Ramaphosa celebrates Africa Day, reiterates importance of African unity

President Cyril Ramaphosa penned a lengthy statement detailing different issues facing the continent including trade, the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the African Union.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 022 Heads of Mission Conference in Tshwane on 7 April 2022. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africa continues to grapple with xenophobic sentiments, President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated the importance of unity among Africans.

These are some of Ramaphosa's remarks as he celebrated Africa Day on Wednesday.

Illegal immigration has been a thorny issue here on home soil and has at times sparked violence between locals and mostly economic migrants from other African countries.

Ramaphosa said that such tensions were a reminder that the work done by colonial and apartheid administrations still lingered on the continent.

President Ramaphosa penned a lengthy statement detailing different issues facing the continent including trade, the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the African Union.

Among some of the things he raised, was the importance of tackling illegal immigration in South Africa.

The president said that citizens had a right to raise these issues, but we must be wary of how we go about addressing them.

South Africa has witnessed running tensions across the country between locals and foreign nationals over the years.

This year has seen the emergence of Operation Dudula, a formation claiming to be cracking down on undocumented migrants in the country.

President Ramaphosa said that South Africa must never be seen as a place of intolerance because this was a betrayal of our own constitutional values.