It's your country – play your part

Friday, February 23, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a call to all South Africans to play their part to make South Africa a great nation. 

He said as the country prepares to celebrate the centenary of the birth of former President Nelson Mandela -- who was affectionately known by his clan name Madiba -- it is important that people should take the new sense of hope and optimism and channel it into deeds that will contribute to human development. 

The President said this when he delivered the keynote address at his Presidential Golf Challenge gala dinner on Thursday evening in Cape Town. 

The golf challenge, at which the President plays golf with businesspeople and senior managers from State-owned entities, among others, is coordinated by the Department of Public Service and Administration, with the aim of fundraising resources to support the work of the President’s foundation, which supports initiatives such as small business development and education. 

“I get a sense that a new spirit, a new mood, a great feeling of great enthusiasm is spreading throughout the country. 

“Some people are saying this is like 1994 with Madiba still around. And I say this as I think it is important as many of us say ‘thuma mina – send me’. If we all have this feeling, we should harness this moment. We should harness it with a view of asking ourselves what we can do to make a better South Africa real to all our people,” he said. 

The President said South Africans should harness the opportunities that are now opening up and forge meaningful partnerships that will see the country addressing its challenges. 

“We still have a great deal of poverty in our country. We still have a great deal of inequality in our country and yes, unemployment is still very much a constant visitor… in our homes, in our townships and our rural areas. [We must]ask ourselves what is it that each one of us can do to make a contribution to change things for the better. 

“This is what Madiba – as we celebrate the centenary year of his birth – would have wanted. Madiba would have wanted to see all of us as South Africans saying we are prepared and willing to put shoulder to the wheel so that we can make a contribution that can move South Africa forward.” 

SOEs are being reformed 

The President said, meanwhile, work is underway to strengthen governance at State-owned entities to ensure that they contribute meaningfully to the development of society. 

He said while progress is being made to improve the lives of all South Africans, more still needs to be done to reduce inequality, alleviate poverty and put a dent on the high levels of unemployment. 

President Ramaphosa said with the reforms that are being put in place, the days of corruption and State capture were behind us. 

The President said it is important for South Africans to have an administration they can be proud of. He said by South Africa cleaning up its act, the country opens itself up to an influx of local and international investors. 

Private sector invited to get involved in nation building projects 

The President said, meanwhile, that government would like to see the private sector playing a role in contributing to the betterment of society. 

He commended Cell C, the main sponsor of the evening, for its contribution in the social investment space and for pioneering the “Take a girl child to work” campaign. 

The President told a story of how his foundation’s education trust – the Kagiso Shanduka Trust - has so far given bursaries to 250 beneficiaries. 

He said when the beneficiaries were challenged to pay the money back after they started working, instead of doing just that, they instead opted to rather register their own foundation so they can do their own fundraising and put more learners in school. –

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