Zuma condemns violent service delivery protests

Friday, July 24, 2009

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday condemned the violent protests that have swept the country in recent weeks, but said that government would listen to the people's concerns.

Addressing members of the Confederation of Black Business Organisations (CBBO) last night,
President Zuma said government had noted with great concern the service delivery protests that have erupted in several parts of the country.

He promised government would listen to the people's concerns and come up with ways to address their challenges.

"We acknowledge that there are service delivery problems in some areas, and that is why we have configured government departments and instituted some changes that should improve the way government functions," President Zuma said.

He said while people had the right of freedom of assembly and to protest, there can be no justification for violence, looting and destruction of property, as seen in some of the protests.

"The law enforcement agencies will continue to act swiftly against all who break the law," said President Zuma.

Earlier in the day Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, visited Mpumalanga to assess the situation on the ground and get a report from a task team that was set up in response to the service delivery protests there.

The minister had last Friday dispatched a high-level delegation of department officials to investigate the concerns of the community and devise a turn-around strategy in response to the issues raised.