Ramaphosa criticises 'magnifying' racial and ethnic differences for 'accumulation and exclusion'

21 October 2019 - 12:33 By Amil Umraw
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS via Presidency of South Africa Flickr

President Cyril Ramaphosa has criticised sectors of society who he says are "magnifying racial and ethnic differences" to serve their own agenda.  

Ramaphosa, wearing the hat of ANC president, was speaking at the African Communist seminar hosted by the South African Communist Party in Rivonia on Monday. 

He said the publication, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, played an important role in sharpening the country's understanding of non-racialism. 

"It (the African Communist) also played a very important role in sharpening our understanding of non-racialism," he said. 

"Our non-racialism, premised on the proposition that we are all equally South African, is all the more important now when, in the light of scarce resources and a tough economic climate, some in our society are tempted to revert to the backwards tendency of magnifying otherwise dangerous racial and ethnic differences as the basis of accumulation and exclusion."

He did not elaborate on which sectors of society he was referring to. 

Ramaphosa, in his short opening speech, also criticised the lack of intellectual debate in the country today. 

"In a way, the African Communist was a crucible for great ideas, great debates and robust debates," he said. 

"Sometimes, when we hear about some of the debates that used to take place, we can decry the fact that we no longer have such great debates that we have heard about that took place in exile, in the national executive committee, in the structures of the party. Debates that were vigorous, underpinned by deep intellectual rigor. And we can decry that they no longer take place."