Addressing teacher union Sadtu members in Boksburg on Thursday, Zuma said government has policies that have to be undertaken and programmes to be taken to communities.
“You can’t tell me that there is a country that gives it’s people houses free of charge other than South Africa.
“In other countries once freedom has come they say you will see for yourself but we don’t say that … we say services to the people must come first,” Zuma said.
He stressed that he has never seen a country in Africa that has done what South Africa has done in a period of 20 years.
“We never lost our major interest of addressing the poor,” Zuma added.
Zuma also said the salaries of teachers and health professionals are being reviewed.
“A commission has been established to review the remuneration… The commission is headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo,” Zuma said..
“He will be looking at the conditions of the public service and report back.”
Zuma urged delegates to focus on the unity of Sadtu, which was necessary to build South Africa.
He said there had been problems but it had survived. Cosatu had also been in the eye of the “storm”, he said.
Sadtu is an affiliate of the Congress of SA Trade Unions.