President Jacob Zuma repeated firmly on Tuesday that nationalisation is not government policy Replying to the debate on his State of the Nation address in the National Assembly, Zuma said: "We have noted that political formations, including the ruling party's youth league, have decided to debate the matter. This is a democratic society, and as government, we cannot stop political formations from deciding to open a debate on this topic or any other." Departing from his prepared text, the president urged those who object to nationalisation to argue their case with the African National Congress Youth League, instead of asking the party leadership to silence Julius Malema. He also told MPs that creating decent work remains at the centre of the government's economic policies, and he pointed out that the short-term measures embarked on to assist people to survive the recession do not replace the jobs that must be created by the formal economy. "In my address I said our long-term infrastructure investment programme will be one of the platforms that will underpin our growth in the next four years," he said. "As we proceed with this programme, we will work to maximise industrial growth opportunities by promoting local manufacture of critical inputs for the infrastructure projects. "This will have long-term benefits for our industrial capacity and boost job creation." He also spoke of a focus on maximising green jobs -- as part of the state effort to tackle climate change. He said he agreed with the chief whip of the Democratic Alliance, Ian Davidson, that his administration needs to "open the economy, promote opportunity, create competition and give choice". But he insisted: "This does not require the retreat of the state. Indeed, the resources and institutions of the state can be effectively used to promote conditions for even greater private-sector growth and development."