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There is still much work to do to build inclusive communities – Ramaphosa

From the desk of the president.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS

While the violence and destruction that engulfed parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng two weeks ago caused much damage to property and livelihoods, it also had a huge impact on the cohesion of our communities.

This was most evident in the tragic events that took place in and around Phoenix in eThekwini.

During some of the worst unrest in our democracy, and in a climate already thick with suspicion and paranoia, people that had lived side-by-side in relative peace turned on each other.

There is still much we have to unearth about the events that took place over the course of the last two weeks. The proliferation of fake news, doctored images and incorrect information has made it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

But we do know from official reports and personal accounts that people were racially profiled at illegal roadblocks, some people were pulled out of cars and beaten, and some were humiliated and degraded. Several people were killed.

Much of what has happened is the inevitable outcome when people take the law into their own hands. Vigilantism will not be tolerated in this country. It is criminal and it is dangerous.

Now that calm has been restored to the affected areas, our law enforcement agencies are investigating all acts of criminality. A team of detectives has been assigned to deal with the murders and are working closely with local communities. There have been arrests and those responsible will face the full might of the law.

Much of the narrative around the events in Phoenix has been dominated by attempts to turn one race against another. It has been stoked by anonymous people on social media and in messaging groups making outrageous claims and calling for revenge.

There is an attempt to present this as a sign of imploding race relations between African and Indian communities.

Just as there were people who tried to exploit people’s vulnerability and cause mayhem, there are those who want to present criminal acts in racial terms to serve their own purposes.

They will not succeed. South Africa has a proud history of principled non-racialism and working class solidarity. African and Indian communities were united in the struggle against apartheid and, together with other communities, remain committed to a united and democratic society.

In response to the fear and mistrust, the people of Phoenix and the neighbouring areas of Bhambayi, Zwelitsha and Amaoti are working to repair the damage. Aided by a peace forum established by the South African Police Service in partnership with community leaders, the communities have come together to support those affected by the unrest and to open channels of dialogue.

This is not the only part of the country that is confronted with such challenges.

Our efforts to build integrated communities are frustrated by the legacy of apartheid planning and persistent inequality. Our cities, towns and rural areas are still all divided by both race and class. This discourages cooperation and understanding, and hampers the work we have undertaken to build a non-racial society.

Correcting these spatial distortions must be part of our work of building an inclusive economy and improving the living conditions of all South Africans. It is why we are working to build flourishing township and rural economies, and focusing on the growth of small businesses. It is why we are investing in infrastructure in these areas and working to improve the provision of services.

At the same time, we need to confront racism in our society. We need to have honest conversations not only about our attitudes to one another, but also about the material conditions that divide us. For as long as the division of wealth and opportunity in South Africa is largely still determined by race and gender, we will not be able to build a truly united nation.

The events in Phoenix are a painful reminder of how much work we still need to do to build inclusive communities that have successfully broken down the boundaries of the past.

These events also demonstrate how determined some people are to divide us, and how we need to do everything we can to resist them.

It is our collective responsibility to support these communities in eThekwini and elsewhere in their journey towards reconciliation and healing.

Our democracy was built by peacemakers and bridge-builders. The architects of our freedom were African, Indian, coloured and white men and women of great courage who chose the path of reconciliation over retribution, and of peace over war.

As we strive to heal from this collective national trauma, let us stand as one. Let us overcome our differences in pursuit of the common good.

Let us work together to forge a common future in which everyone has an equal share.

COMMENTS   38

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playing the racial card again….peace will forever elude this cursed continent.

Ramaphosa delay to make changes is nothing other than he has swindled the aspiring. A charlatan is all he is

Mr. President, why don’t you take the first bold step in doing away with AA quotas, BBBEE requirements and compulsory social investment policies?

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time”

― Friedrich August von Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty

Right on it. Just who are the most damaging racists in this increasingly ugly mess of South Africa? Clearly it is those that will not let go of the concept of over privilege of white and under privilege of black ad infinitum. This doctrine says that the unborn white will always be over privileged and vice versa. This must mean that the protagonists of endless bias think that the DNA of the white will always be superior to that of the black. If this fallacy is not the fuel of this endless racist doctrine what is? Oppression comes with many feeble excuses. Oppressors can never see the evil of their collective racism.

Maybe if your parents had paid reparations, then you would not still be paying for their excesses. Your children will also have to pay. Sorry.

Maybe if your parents had paid reparations, then you would not still be paying for their excesses. Your children will also have to pay. Sorry.

Just show us 1 of these wonderful communities that you have built in the last 27 years !!
Just ONE !!!!

Still busy on the smart city and the bullet train from CT-JHB.

I don’t know of any new town or city they built….they are however good at renaming existing ones?

The events at Phoenix unfolded ONLY because the Police and government abandoned /failed their responsilities when they were put to the test.

The Indian community needs to close ranks and refuse all cooperation with the police and government until the issue of the collapse of the Police protection in their area has FIRST been accounted for, the incompetent police commanders identified and sacked, and competent new officials – with also a competent new plan AND equipment – are installed (and to the satisfaction and explicit approval of the local Phoenix community).

The present ANC efforts are just an attempt to scape-goat the Indian community, without taking any responsibility or showing any remorse for the havoc their incompetence released.

Thinly-disguised racial witch-hunts seldom end well.

Seems to happen every 36 years.

Dont forget that 1500 Indian families lost their homes and businesses in 1985. Dont forget the same thing happened in 1949.

The same thing!!! Looting and burning!! So they should trust “people” that want to come into their communities they dont know???

It was called the Inanda riots and most of those people were relocated to Phoenix. Many alive and well today and have not forgotten.

I guess if you look further back you will find this is a recurring issue perpetrated by specific demographics is SA.

It will happen again and again and again!! Get out if you can.

Smoke and mirrors – play the race card in order to divert the attention from your own continuous failures. Caught up in the vortex of his own communal collectivist past, swirling faster and faster down to Day Zero, thereby equalising a once proud country to the rest of the african dump. Cry the beloved country.

Dear Mr President, first, please tell me, if a criminal mob is trying to enter my street to harm my people or my property and the police is nowhere to be seen and do not even respond to calls, what must I do? Please do not hide behind fancy words. Tell us in straight language, what must we do?
Second point, for more than 25 years the opportunity was with black people. Your colour decided who gets the contract, makes the team or gets the job. My children were born in the 80’s, they had no part in apartheid, but you still keep their colour against them, irrespective of the fact that they have worked extremely hard to get good qualifications. Can you please stop this racism now. As long as race decides who gets the job or the contract or who must be in the team, we will never build a united nation.

I am white, even worse I am male. I am not a racist. I was brought here at an early age but never indoctrinated into such evil despite all the efforts. My parents were hard working but not racist, they tried to protect me. I wanted to leave this place and its hate. Never got there due to meeting so many increasingly wonderful people. As time went by, they most all want to change this place and remove the hate. And now that we all have the freedom, the hate is being entrenched all over again, and once again it is all for political purposes. These purposes centre upon self-enrichment. They involve corruption and malfeasance. They destroy everything and split people apart. They destroy South Africa and split its people apart. Are you paying any attention Mr Fat Cat President?

No, Mr.Ramaphosa, the chaos and destruction that has occurred on your watch in the last few weeks is the outcome of the ANC tearing itself apart from the inside.

The fight is on between the Ramaphosa clan and the Zuma faction for owning the name ‘African National Congress’ in the next election.

Diverting attention away from the real issues won’t be enough to deal with what has become a massive headache for you, particularly as you don’t know who you can really trust and who is honest enough to work for the country rather than their own enrichment – Zweli Mkhise is a case in point.

Blame deflection again! You, CR, and your party (the ANC) are responsible for the riots and ultimately all the deaths. Political ineptitude, poor governance, bad policies, very poor SAPS and SANDF, corruption and all round bad service provision is to blame. The people of Phoenix were protecting their homes, lives and assets… no crime. The looters were the criminals, not the property owners.

You need to get tough, get your hands dirty, take up the shovel and clean the filthy (criminals) out of the pig sty where they are feeding at the trough. The ANC must be purged and cleansed.

The racism card is absolute BS in this event. Blame yourself.

Agree with all your points.

People in Phoenix are being made to look like the problem ( the Innocent). People of Phoenix should sue the state…. class action battle….

Im proud of the people of Phoenix and the others in Durban that stood up to this rot. They (ANC and Gang) cannot survive with out the hard working people of Durban.

I think there is a election around the corner… so squirrel is playing the cards in reverse….. but he is utterly useless.

Right now we are a polarized society. The rainbow nation just a dream.

Just a few Years back our African brothers from Zim, Malawi etc. were made to flee the townships; irrespective whether they had SA papers. Just because they looked different and spoke different.

Today its areas bordering townships called into question. These community patrols don’t have the skills to deal with “war” situations. The lack of SAP presence has caused people to protect themselves; without the required skills to deal with adversity. Now these “politicians” are questioning these community patrols.

Sharpville, Marikana, Soweto ’76 yesterday; today Phoenix, tomorrow ?

A non-racial society is NOT possible while legislation advantages a specific race.

here’s a summary of the agenda: “At the same time, we need to confront racism in our society. We need to have honest conversations not only about our attitudes to one another, but also about the material conditions that divide us. For as long as the division of wealth and opportunity in South Africa is largely still determined by race and gender, we will not be able to build a truly united nation.”

Racism is the real problem, not the devastating ANC policies and how they’ve destroyed the economy.

The ANC is an alignment of disparate groups. The glue is the opportunity of the smaller entities to gain otherwise impossible influence whilst paying the price of being used. This should be taught in primary school, instead of racial hatred, which each faction of the ANC constantly uses for its own immoral justification and preservance.

When faced with a choice the ANC, which has been in power for 27 years, has always made the worst possible decision.

We must accept that the ANC will destroy what is left to remain in power.

Because the ANC will never acknowledge its failures it needs scapegoats and in his weekly sermon the prophesied one duly obliges.

@Al Presidente, please do not make the recent events in our country as something which is unforseen and or as sporadic. The past events are by enlarge a reconciliation of the daily life many South Africans experience.

We had over 2000 service delivery protests last year, where were the army; where were the police and more importantly where were you during any of the 21,325 murders?

https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/421424/south-africa-crime-stats-2020-everything-you-need-to-know/amp/

South Africa is a boiling pot for frogs, a criminals paradise and a failed state. The so called revolutionaries have only made the common man’s suffering worse with a façade of lies; fake news and socialist propaganda.

Whilst the truth will hurt but will undoubtedly set everyone free.

Hatred and racism even more firmly entrenched in SA.

Most of SA’s free-standing homes are already designed for inclusive living (i.e. mixed communities):

Many homes’ back yards have rooms for a servant/worker. SA is way ahead of European countries in this respect.

I understand a container with a million bullets in was stolen from Durban harbour? All I hope is that the fine patriots of Phoenix have it and that they distribute them as wisely and efficiently as they did a few week ago

Why does the number keep rising? Very hard to take you lot seriously when you keep making up numbers and stats.

Why does the number keep rising? Very hard to take you lot seriously when you keep making up numbers and stats.

Stop turning into a race thing . It’s pathetic . The police incompetence put people in danger resulting in untrained people having to step up and protect their families against thugs . Rather find out who started all this
and charge them. Start with the king thugs meeting at Nkandla 4 weeks ago . What was discussed there ?

Must have been the bad , bad vigilantes that forced the poor looters to loot and burn . What utter , sick BS from the frog boiler.

We cannot afford this clueless billionaire – like hell he earned it – anymore.

Does he realize he has no credibility anymore?

the comments south africans make is very very interesting especially the last 2 years when the covid 19 pandemic started.

Can South Africa make any progress while we have the continual spouting of vicious racial hatred by Mr Julius Malema? I don’t believe we can. Plus it is sad that the biggest racist in the world is a Black South African!

Thanks Cyril. Got it, but don’t altogether agree with it.
Somewhat off the topic but vaguely related – the National Lottery Fund – poverty alleviation – helping people up out of the sewage that Apartheid and Colonialism dumped them in – helping prevent rampant looting and burning – stopping certain groups from doing what you accuse them of – I hear you. I would also be pissed if a bunch of aggressive, dodgy oues of any race rampaged in and out of my neighborhood – especially when the cops and all their second rate sidekick acts like the Zumas, Dlodlo and Co and the NEC were missing in action. So where does the NLF come in you might ask?
But you know of course – a bunch of managers with questionable ethics and abilities who should be disbursing funds to the really under privileged – the masses allegedly looting and rampaging because of Apartheid inequality and poverty. The fund should be helping small Black businesses to get up and running. Funding children’s homes, abused mothers – the list is a thousand times longer than all the failed ANC projects. But it did make some of your cabinet and other elite ANC supporters very, very rich – almost as rich as the WMC mob – which someone recently said was a racist term. Another topic for another day.
So when are you going to close the NLF gang down? Its a big, dark, bottomless pit with very, very little benefit to the needy, but with some very disturbed management.

The way Municipalities are applying aggressive rates to upmarket areas this socialist dream of us all living in the same road won’t happen anytime soon . The ANC has made is unaffordable for most !

End of comments.

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