- The National Assembly was held on Thursday and President Ramaphosa addressed some pressing matters during the meeting
- He discussed the way South Africa needs to correct imbalances that was created in the past
- The president feels that the old South African flag and anthem are part of these imbalances that needs correcting
President Ramaphosa attended the National Assembly on Thursday to respond to some members of the Parliament that wished to debate the Presidency budget vote given on Wednesday.
It was here that he addressed the matter of the old South African flag and 'Die Stem', the national anthem from days gone by.
He wants all races to feel valued and welcome in South Africa.
The president reminded South Africans that there is only one way to truly and effectively unite our nation and build a better South Africa - by correcting imbalances that were created in the past.
President Ramaphosa said the members attending the National Assembly were united by a mutual desire for a "South Africa that has confronted the divisions of the past and healed them".
We are bound together by a set of constitutional values and principles that clearly differentiate our democratic present from our apartheid past.
Several speakers yesterday spoke of nation-building and the need for reconciliation.
The Honourable Groenewald said: 'We are all South Africans, who must build this nation.' I agree.
That requires that we recognise both the injustices of the past and how the legacy of that injustice endures in the social and economic terrain of the present.
When we talk about white privilege and black poverty, Honourable Maimane, we are not only talking about the past. We are talking about the present.
President Ramaphosa added that it would not be possible for South Africans to build a nation that is united unless their 'material reality' underwent a drastic change.
Likewise, reconciliation can't be achieved until the country tears down barriers that still divide us.
They exist in the minds of people who think that it is acceptable to sing Die Stem and display the old South African flag.
These are not symbols of Afrikaner identity; they are symbols of discrimination, oppression and misery.
These barriers exist in the minds of those who would deny that apartheid was a crime against humanity.
The president added that these barriers still do exist in the nation's daily lives - it lies between those who have assets and those who don't and between those who are unemployed and those with jobs.
President Ramaphosa wants equal opportunities for women and disabled persons in the workplace.
He also added that there have been numerous meetings with the heads of large companies and an investment of R420 billion into the South African economy is expected.
This is not an elite project. This is a revolutionary project."
He then addressed the land reform issue.
If ownership, tenure and use of this country's land remains restricted to a small minority, we will never realise the contribution it can make to the growth and development of our economy.
It is also expected that the government will be focusing on the state of the health sector.
There are plans that will be implemented by the Department of Cooperative Governance and National Treasury that will be focusing on the problems that municipalities face.
Another problem that came under scrutiny is the crime in South Africa.
Near the end president Ramaphosa stated that it is clear that South Africa is entering a new era.
It is a new era that holds much promise for renewal, growth and transformation. But it will only succeed if we all work together to make it a reality.
We are all South Africans and we have a common responsibility.
Since Ramaphosa has taken the 'hot seat' as South Africa's president, he has been building confidence and trust with South Africans despite the many problems that the country faces.
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