By Zanele Buthelezi

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, Dec 1 — President Jacob Zuma has voiced concern about the on-going violent protests which South Africans engage in when raising their grievances to the government.

He said this when addressing the South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) gala dinner at the International Convention Centre in Durban on Friday night.

Zuma has called on his ruling African national Congress (ANC) party and its alliance partners — the South African Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Sanco — to work together on common programmes of addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“There are things that we have not done. We have not for example dealt with South Africans to move away from the mindset of saying if you demand something you need to break things.”

He said the manner in which South Africans dealt with their democratically elected government had to be different from how the oppressive regime was confronted.

“We certainly need to meet and discuss that change of mind as a broader movement and therefore identify the steps we need to undertake to build this country because we could not change South Africa overnight,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zuma called on Sanco to ensure that it monitored the progress the ANC was making on the commitments it made in its election manifesto.

He said Sanco must continue to constructively engage the ruling-party on action to take to speed up service delivery and commended Sanco for managing to strengthen itself after years of infighting in the organization.

“Sanco is a civic movement which is supposed to be where the people are as well as the branches of the ANC, we ought to know if there was dissatisfaction in any part of the country and act first to address that matter so that we do not create an impression that this beautiful democracy is a problem.”