Zuma sets date for 'dialogue'

LOOKING FOR PERSPECTIVE: President Jacob Zuma has announced a 'national dialogue; in an effort to give all sections of the population a better understanding of one another. © GCIS.
LOOKING FOR PERSPECTIVE: President Jacob Zuma has announced a 'national dialogue; in an effort to give all sections of the population a better understanding of one another. © GCIS.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma wants South Africans to have a common understanding of cultural practices, languages and affirmative action.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma wants South Africans to have a common understanding of cultural practices, languages and affirmative action.

Speaking during the Presidency's budget vote in Parliament yesterday, Zuma announced a "national dialogue" to be held on July 29.

"Due to the lack of a common perspective we constantly reach crisis points on a number of issues. Constant contentious points include transformation in the workplace, sports, songs and symbols, the language policy and certain cultural practices," Zuma said.

These will be "unpacked" during the national dialogue, he said.

Zuma first mooted the idea of a national conversation in February this year shortly after news broke that he had fathered a baby with Irvin Khoza's daughter Sonono.

Zuma felt then that if South Africa had a common "moral code", people would not feel so free to criticise his lifestyle.

"The problem is that people have particular religions, values and beliefs and then give themselves authority to be judgmental of other cultures.

"Now, who gives individuals the right to be judgmental while others don't have that right? Everyone says what they want about certain things . it is not right", he said at the time.

Yesterday Zuma also announced that he would move faster on making sure that more people feel the benefits of broad-based black economic empowerment.

Zuma chairs the new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) advisory council. He promised yesterday to investigate the abuse of BBBEE through fronting.

It will also look into levels of black ownership of the market place and new laws around government procurement that will see black business being given preference, he said.

Zuma also announced that he had invited all heads of state from the continent to attend the opening and closing matches of the World Cup.

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