17 February 2014, Amsterdam – Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, the Executive Director of Greenpeace Africa has reacted to South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s recent State of the Nation Address, SONA, saying he gave a lacklustre performance.
Said O’Brien-Onyeka: “Although South Africa seems to have made huge strides in the first 20 years of democracy, many citizens remain in the dark, literally. Yes, the past 20 years have shown that South Africans a resilient people, who have progressive policies and collaborative initiatives.
“However in his annual speech, President Zuma failed to woo the nation, giving millions who were listening to the SONA, a rather lacklustre performance on the podium. Dooming his nation to more of the same and little-to-no ambition for a better future. In fact, he presented a chocolate box full of empty promises, a bed full of contradictions and an energy plan condemning this proud country to a less than prosperous union”.
Added the Greenpeace executive director: “When it comes to Dirty Fossil Fuels, Shale Gas and Nuclear, we cannot continue to sugar-coat the necessity and urgency for comprehensive analysis, proper environmental assessments, above-the-board water and mining licenses.
“Instead the government must tighten regulations by being more systematic and inclusive not just in the development, but also in the roll-out of all plans affecting its people.
“As Greenpeace we will continue to urge the president to invest in renewables, to reinstate the moratorium on fracking and to put a stop to nukes, if he really has South Africans at heart”.