Let's rebuild and close poverty gap

People looting in Durban flee from a police officer on July 12 2021.
People looting in Durban flee from a police officer on July 12 2021.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

People sometimes forget that politicians are normal people. President Cyril Ramaphosa is a husband and a father; he is a farmer who loves the land; he is a trade unionist and a businessman; he is a patriotic South African, but also with a loyalty and strong sense of responsibility towards our continent – the history of our country paved his way to activism and politics.

On Sunday night, Ramaphosa the politician spoke to us, but he also spoke in all the above capacities. As a politician, he must steer ship SA through troubled waters, faced by political infighting and instigation, division, poverty, inequality and high levels of crime – a sensitive balancing act. The pandemic had an aggravating impact on all these factors, making his statement all the more important.

He addressed the impact of Covid-19 and violence and looting head-on and expressed his determination to address both.

Vaccination is proceeding well and steps have been taken to increase vaccination capacity. Rules are relaxed in respect of where people can be vaccinated. The increased focus on vaccination is to be applauded. Countries with high levels of vaccination are the most successful in the fight against the pandemic. The fact that vaccines are now manufactured in SA is a big step forward. We are on the right track.

The announcement is lenient in the current circumstances.

Social relief for the vulnerable will be introduced given the impact of Covid-19 and the violence and looting. Measures will be introduced to help affected businesses to rebuild.

The focus on rebuilding and assisting the vulnerable is spot on. Poverty and inequality made it easier for instigators to have successes in certain regions. Not helping the vulnerable will play into their hands.

The government, and all South Africans, face a huge challenge to rebuild and to keep narrowing the poverty gap and inequality.

Dawie Jacobs, Sterrewag, Pretora

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