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Durban - South Africans need to get involved in the affairs of the country, but without resorting to violence and looting, deputy public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Wednesday.
Speaking in Durban, Dlodlo said that in recent months the country's image had taken a knock.
“We are seen as role model citizens of the globe by the rest of the world. But the events of the last few months have really put South Africa under the red flag of the international community.”
Open and transparent government could only be achieved with the engagement of its citizens, but that engagement needed to be lawful and peaceful.
“We do not want a South Africa where people voice their opinions, their dissatisfaction by looting. We do not want a South Africa where people voice their objections on certain things by killing other people. We need to restore decorum in the way we interact with one another.”
Dlodlo, who was addressing the Open Government Partnership Consultation Roundtable, said that rights could not come at the expense of others.
Parents' rights could not be at the expense of their children and the rights of teachers could not come at the expense of pupils.
“When children in the Northern Cape are denied an opportunity to access education by their parents, I would want a situation where Cosas 1/8Congress of SA Students 3/8 takes these parents to court to say, 'you have violated our rights to education'.”
Last year hundreds of Northern Cape pupils did not go to school as parents demanded better roads and attention to other service delivery issues.
She said the youth needed to exercise their rights to education.
“I know that Cosatu will chastise me and that Sadtu will chastise me. When teachers don't come to school to teach, take them to court. Go to the human rights commission and lay a complaint at the doorstep of Parliament.”
The government had committed itself to openness and transparency, Dlodlo said. - Sapa