SA needs committed leadership to confront challenges

Thursday, November 1, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is in great need of leadership from people who have the commitment, vision, capabilities and determination to confront the many challenges of the day. 

“It is in need of women and men, in business, politics, in the unions and in broader society, who will provide leadership on those issues that most affect the global community, poverty, inequality, youth unemployment, climate change, terrorism, narrow nationalism, chauvinism and intolerance,” President Ramaphosa said. 

The President was speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit held in Sandton, Johannesburg. 

Twenty-four years after the advent of democracy, the President said vigorous efforts must be made to address the legacy of millions of people not having adequate skills, assets and opportunities to participate in meaningful economic activity. 

“We must acknowledge that over the course of the last decade, the progress we had made in addressing this legacy has been set back by a lacklustre economy, declining investment, policy incoherence and uncertainty, and the effects of corruption on a dramatic scale,” the President said. 

On the other hand, President Ramaphosa said while the country has made great strides in bringing millions of people out of poverty, the country is faced with an unemployment crisis. 

“Unless we are able to revive our economy and create jobs, the majority of South Africans will be denied real, meaningful opportunities to create a better life for themselves and their children. 

“We need to grow our economy at a far greater pace. We need to return to the levels of growth we were able to achieve before the global economic crisis, and we need to surpass them,” President Ramaphosa said. 

He said growth is vital to the country’s efforts to reduce poverty, create employment, improve health outcomes, make society safer and better the lives of all people. 

“Growth is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the achievement of a more equal and cohesive society. It is therefore essential, if we are to achieve a South Africa that is free, equal and prosperous, that we strive for growth that is inclusive and sustainable.” 

This growth, the President said, must address the exclusion of women and black South Africans. 

“It must create employment on a massive scale, bringing into the mainstream economy millions of young black men and women. We have to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.” 


President Ramaphosa said the rapid technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are fundamentally changing the nature, profile and location of work. 

“We need to be ready not only to adjust to this reality, but to play an active role in shaping the new world of work.

“We will soon be establishing a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, which will develop a comprehensive national plan to enable South Africa to take effective advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” 

The summit provides a global platform that brings together local and international global leaders to share their leadership strategies and insights on issues relating to business, economics, government and science. 

It also provides an opportunity for dialogue on global issues that contribute towards building a stronger South Africa and global society. –