Prsident Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address in the joint sitting of the house in Parliament, Cape Town, 11/02/2016, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

#SONA2016 / Cape Town - South Africa’s representative at the Brics New Development Bank, Vice-President Leslie Maasdorp, said emphasis on the National Development Plan was the highlight of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.

“What the president did tonight – despite the disruptions – was to emphasise the National Development Plan,” said Maasdorp.

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Maasdorp said this was significant in that the NDP dealt with the structural nature of the economic crisis the country currently faced.

“(The) NDP is South Africa’s endeavour to ensure that we address the deep structural problems,” said Maasdorp.

“You can’t turn the economy around in one or two years.”

Maasdorp said that the country, along with its fellow Brics members – Brazil, Russia, India and China – were all experiencing “external variables”.

These variables included a slowdown in growth globally and China’s performance, the main driver of growth.

Thus, a slowdown in economic performance could be expected.