Ramaphosa: SA will still face challenges after turning tide on COVID-19
The president used his Freedom Day speech to highlight the deep levels of inequality exposed by the national lock down to curb the spread of COVID-19.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would delay government’s efforts to address poverty and unemployment and it would be a long time before the economy recovered.
The president used his Freedom Day speech to highlight the deep levels of inequality exposed by the national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Ramaphosa said that before the coronavirus pandemic hit, government was intensifying efforts to address poverty, unemployment and the weak economy.
“This pandemic could set these efforts back by many years. It will take a great deal of effort and resources for our society and our economy to recover,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that when the country turned the tide on the pandemic, there would still be challenges.
“Even as we turn the tide on the coronavirus pandemic, we will still have to confront a contracting economy, unemployment, crime and corruption, a weakened state and other pressing concerns,” Ramaphosa said.
“We will have to find new, exceptional and innovative ways to overcome them. This is not something government can do alone,” he added.
Ramaphosa said government would have to find new innovative ways to overcome its problems but stressed that the solution would lie in the collaborative efforts of business, labour and civil society.
At the same time, the president called on South Africans to remain hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic would be defeated.
He said while much had been achieved since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, government had been found wanting in addressing burning problems like inequality in the country.
Ramaphosa said the country would emerge from the virus better and stronger.
“Let us emerge from the coronavirus pandemic a better country, a more equal country,” he said.
WATCH: President Ramaphosa's Freedom Day address
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.