Govt must answer to citizens: Zuma

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pretoria - Government, in all its spheres, should be accountable to the people, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"Everybody, from the highest levels of government to the lowest, should be accountable for work they are responsible for," President Zuma told a sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in the Free State.

The President stressed the importance of service delivery, without which no truly successful country could be run.

"We have said government should work with speed to address the needs of the people... that government officials should treat citizens with respect," he said, adding that processes like ID applications should not take long.

"Changing the way government works also means that public servants should not abuse the power that has been entrusted to them. Those who are employed and get paid to do a job must do it," he said.

In terms of housing, Zuma said backlogs in the system in the Maluti A Phofung area should receive attention.

"I would like to emphasise that all deserving people should receive these houses, particularly our senior citizens. Everybody who qualifies should get a house when these become available, not only ANC members as some residents have alleged."

Challenges faced by schools regarding nutrition, water and clean facilities should also be addressed, the President said.

He said there should be a collaboration among the three spheres of government - national, provincial and local - and highlighted the NCOP's importance as the voice that represents the interests of the people in all provinces.