Inkatha Freedom Party's (IFP's) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi lashed out at government "inefficiency" in a letter published on Tuesday, saying the State was fuelling civil discord.
In an apparent reference to a wave of protests in different sectors in past weeks, Buthelezi said it was the result of a "lack of genuine consultation between our government and the public".
"The poet Yeat's famous line, 'Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,' could have been written today for South Africa as it has witnessed the inexorable centralisation of power," said Buthelezi.
"It is this uncontrolled and unaccountable concentration of power at the centre, in the hands of the select few affiliated to the ruling party, which is responsible for the insufficient delivery capacity of the South African state and which is, in turn, fuelling civil discord bordering on lawlessness."
The IFP leader said the government inherited South Africa's "huge and inflexible civil service" from the apartheid government.
"In South Africa today we are reaping in part, as I have said before, I believe, the bitter harvest of rendering the country's townships ungovernable during apartheid," said Buthelezi.
South Africa has been hit by a wave of service delivery protests in at least 20 towns in past weeks, while several trade union members have gone on the rampage over wage disputes.
"Rioters' concerns then and now might be legitimate, but their practices never are. The answer, I contend, lies in a return to a genuine vision of being local.
"Being local has implicit meanings: authentic, personal, known, accessible, trustworthy. The same attributes, I believe firmly and passionately, apply to local government," said Buthelezi.