Zuma: ANC wants to up the ante
Rustenburg - The daily experience of South Africans was behind their negative attitude towards local government, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"It's the frustration of going to a municipal office to outline one's frustrations only to find clerks to are too busy to care," he said at the ANCs election manifesto launch at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
"It's the frustration of calling the municipal hotline and not finding assistance.
"It's the frustration of not finding one's councillor to report difficulties or make suggestions," he said.
Unreasonably high water and electricity bills after being incorrectly billed, or having power cut for no reason were also problems people faced with local government.
"While we have achieved a lot, clearly more needs to be done," said Zuma.
He said the ANC "heard" the concerns of the people and was working on addressing them.
"The ANC government... will ensure all councillors serve those they represent and are accountable to them," he said.
He said the party would find councillors who would be "accountable, efficient and competent".
"We are committed to ensure that every councillor will report back to communities on plans."
There has been an outcry in Gauteng over the lack of consultation about the implementation of a pricey tolling system.
Zuma said the ANC would ensure a more "active", "clean" local government.
On corruption Zuma said: "We will review the tendering system to deal with corruption systematically."
Zuma spoke at length about the ANC's accomplishments before detailing its manifesto.
A date for the local government polls has yet to be announced.
He said the ANC was committed to building integrated, non-racial communities.
"We need to move away from simply building houses for the poor and work towards building more united, non-racial and integrated communities across our cities and towns," he said.
He said work was ongoing to ensure that new settlements were more non-racial and involved the creation of mixed income.
Zuma said only the ruling party was capable of transforming the lives of the people.
"We have kept the economy developing, reduced poverty and expanded basic services to unprecedented levels."
He said the ANC had achieved this because the people had consistently responded to the call to work together.