SA is a 'friendly' nation - Zuma

2013-08-01 08:41
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Despite "isolated" incidents of violence against foreigners, South Africa's general population is a friendly and welcoming, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"South Africa is a hospitable country and South Africans are welcoming to foreigners," he said in Midrand.

"Between 2006 and 2011, South Africa registered more than 816 000 new asylum applications, making it by far the top destination for asylum-seekers..."

He described the "isolated" attacks as unacceptable during an address to the Black Business Council.

At least 62 people were killed in xenophobic attacks in May 2008. Since then there have been random incidents against foreigners.

One of the most recent cases went “viral” after being filmed.

Last year, Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia was filmed being handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton on 26 February. He was later found dead in a local police station's holding cells.

The officers allegedly involved in the incident were arrested and the case is pending in the Benoni Magistrate's Court.

On Wednesday, Zuma went on to say that corruption was not as bad in South Africa as in other countries.

"You will be pleased to hear that South Africa is not the most corrupt country in the world.

"We were ranked 28th out of 167 countries surveyed in the 2011 Democracy Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit."

Fight against corruption

He said all sorts of crimes had been reduced except white-collar crimes.

"Therefore, the fight against corruption continues to be intensified in the public sector," said Zuma.

"We urge business to assist us in dealing with crime in the private sector."

On employment, he said a lot had to be done to improve the climate for job creation.

"Our people count unemployment as a key challenge affecting them," said Zuma.

"Total employment has increased by more than 3.5 million since 1994, but as more job seekers enter the market, with the economy not growing as fast as we all would like it to, many are still in the job queues."

He said the diminished demand for South African exports by trading partners like the United States, Japan and the EU had put pressure on the economy.

Zuma said there had been progress in various sectors of the South African economy over the past 20 years, but more needed to be done to eradicate poverty and inequalities.

"...The legacy of apartheid colonialism cannot be eradicated in only 20 years," he said.

"When the going gets tough, as it will from time to time, let us never lose sight of the achievements that we have scored."

- SAPA
Read more on:    mido macia  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  xenophobia
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