President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation adress. Screengrab from YouTube

Parliament - South Africa needs drastic intervention to jumpstart the economy and overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday in his seventh state-of-the-nation address.

Zuma sombrely acknowledged that economic growth had lagged far behind government's target and that many South Africans were struggling.

“Change will not come about without some far-reaching intervention,” Zuma said.

He announced that government was mulling the introduction of a national minimum wage to reduce the income inequalities that persist in the country 20 years into democracy.