- President Cyril Ramaphosa says it takes a village to raise a child, but South Africa is failing to come together
- The politicians lamented the dangers the youth in the country face, calling on the nation to pull together
- Ramaphosa is adamant the tragedies incurred in recent times could have been avoided if only the village had been keeping a watchful eye
President Cyril Ramaphosa's weekly letter to South Africans touched on an issue that many parents worry about - the safety of our children.
The leader says that it takes more than just parents to ensure the youth make it to adulthood intact:
"There is a proverb common to many African cultures which says that it takes a village to raise a child. This idea – that the broader community has a responsibility for the development, well-being and safety of each child – comes to mind when I think about the tragic and deeply upsetting death of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi on a school camp just over a week ago."
Briefly.co.za reported that Mpianzi's former principal had been suspended after it emerged the camp had gone ahead despite not being approved by the government.
Ramaphosa noted more tragedies that have gripped the nation in recent days and the president is adamant that they could have been avoided:
"All of those young lives, and the lives of many others, need never have been lost. All these tragedies could have been prevented if measures had been taken to keep these children out of harm’s way. It seems to me that, as a society, we are failing our children."
The president called for South Africans to care for one another, to feel a sense of duty to protect:
"We need to be responsible for ourselves, for our children and for others. Just as we need to ensure that children are able to grow up in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment, so too must we feel a duty to protect and care for all those who we know and interact with."
In a society where many households are headed by a single parent, Ramaphosa called on fathers to step up:
"A culture of responsibility means that fathers need to be present in the lives of their children. Too many women have to raise children on their own, which often limits their prospects and those of their children."
The state, whose responsibility it is to maintain the fleet of public schools, was also urged to step up to the plate:
"Elected officials and public servants are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens. They must ensure that there is adequate and safe infrastructure in schools. They must act quickly when there is an interruption to water supply in a communities or when faulty streetlights are reported. They must ensure that health and safety regulations are enforced and that the rule of law is maintained."
In conclusion, Ramaphosa asked each and every citizen to put an end to the trauma:
"Yet, there is clearly much more that we need to do, as government and as a society. This country has witnessed far too many tragedies. We can bring these tragedies to an end if we all, each one of us, take responsibility for raising the children in our great South African village."
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