Solidarity: Check your mailbox, Mr Zuma
Trade union Solidarity’s anti-crime campaign will take another step on Tuesday when it delivers 16 000 letters to President Jacob Zuma, the union said on Monday.
Tuesday’s campaign will follow a similar one over the past three days where thousands of electronic letters were sent to the president’s email over 18 hours, said Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann.
“We’ve bought a lot of post bags… so we’ll print out all copies of emails sent to the president electronically over the past three days and deliver them to Parliament,” Hermann said.
He said a “special vehicle” will be used to deliver the 30 post bags to parliament at 12.30pm on Tuesday.
The letters culminate from an open letter published on www.dearpresident.co.za, which attracted thousands of South Africans.
A portion of the letter reads: “Dear Mr. Zuma… we looked forward to your state-of-the-nation address with great anticipation. We were especially anxious to hear what you have to say about crime…
“Only two percent of your speech or 115 of your 4411 words were devoted to crime.
In other words, in a speech that lasted almost an hour, one minute was spent on crime.
“You spent more time, or 132 words, welcoming guests of honour than talking about what you plan to do about crime.”
The letter urges Zuma to use his address to Parliament on Tuesday, when he replies to the debate on his state of the nation speech, to tell South Africa how his government planned to deal with high crime levels.
The letter is signed, “Concerned citizens of South Africa”.
By 10.30am on Monday, the website posted a Twitter message saying: “The president is receiving one letter every six seconds!”
Over 7 000 letters had landed on Zuma’s inbox by Monday afternoon, said Hermann.
People who do not have access to email can SMS the word “crime” to 35960.
The campaign follows a survey conducted by Solidarity among its members, of whom 73% said “crime is their single biggest concern”.
“If crime is such a priority for Solidarity members, then it can be assumed that the broad Afrikaans and South African communities feel the same way about it,” said Hermann.
He said the purpose of the campaign was “to show the president that a large number of South Africans feel very strongly about crime”.
“We want the president to make crime a much bigger priority,” he said.