RTTNews - Wednesday, South African President Jacob Zuma pledged to create about four million job opportunities by 2014.

In his first state-of-the-nation address to parliament in Cape Town, Zuma also promised to generate half a million jobs this year.

The initial target of one million jobs has been achieved, Zuma said. The second phase of the programme aims to create about four million job opportunities by 2014, he added.

He said the fight against poverty remains the cornerstone of his government's focus and it has started action to reduce job losses. Zuma said the South African economy entered a recession, though the impacts of the global crisis were not as severe as it was in other countries.

It is more important now than ever that we work in partnership on a common programme to respond to this crisis, Zuma said.

Moreover, the president said the ZAR 787 billion spending programme, announced in this year's budget, needs to be properly planned and executed.

In the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently - no wastage, no rollovers of funds - every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully, he said.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com