Corruption should not be so deep-rooted that civil servants expect bribes for doing what they are paid to do, President Jacob Zuma has said.
Addressing the four-day National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union congress in Boksburg today, Zuma said all other crimes had been reduced in the past 19 years, except white-collar crime. He cited as an example the recent release by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe of the names of 42 convicted fraudsters.
“We must never accept this kind of practice to define the ANC government. That’s why we must all fight this scourge,” Zuma said.
Zuma told the conference that the ANC would prepare a report on its performance in government to account to the public as it marks 20 years in government next year. The anniversary coincides with the general elections in 2014.
He cited figures on employment, housing, the growth of the economy, and the reduction in HIV/Aids infections as some of the achievements of the ANC-led alliance.
“It’s important that we be accountable to the people and say this is what we have done and this is where we failed,” he said.
Zuma also touched on land reform, saying land remained an important issue that needed to be tackled. He said it continued to haunt our young democracy as rural communities could not be properly developed without the redistribution of profitable land.
“We are making some progress to undo this injustice. However … we need to move at a faster pace. The importance of our historic task to redistribute land cannot be overemphasized because it is linked to the challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment,” he said.
Zuma also told the conference that his government would try and attain what former president Nelson Mandela wanted it to achieve, which is a society where everybody has access to healthcare, education and basic services.
“We look forward to celebrating Madiba’s 95th birthday on the 18th of July with vigour. We say “akekho ofana naye” (no one is like him) in dedication to humanity,” he said.
He asked the nation to keep the Mandela family in its prayers and thoughts.
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