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Zuma's no-nonsense approach to crime

2009-05-22 14:40

Empangeni - Improved policing will play a critical role in President Jacob Zuma's government's strategy to fight crime, he said on Friday.

Speaking at the University of Zululand during a graduation ceremony, Zuma said his government had taken a no-nonsense approach to fighting crime.

"We are sending a clear message... to criminals that improved policing will be a critical part of our fight against crime. That is why we changed the name from the department of safety and security to the police department," he said.

Zuma said the duty of the new department would be policing to ensure safer communities.

"No fancy words, just plain policing to protect our people and their properties from crime," said Zuma.

Graduation

Zuma, who is chancellor of the University of Zululand, conferred degrees on hundreds of graduates.

The guest speaker was Don Mkhwanazi, an entrepreneur and confidante of Zuma based in Durban.

The president used the opportunity to explain dramatic changes that his government introduced after last month's elections.

He said they had decided to have a standalone energy department to ensure government paid attention to this sector. Before Zuma's administration, the department was known as minerals and energy.

"Unless we focus on developing our energy capacity, we cannot meet our socio-economic development goals," he said.

He said the department would ensure homes and schools were electrified.

Education

The new administration had split the education department into basic education and higher education and training to improve the quality of education.

"Those who live in rural areas know that the dream of a better education remains elusive in many areas, as resources are still skewed in favour of urban areas," said Zuma.

Some urban schools in historically black areas also lacked facilities and qualified teachers which resulted in poor matriculation results.

"We want to see our schools having electricity, water, proper sanitation and decent conditions generally, especially in neglected rural areas."

The higher education department would focus on ensuring young people had access to quality tertiary education.

Zuma also called upon all South Africans to promote unity and co-operation regardless of political and other differences.

SAPA