President Jacob Zuma has slammed the use of violent protests as a bargaining chip. This could be a veiled reference to the series of wildcat strikes in the mining industry.
Zuma was addressing Alexandra's centenary celebrations and called for a renewal of morals and ethics. Alexandra celebrated 100 years, from its dusty beginnings to a thriving township. Thousands gathered to mark this singular event.
In his address, the President warned against violent protest action. "We cannot destroy that which we have built ourselves, and we cannot continue organising protests in which people die. This calls for serious reflection about the way in which we do things."
What type of society do we hope to be?
The President also called on the youth to be respectful. He noted that society appeared to be shedding moral values and principles. "We are also taught that younger persons, including children, must respect adults as that is the foundation of sound and cohesive families and communities. Once we lose respect for one another and ubuntu, what type of society do we hope to be? "
He castigated the increase in rapes of the elderly and children. Zuma said South Africa had to deal with this painful reality.
Earlier the President planted a tree at a house in Alexandra where former president Nelson Mandela stayed when he first arrived in Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in 1940.
The house in Seventh Avenue has since been declared a heritage site.