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Ramaphosa: Growing black anger about 'lackadaisical' whites with power

Dec 13 2018 20:29
Carin Smith

White South Africans, mainly those with power in their hands, must realise that particularly young black people are becoming increasingly angry about their "lackadaisical" attitude, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday evening, during a live interview on 702 and CapeTalk by Xolani Gwala.

In Ramaphosa's view, this can be seen as a justifiable anger, especially among young black professionals who find that, despite obtaining qualifications, they fail to gain access to the jobs market.

"We must never give up preaching about this kind of thing. If we give up on this, SA descends into mayhem. We got free by putting pressure on apartheid rulers. We need to use a multiplicity of pressure points," said Ramaphosa.

"We cannot walk away from our country and the nation building project. We have to keep going on."

Asked whether the "Ramaphoria" after his election had turned into "Armageddon", Ramaphosa said economic analysts only watched "certain moments" in the history of a country.

"They latch onto a particular event and then make their conclusions," he said.

Rather ask 'ordinary people'

Ramaphosa would rather use "ordinary people" as a barometer of views on the economy and whether Ramaphoria has turned into Armageddon or not.

"Recently we called an investment conference and got local and offshore businesses who came together and said they believed in SA being renewed and rebuilt," said Ramaphosa.

"Let us look forward rather than backward. Don't just look at the price of petrol. The renewal phase is not gone. I am feeling hopeful about the future of SA and so are many ordinary people."

Still trapped in apartheid past

Ramaphosa acknowledged that SA has to deal with problems that arose from several different factors. He said these factors included the structure of the SA economy, which is still "trapped in the apartheid past".

"We want to break away from that and get people to be part of the economy. These are serious problems for us to grapple with," he said.

He is pleased with initiatives and suggestions that have so far come from events like the jobs summit.

"We have also said that the minimum wage will commence to reduce inequality. That will bring more disposable income," said Ramaphosa.

Minimum wage to keep rising

He said that was just a start, because the minimum wage would "keep going up" until it reached the level of a living wage.

"We had to deal with a multiplicity of things. A combination of our strategies and initiatives will get us moving forward," said Ramaphosa.

"We are focusing on youth employment. We are opening pathways, especially for young people and women to have access to the workplace."

cyril ramaphosa  |  jobs  |  sa economy
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