Leaders should put interests of citizens first

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says leaders of today must be selfless and put the needs of ordinary South Africans first in order to resolve the challenges that the country faces.

The Deputy President said this when fielding oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Jabulani Mahlangu had asked the Deputy President whether comments he made when he received the Regenesys Lifetime Award for Leadership in June were in line with government’s position.

At the time of receiving the award, the Deputy President said leaders who were part of the Constitutional Assembly, which he chaired, put their parochial interests aside despite their differences for the greater good, and that leaders in politics, business and government today should emulate that generation.

“As leaders of different political parties, we need to ensure that we act at all times in the interest of South Africa and at all times in the interest of our people in the interest of our people as a whole.

“We need to show South Africans that collectively, we as leaders remain committed and capable of resolving the many challenges that our country faces.

“We must consistently be led by the needs, the feedback and suggestions of ordinary South Africans who possess a wealth of ideas, a wealth of knowledge about how to move South Africa forward.

“Our leadership must flow from our ability to listen and to learn from the citizens of our country and

Reflecting on the days of the Constitutional Assembly in the 1990s, which he chaired, the Deputy President said the process represented what he would call a unique moment in the history of South Africa.

He said although there were strongly opposing positions as the Constitution was being drafted it was possible to reach a conclusion because there was sufficient commitment to the goal of a peaceful, non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa.

“We are required as leaders to see beyond the immediate interests of ourselves and our organisations.

“We are bound by history to work together with a view of moving South Africa forward. The Constitutional Assembly process was possible because leaders of our country engaged each other on matters of substance and were prepared to negotiate in good faith.

“It is pleasing to see that a number of those leaders who were involved in this process are still here.

“I can cite Honourable Buthelezi who was a very active member of that whole process and a number of others on this side and all of them were bound by history to work together and in a way it was almost a situation whether they liked it or not, they needed to work together to produce the South Africa that we have today,” he said.

Now the country faces several challenges including slow growth and high unemployment and leaders are called upon to guide the nation to greater and better things.

“Such engagement is taking place amongst leaders in government, in business and labour on matters and measures that need to be taken to reignite growth and create jobs in our economy.” – SAnews.gov.za


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