Zuma: Public servants need to go back to basics

Zuma also says it's important to make sure communities are more involved in decision making processes.

President Jacob Zuma, Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma told delegates at the local government Association's National Member's Assembly on Tuesday that public servants needed to go back to basics and include communities in their meetings.

Last month, protesters in Malamulele set fire to schools and other state property demanding their own municipality in the Limpopo town.

Last week, residents of the North West demanding water, looted foreign owned shops.

The president said local government shouldn't compromise the quality of services in communities by employing friends and family members who could not do the job.

"Because a cousin of my cousin might not be a driver and might have bought a license for all I know."

He said it was also important to make sure communities are more involved in decision making processes.

"If they are not involved they then make assumptions that there is a lot of money and these people don't want to do the work."

He said although significant progress had been made to improve service delivery in communities, much more needed to be done in terms of 'going back to basics'.

ZUMA DENIES BEING A DICTATOR

Zuma also on Tuesday said if he was a 'dictator' he wouldn't allow any 'laziness' because South Africans refused to do anything for themselves unless government delivered it.

He said communities were demanding everything when, in fact, they could do many things for themselves.

The president said if he was a dictator he would only give people material to build houses and refuse to help with the construction of them to get rid of the lazy attitudes.

"We'd only bring a government official to supervise so that there is an attachment and a feeling that 'this is my own.'"

He added that it was time residents participated in their own development instead of always waiting for government.

"A right to demand services comes with the responsibility of looking after it."