President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Siyabulela Duda

Pretoria - The South African economy has grown steadily since 1994 but the progression has not been adequate to address the country's problems, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"The growth has been modest but has not addressed the challenge of unemployment. We have made progress in socio-economic transformation over the years," he said.

Zuma was releasing South Africa's 20 year review document at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

He said the review was government's "factual and frank" account of how South Africa had fared since 1994.

"The review is packed with facts and figures, it is honest and frank in its approach. Where facts indicate that we have challenges and we have made mistakes we say so," said Zuma.

"It is government's most accurate account of work done in the past 20 years... it is about progress made and work that still needs to be done to move South Africa forward."

Senior government officials, business executives, analysts, and media personnel packed the room at the guesthouse as Zuma read out the review document.

Zuma said the review was dedicated to former president Nelson Mandela who died in December.