Johannesburg – All President Jacob Zuma wants is six months as a dictator to solve South Africa’s problems.
In that six months Zuma would force the unemployed to return to school or get arrested.
“If you just give me six months to be a dictator, things will be straight. Right now, to make a decision you need a resolution, decision, collective, petition. Yoh! It’s a lot of work. I am emphasising that let us pay more attention to our children in education,” said a laughing Zuma.
He was visiting Marhulana Primary School in Tembisa on Wednesday along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as part of the Mandela Month celebrations.
Zuma said that if he had his way, education would be compulsory for everyone who was unemployed.
“Education would be more than compulsory. Anyone young found walking in the street would be arrested by the police and asked why he is not at school. If someone doesn’t have a job, I would send them to school by force. They must continue studying because one can never be too old to get an education,” he said.
He encouraged people to study for qualifications that were in demand.
“Study for a job. You can’t go and study biblical studies. There are a lot of priests but we want plumbers.”
He encouraged pupils who didn’t do well in matric to go to technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges.
Zuma donated school bags and blankets to the pupils.
Chinese ambassador Tian Xuejun has promised to replace computers stolen during a break-in at the school.
Praising Mandela, Zuma said: “We celebrate this great man produced by South Africa. He did things that few people would do.
“One of them was to make (former president FW) De Klerk receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Without him, De Klerk would have never smelt it.”
Zuma, who didn’t finish primary school, said: “I educated myself. I took a decision to educate myself when I realised I had no chance because my father had died. Don’t just listen to the people who say I am not educated and think you can take chances.”