- President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged issues surrounding food supplies and the corruption that has come along with it
- Punishment was promised for those who were found guilty of taking advantage of the situation
- Ramaphosa also vowed that solutions to these issues would be considered and announced as soon as possible
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the current lockdown has exposed inequality in South Africa.
Addressing the issue in his weekly letter, Ramaphosa acknowledged the vast difference in our society
"Many countries around the world have imposed coronavirus lockdowns with a view to saving the lives of their citizens. We have done the same in our country, but our lockdown has revealed a very sad fault line in our society that reveals how grinding poverty, inequality and unemployment are tearing the fabric of our communities apart."
While a small handful are enjoying lockdown with plenty, that is not the case for the majority of citizens:
"There can be no greater anguish than that of a parent whose children cry out to them for food, but they have none to give. There can be no greater injustice than a society where some live in comfort and plenty, while others struggle at the margins to survive with little or nothing at all."
Ramaphosa says that while a portion of the situation is to blame on apartheid, it is also a sign of recent failures:
"Yes, these are the residual effects of a fractured and unequal past. But they are also a symptom of a fundamental failing in our post-apartheid society. The nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus has gravely exacerbated a long-standing problem."
Ramaphosa noted the food shortages being experienced in some communities as well as allegations of councillors using the situation for their own gain, promising that:
"If there is found to be substance to these allegations we will deal with the individuals concerned harshly."
The president also vowed that solutions to these issues would be considered and announced as soon as possible, calling on those who can contribute to the relief efforts to do so.
"Alleviating hunger is not an act of charity. It is imperative for any society that is founded on respect for human rights. We are at a point in our battle with the pandemic where complacency could prove disastrous. I call on each and everyone to remain vigilant, to continue to abide by the regulations, and to keep safe and keep others safe."
Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa had opted to extend the current lockdown for a further two weeks, a decision he says was made in favour of erring on the side of caution.
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