President Jacob Zuma arrives ahead of the State Of the Nation Address in Cape Town. Picture: Mike Hutchings

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has appealed to communities to protest peacefully.

He told Parliament on Thursday that police had to deal with thousands of public order incidents.

“The police successfully brought under control 13 575 recorded incidents, comprising 1 907 unrest-related and 11 668 peaceful incidents,” he said in his State of the Nation Address.

Protests against poor service delivery and socio-economic conditions occur daily in South Africa.

Government officials and civil society often differ on the reasons for the demonstrations, which are sometimes blamed on criminal elements.

There are also concerns amongst the ruling party about its numbers dropping in next year’s local government elections in metropolitan areas where protests are prevalent.

Zuma did not dedicate much of his time on the protests.

He next spoke about corruption, saying the government had introduced 17 pieces of legislation to fight the scourge.

In the 2013/14 financial year, 52 persons were convicted in cases involving more than R5-million.

A total of 31 public servants were convicted in the first quarter of 2014/15 and freezing orders on their assets to the value of R430-million were obtained.

IOL