President Jacob Zuma has said that laziness has crept into South African society, and that if he were a dictator he would increase productivity.
The Times reported that the president would welcome a chance to rule ‘with absolute authority’ to make local citizens more productive.
Zuma was speaking at the SA Local Governance Association conference in Midrand on Tuesday.
“Sometimes I worry when people demand things for free, even things they can do for themselves.
“If I was a dictator, I would change a few things …but this is a democratic country,” the president reportedly said.
Eyewitness News meanwhile, reported that president Zuma lamented that South Africans “exaggerate” their problems, waiting for government to solve their problems.
Communities needed to be informed and involved in local government, and be proactive in realising the benefits of democracy, he said.
“We should unite our people behind the idea of building a prosperous South Africa and an inclusive society.
Zuma related an anecdote of a visit he made to an unnamed African country during the liberation struggle.
“I got there and people were working very slowly, they were not in a rush, and I asked the comrade who was taking me, ‘What’s happening?’
“He said people don’t work fast, people say they are free. The white man has left, they are now free.”
Zuma warned that freedom is “not something that is in the air”.
He saw a man selling mangoes in that country. “The fellow spreads the sack on the ground, waiting for the mango to drop. He is lazy to climb the tree and pick the mangoes. Why? Because we are free.
“We shouldn’t be like that. Sometimes I worry when people demand everything, even things they can do themselves.”