Deputy President David Mabuza used his Human Rights Day address to call for the renewal of public service to better address the growing demands of communities.
Mabuza said the commemoration of the Sharpeville massacre should be an opportunity for renewal and unity for government performance.
He said he was shocked driving into Sharpeville on Wednesday and seeing that the grave sites of Sharpeville heroes were not being taken care of and that the grass was overgrown.
“Driving here this morning and listening to residents, it is clear that our people believe that our government can do much better to improve their lives,” said Mabuza
Mabuza said it was time for renewal and this means changing how people are served and to instill ethical standards.
“And so, on this day, as we remember Sharpeville, as we celebrate our human rights, we have many questions to answer to in our quest for renewal and unity. It requires that we conduct ourselves ethically. That we give the highest quality of service to our people. That we become public servants again. That we use our freedoms and democracy to serve our people selflessly at local, provincial, and national government,” said Mabuza.
“Our real hope for the renewal, the regeneration of the soul of our nation, rest in our ability to fix our public service and improve the performance of our developmental state. Our state must be led by men and women of high moral rectitude, and dedication; people who have made it their mission to selflessly serve and improve the lives of ordinary South Africans; people who have nothing else but the interest of our nation at heart,” said Mabuza.
He said he would prioritise Sharpeville along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura to fix the service delivery issues in the area.
Mabuza also used his speech to highlight burning social issues.
He said South Africans must be outraged by the death of a five-year-old child who fell in a pit toilet last week, along with the death of Michael Komape who also died when he fell in a pit toilet in 2014.
“What do we say to our innocent children about a police officer who molests children placed in his care, children who have entrusted justice and salvation to him after they were raped? What has gone wrong? Why have we become so numb to the tragedies that rob our children of their innocence?” asked Mabuza.
The deputy president also called for the protection of womens’ rights and for an end to attacks on the LGBTQI community.