President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed appreciation for the companies who participated in the South Africa Investment Conference, hailing it as a success.
“Yesterday was the most fantastic and successful day [and] everyone who participated and those who watched on TV are testifying to the fact that the new mood that has been prevailing in the country is rising,” President Ramaphosa said.
He made the remarks at a fun walk through Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg on Saturday morning. The walk showcased some of the business opportunities in Soweto.
President Ramaphosa applauded the companies and everyone who participated in the conference, adding that they have contributed towards lifting the mood.
“Thank you all of you who participated because to have gotten an announcement of R290 billion in one day is phenomenal ….it has never happened to the history of our country. In time, we will lift the employment levels in our country, and we will also lift the economy of our country.
“Today we [are] celebrating and saying thank you to everyone who has come here,” the President said.
Developing township economy
Vilakazi Street is a business and tourism hub in Soweto. The street was once home to the late former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Government declared both the Tutu and Mandela residences official museums.
President Ramaphosa said the area is growing in leaps and bounds.
“When we talk about the township economy, we talk about developing this precinct because this has become the most important square mile in the whole world. Our objective and our dream is to develop it [and] build it up,” he said.
The President highlighted that already 700 people are employed full time in the precinct as businesses are being developed around the area.
“Every year they receive almost over 400 000 tourists who come to visit here. We want to increase that exponentially, and today we are showcasing this place so that as you go wherever you come from, we want you to forever remember this place. This is a great place to be,” the President said.
The President made a stop at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site, which is a Gauteng tourist attraction. Here delegates learnt more about the Soweto uprising of 1976.
The country still feels the pain of the Soweto uprising, said President Ramaphosa. However, it is healing as it is developing its economy and the area.
During a fun walk in the morning, the President had the opportunity to engage and share some jokes with the local residents. Some residents dropped what they were doing in their backyards and rushed to the street to take pictures with the President.
Among the residents who participated in the fun walk was Themba Msibi who commended government’s Thuma Mina campaign and challenged South Africans to take part in it.
Explaining the concept of Thuma Mina to SAnews, Msibi said it is all about volunteerism.
“You can’t wait for government to clean your area when it is filthy. Thuma Mina is about taking initiative….it starts inside your house. When you witness domestic violence or know about it in your house, you have to go and report it. When you see poverty … you go and look for social workers instead of waiting for government or a counsellor to come,” Msibi said.
The walk, which took almost an hour, ended next to Mandela House. – SAnews.gov.za