If it feels like the annual State of the Nation Address and opening of Parliament were overwhelmed by pepper spray, cable ties and violent blows. However there are some important things in President Jacob Zuma's speech you might need to know.
Here they are:
- 1.3 percent. That's what the President expects the economy to grow at this year — better than 0.5 percent in 2016.
- While Eskom has refused to sign new agreements for renewable energy sourced from new market entrants, the president restated support for renewables as part of the energy mix. "Eskom will sign the outstanding power purchase agreements for renewable energy in line with the procured rounds." This is big.
- Nuclear was not singled out as more important than other new forms of energy.
- 895 new schools have been built.
- 6 million new work opportunities in state-run public works by the end of 2019.
- 2031. That's when National Health Insurance will be implemented in full.
- This!!! "We assure the youth that the lowering of the cost of data is uppermost in our policies and plans."
- The land expropriation bill is going back to Parliament so land reform and restitution is unlikely to move any faster.
- R32 billion. That is how much government has shifted around in the budget to support students. #feeswillfall a little.
- The threshold to get student funding is too low (at R122,000 per household income a year) and the president's promised to look at it.
- The president signalled the start of a period of radical socio-economic transformation and he finally defined it as "fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female..."
What does radical economic transformation mean for you?
- Faster affirmative action in the workplace.
- Government will use legislation, regulation, licensing, budget and procurement to drive transformation.
- Big contractors must subcontract 30 percent of business to small black-owned enterprises on government contracts. This is big if it happens.
- Big is bad. "The Department of Economic Development will bring legislation to Cabinet that will seek to amend the Competition Act. It will among others address the need to have a more inclusive economy and de-concentrate the high levels of ownership and control we see in many sectors." This legislation will be tabled.
- A plan to change how land is owned to benefit workers as joint owners is moving along. There are 13 plans in the works to benefit 921 farm dwellers. The idea is three years old.
- 450 black smallholder farmers are going to get big help from government, so get in there if you are a black farmer.