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S Africa's Zuma speech greeted by jeers

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:42

South Africa's president's bid to outline new policies in his state of the nation address was marred by a walkout from members of the Economic Freedom Fighters. As David Pollard reports, Jacob Zuma is under pressure to show he can put an ailing economy back on track.

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A state of the nation address to showcase new policies. And show who's in charge. It was meant to go with a bang .... In the event, there were few fireworks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA, JACOB ZUMA, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER SHOTS OF PARLIAMENT APPLAUDING) "Our plan is to introduce 9,600 ... nine ... 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy." If his listeners weren't impressed by that, there was spectacle too. Hardliners in the Economic Freedom Fighters staging a protest walkout from parliament. Its leader, Julius Malema, scathing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EFF LEADER, JULIUS MALEMA, SAYING: "Once we remove Zuma the people and the investors will begin to have confidence in this country." Zuma also attempted to outline new austerity measures. But it's a taxpayer-funded upgrade to his private home that's still stealing the headlines in South Africa. Anger mounting at that at a time of economic hardship for most. Growth is seen at just 0.9 per cent this year. One in four are out of work. A resource-rich country made poorer by the global slowdown - and, say his critics, by Zuma's mismanagement. Jeremy Batstone-Carr of Charles Stanley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "The economy has suffered deeply, of course, because of this now prolonged weakness across commodities. It's a major issue that the authorities have attempted in the past to come to grips with, with varying degrees of success." South Africa's rand lost a quarter of its value against the dollar last year ... To hit a record low last month. Trading was said to be volatile after his speech.

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S Africa's Zuma speech greeted by jeers

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:42