President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Jewish community is ideally placed to contribute to the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs who can create jobs.
The President said this when he delivered the Rosh Hashanah address at the Gardens Shul in Cape Town, on Wednesday evening.
As the country’s growth took a knock recently, with Statistics South Africa announcing that the economy had slipped into a technical recession, the President said government’s main priority is creating jobs.
He said government is hard at work to create an environment in which enterprise can thrive and provide opportunities to the millions of South Africans who are daily confronted by the indignity and hardship of unemployment and poverty.
“Part of this journey is the cultivation of a new generation of entrepreneurial South Africans, who are able to establish businesses for themselves and employment for others.
“The Jewish community is ideally placed to contribute to this effort because many high standing entrepreneurs in our country who are Jewish have contributed immensely to the creation of great companies in our country.
“Our government is prepared to continue working with the business sector and also with Jewish business leaders in all ways,” he said.
The President’s Rosh Hashanah address took place at the the invitation of Chief Rabbi, Dr Warren Goldstein.
Rosh Hashanah, the festival commemorating the Jewish New Year, symbolises renewal, new beginnings, examining one’s life, mapping out plans for a better future, re-orienting oneself for personal growth and development. It’s an opportunity to start afresh. For Jews, the New Year is a time to pause and reflect and take stock.
President Ramaphosa’s address took place on the fourth day of the Jewish New Year (5779).
He said partnerships between government, business, labour and communities were essential in recent successes that have been achieved in stimulating economic activity.
The President welcomed a recent offer by Jewish businessmen to put forward proposals to contribute to job creation.
The President said South Africa remains committed to contributing to a peaceful solution in the Middle East.
“As we grapple with our own challenges, we must continue to play a constructive role in the quest for peace in the Middle East.
“We are clear and unequivocal in our support for the achievement of a Palestinian State alongside the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbours.”
He said it remained South Africa’s hope that the peoples of Palestine and Israel will work with each other and with the international community to achieve lasting peace, stability and prosperity.
“We must all be concerned about the resurgence of confrontation and conflict in the region and about the grave humanitarian cost of further intransigence.
“We must be equally appalled by the violation of the rights of any person, whether Palestinian or Israeli, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian.
“We must recognise equally the inalienable right of every people to self-determination and freedom,” he said.
Government tackling corruption
The President said government has taken significant measures to end the scourge of corruption, which steals from the poor and enriches a few.
Earlier, Dr Goldstein told the President that his ascent to the highest office of the land signified the beginning of the rooting out of corrupt elements in what has since become known as State capture.
“Mr President, we commend you for bravely and resolutely leading the fight against corruption,” he said, adding that those that previously held the country to ransom are now being pursued by law enforcement agencies.
The President said during his address: “The State capture commission is the spearhead of a range of interventions that include Special Investigating Unit probes and other inquiries to help us understand the depth of criminality that has impoverished our society and economy – and to act against those responsible.
“We must pledge as a nation that we will never allow our ethical and economic fibre to be undermined on this scale again, or on any scale for that matter.
“We must build a nation based on sound values, inspired by honest leadership,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za