SAfrica’s Zuma opens hotline after violent protests

Source: Reuters

* President’s hotline handles over 2,000 calls per hour * Phone hotline follows violent protests over services, jobs JOHANNESBURG, Sept 14 (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma launched a telephone hotline on Monday that would allow people to lodge complaints directly to his office, a month after violent protests erupted over poor services and jobs. Zuma, who took office in May, has pledged to do more for the poor, but financial woes in Africa’s biggest economy have limited his ability to carry out the main plank of his party’s election manifesto. “You may receive calls from very angry people,” Zuma, who took calls himself as the hotline opened, told call centre staff. “They will say there’s no water, there’s no electricity,” Zuma was quoted by government news agency BuaNews as saying. Vusi Mona, head of communications in the president’s office, said 2,420 calls to the toll-free number were being handled each hour. Protests over basic services flared in several squatter settlements and impoverished townships across South Africa in July, increasing pressure on Zuma to meet election promises to help millions of South Africans still living in poverty 15 years after the end of apartheid. Zuma has said the government has fallen short in meeting South Africans’ demands for better basic services like water, electricity, health care and education. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Sophie Hares)
spotted by RS

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