaZulu-Natal.

Business and government signed memorandums of understanding this morning at the infrastructure indaba.