Ramaphosa's weekly e-newsletter will cover matters of concern to SA

30 September 2019 - 12:20 By ANDISIWE MAKINANA
'Almost everyone I meet ... is deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the stubbornly high rates of unemployment,' writes President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first weekly electronic newsletter. File photo.
'Almost everyone I meet ... is deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the stubbornly high rates of unemployment,' writes President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first weekly electronic newsletter. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa has launched a weekly electronic newsletter in which he discusses current affairs and issues.

“Each week, I will discuss some of the issues that interest and concern South Africans, and talk about the work we are doing in government to tackle these issues. I hope you will find it useful,” he wrote in the first edition titled “From the Desk of the President”, which arrived by e-mail on Monday morning.

Ramaphosa also posted a link to the newsletter on his Twitter page for his 710,000 followers to peruse.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said the president's message was meant for everyone.

“We have combined a number of databases that people would have opted into for government information,” she said when asked about intended recipients of the president's message.

In the newsletter Ramaphosa alludes to the problems facing the nation, especially the lax economy and high unemployment. He also punts the changes made by his regime, especially to the governance structures of state-owned enterprises and the leadership of some of the criminal justice agencies.

“Almost everyone I meet in the country, whether residents of Lusikisiki or business leaders in Johannesburg, is deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the stubbornly high rates of unemployment.

“After a decade of low growth and deepening poverty, people are looking for signs of progress in tackling the many challenges confronting our country,” the president said, noting that this year the economy would record growth that was lower than expected.

Ramaphosa noted that much of the confidence the country had 20 months ago had dissipated as the realities of the problems SA faced became clearer.

“This confidence was born out of the hope that we would quickly undo the damage that was done over a number of years. Implementing change does take time," he said.

"The important issue is that we should move in a determined way to effect change while remaining irrevocably committed to rooting out state capture, corruption and malfeasance," he said.

"We collectively have a common task: to rebuild the confidence of our people, this time based not merely on hope and expectation of change, but on concrete things that make a difference in the economy, real actions that ‘move the needle'."

Ramaphosa said he believed this was possible and that despite the difficulties, South Africans from all walks of life were still moved by the spirit of Thuma Mina to become involved in fixing the country, and wanted to change the narrative of doubt to a narrative of opportunity not through clever spin, but through action.

He claimed that many recognised the progress made in turning the country around, including the changes in many state-owned enterprises and in bodies such as the National Prosecuting Authority, revenue service Sars, the police and the State Security Agency.

These, he said, gave people confidence that credibility and integrity of the state could be restored.

“It shows that we are serious about tackling corruption and ending state capture”.


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