- President Cyril Ramaphosa has applauded the media for its work during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Ramaphosa called for support for the industry after it suffered immense job losses due to the crisis
- An economic recovery plan is in the pipeline to help SA plan the way forward post-Covid-19
President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the Covid-19 pandemic has required the limitation of numerous civil liberties.
However, the president feels that a robust media has helped to protect human rights as well as the prevention of state power being abused.
The success of preventative measures imposed by the government was, in Ramaphosa's opinion, in no small part due to 'the sterling work of our media':
"We owe a debt of gratitude to South Africa’s hard-working and tenacious journalists. They have kept our people informed by disseminating key health messages about social distancing and hygiene. They have done so under extremely trying conditions, often with limited resources."
Ramaphosa says that the media managed to expose situations that may not ordinarily come to light:
"Our media have also shone a light on excesses that perhaps would not have ordinarily come to light. They have fulfilled their watchdog role by unearthing acts of corruption and maladministration, sparking a massive national debate and leading to a number of high-profile investigations. Through this reporting they have earned people’s trust."
The president noted the immense impact of the pandemic on the sector, saying that SA needs more journalists and not fewer:
"We need more journalists, not less. That is why the loss of even a single journalist is not just a loss to the industry but to the country."
The nation was called upon to support the industry as South Africa begins recovering from the financial costs of the pandemic:
"As we begin the great task of rebuilding our economy in the aftermath of the pandemic, the media industry will need our support more than ever. The free press was once described as ‘the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men and women prize’. As we salute their role in this pandemic, let us do what we can to ensure that the free and diverse media in our country is able to survive and thrive."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa has promised that an economic recovery plan is in the pipeline and is expected to be released within the next few weeks.
The president highlighted the need for every citizen to work hard to ensure the success of the plan.
This comes after Stats SA announced that the GDP had contracted with 51% during the second quarter of 2020.
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