December 20, 2014
S. Africa: Zuma promises growth after police clash in Johannesburg
With a sweeping election victory, South African President Jacob Zuma vowed to create jobs and ramp up infrastructure projects after his ruling ANC government dispatched its armed forces to quell post-election unrest in a Johannesburg slum, one of its more visible crack-downs on disorder in recent memory.
Zuma promised to push through business-friendly reforms, signalling he would pursue economic growth in the face of leftist opposition.
Burdened with sluggish economic growth and damaging strikes in his first term, the scandal-hit Zuma is at pains to soothe investor concerns about Africa's most developed economy. Over the last year he has spent less time on the wishes of unions, whose long walkouts have stunted growth.
While the African National Congress took a convincing 62 percent in South Africa's fifth post-apartheid elections, the former liberation movement also faces rising anger from the millions still stuck in grinding poverty.
Overnight, the government sent the military into the black township of Alexandra to squash post-election protests in which 59 people were arrested for public violence.
Violent protests - often over lack of access to running water or electricity - are common in South Africa's impoverished black townships, although military intervention has been rare.
On Friday, police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse demonstrators who burned tyres and barricaded roads in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said.