MANY countrymen were recently baffled because of President Jacob Zuma' sketchy State of the Nation Address, which asserted that the government had been able to create 480000 jobs of the 500 000 he had promised to deliver within six months last year.
It is understandable if people react hysterically because it is common knowledge that almost one million people across the country lost their jobs due to the recession the same year he said 480 000 jobs were created.
Only this year did he explain that he was referring to jobs created through the Expanded Public Works Programme, which were mainly temporary and not sustainable.
These job opportunities did very little to lift people out of poverty and the unemployment trap.
As a result many who found themselves jobless and hungry took the initiative to join the exhausted informal trading sector.
The last report of the Statistics South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released last year, also reflected an increase in retrenchment compared with the previous seasons.
The same report also showed an increase of despondency among those searching for work.
A few weeks after the release of this report the president made an appeal for the government to be afforded the opportunity and sufficient time to deliver, while admitting that it might not be feasible to create 500 000 jobs as promised.
So the claim that 97 percent of job creation was achieved in the Expanded Public Works Programme needs to be backed up by substantial evidence to prove sound governance and accountability to citizens.
The president also seemed to have used a "quiet diplomacy" regarding the behaviour of cabinet ministers and departments that went on the rampage, splashing taxpayers' money by purchasing luxury vehicles.
Thabo Koole, Johannesburg