Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma on Monday went on a walk-about in Marabastad, in the central business district of Pretoria, to ask commuters what they want him to say in the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
President Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation Address on Thursday at 7pm to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.
According to the Presidency, the President interacted with informal traders, commuters and a contingency of foreign nationals seeking assistance from the Department of Home Affairs in the area where the President made an unannounced visit.
President Zuma spoke to citizens and foreign nationals at Home Affairs who had come to apply for all sorts of documents and permits.
“I have listened attentively to all the concerns of the people. The foreign nationals complained about bribery. They said they pay officials a lot of money to get refugee or asylum permits. I asked an official from the Department of Home Affairs to explain the processes to the foreign nationals queuing outside the premises.
“I am satisfied that their concerns will be addressed,” said President Zuma.
The President said he would inform the Minister of Home of Affairs Malusi Gigaba about the matter.
“I had the opportunity earlier to interact with commuters, shoppers and some of the informal traders who all told us about some of the challenges they face daily. This includes lack of proper shelter for their shops and problems relating to bylaws as they said its problems ‘with the municipality’.
“I have promised them that I will send the Minister of Small Business Development to attend to their problems. The visit has been helpful for me ahead of the SONA, especially with regards to hawkers, cooperatives and survivalist enterprises. Life is quite difficult for the people here,’’ said the President.