President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that racism and discrimination were on the rise in SA.
Addressing an ANC virtual event to celebrate 65 years of the Freedom Charter, Ramaphosa said that because of the apparent rise in racism, the country was tearing down the aspirations of the drafters of the document.
“SA and the world are seeing a rise in tearing down this important aspiration that was set out by our forebears in the Freedom Charter.
“As we see a rise in racism, discrimination that is based on ethnicity and narrow nationalism … it is for this reason that the ANC and the alliance has embarked on a campaign against racism,” said Ramaphosa.
He applauded his ANC and alliance comrades for “having taken up the challenge against racism”.
Ramaphosa urged his party members to embark on a concerted campaign to root out racism both in SA and across the world.
“We must continue to work with progressive forces on our continent and the globe to stamp out racism, intolerance of whatever nature, even intolerance of what is clearly set out in our constitution, intolerance against any form of sexual orientation,” said Ramaphosa.
He said in the midst of a global pandemic, SA faced many challenges, including that of gender-based violence, a problem he said needed to be dealt with.
“There is a war that the men of SA have declared on the women of our country. Gender-based violence and femicide are two scourges that we need to eradicate,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the challenges required South Africans to emulate the courage and resilience of their forebears as they drafted the Freedom Charter in the face of danger and death.
Ramaphosa said it was now required for South Africans to unite and build the country that they want.
He further said though the Freedom Charter stated that the people shall share in the wealth of the country, it was undeniable that the wealth of SA remained in the hands of the predominantly white male minority.
“The structure of our economy continues to exclude the overwhelming numbers of our people, poor and black majority. Our movement, government and all social partners, must work together to bring about radical transformation of the economy and to achieve economic inclusion,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic offered an opportunity to change things and called for a programme of restriction to achieve a more just and equitable economy which works for all.
By Aphiwe Deklerk – HeraldLive