Govt housing not just for ANC - Zuma
Johannesburg - Government housing was not just for ANC members but for all who qualified, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.
"Everybody who qualifies should get a house when these become available, not only ANC members as some residents have alleged," he said, according to an address prepared for delivery at the National Council of Provinces sitting in the Free State.
"I would like to emphasise that all deserving people should receive these houses, particularly our senior citizens."
Zuma said the "considerable backlogs" in providing housing in the Maluti A Phofung municipality in the Free State should receive attention.
"We all know that we should not go against the grain of our Constitution; it is not how government works. Social facilities and amenities which are not working should be made fully functional."
The challenges encountered at schools regarding nutrition, water and clean facilities should also be addressed.
After reshuffling his Cabinet, Zuma said government now had to "emphasise service delivery".
"We have said that government officials should treat citizens with respect.
"We have said it should not take long to get an ID document when you apply for it.
"A grandmother does not have to bribe a government official in order to get her old-age pension. A young man who wants to get a driver's licence does not have to pay somebody in order to get a driver's test," he said.
Public servants, he said, should not "abuse" the power entrusted to them.
"Those who are employed and get paid to do a job must do it. Teachers must be in class, on time, teaching for seven hours a day. Police officers should respond with speed when citizens call for them.
"Nurses should treat patients with compassion that our common decency and humanity demand..."
These were "simple values" Zuma's administration hoped to entrench in government. He lamented that the experience of government for many was not a pleasant one.
"Some people's experience of government is that of an institution that is far removed from them. They think government officials do not care about their concerns.
"They think government takes far too long to solve what are simple problems. They think government officials spend public resources on things they should not spend them on."
Government had to change these perceptions through changing the way it worked, he said.
He added that most of the problems faced by citizens were at the local level.