Zuma hammered over claim on jobs

OPPOSITION parties have slammed President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address, calling it shallow, disappointing - and even accusing him of misleading the public.

They attacked Zuma's claim that the government had created 480000 of the 500000 job opportunities he promised last year.

Zuma explained that most of the jobs were temporary jobs created through the extended public works programme.

"If he says hiring one person for one day is creating a job, he is misleading the public, because people are looking for permanent jobs, not one-day jobs," PAC president Letlapa Mphahlele said.

"Zuma made similar promises as last year, just phrased differently. He says 2010 is the year of action but we have just had 2009 with no action. He has no credibility," said DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip

A furious ID president Patricia de Lille accused Zuma of "spin-doctoring" job statistics.

She said Zuma's statement that he never promised jobs - only job opportunities - meant he was "treating people as if they are stupid".

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa described Zuma's claim that he had created 480000 job opportunities as a "palace statistic".

"A million genuine jobs were lost last year," said Holomisa.

Congress of the People (Cope) parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala also questioned Zuma's job statistics, and said that even if he had created 480000 jobs, Zuma should not be "gloating".

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he no longer knew what to believe when it came to job statistics. "I could not understand how Zuma could say he created 480000 jobs and at the same time acknowledge that jobs have been shed. These different figures . one does not know what to believe".

But an upbeat Julius Malema praised Zuma for speaking about learnerships and skills development. The ANC Youth League leader said the youth had benefited the most from the 480000 job opportunities.

The Unemployed People's Movement slammed Zuma, saying he had failed to deliver on jobs.