IN QUOTES | Cyril Ramaphosa says the digital revolution needs to focus on rural communities

05 March 2021 - 10:06 By cebelihle bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the private sector often focuses on urban areas, leaving rural communities behind. File photo
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the private sector often focuses on urban areas, leaving rural communities behind. File photo
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

President Cyril Ramaphosa said rural areas must not be left behind as SA moves towards the digital revolution.

The president said the Covid-19 pandemic had changed how people work, meet and conduct businesses.

Ramaphosa addressed the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders at the Old Assembly Chamber in parliament on Thursday.

He said the private sector often focuses on urban areas, leaving rural communities behind.

Here are six quotes from his address:

Rural communities must go digital

“It is in this regard that some of the more important economic recovery processes, such as the digital revolution, that must take place in our country also need to be focused on rural communities. Quite often the temptation, and it is the temptation that even private sector companies that usually control this fall into, they will tend to focus on the urban areas and leave out the rural areas.”

Traditional leaders played vital role in fight against Covid-19

“You assisted with the procurement of personal protective equipment and the distribution of food parcels together with stakeholders. It was a joy to hear how traditional leaders were deeply involved in things such as food distribution and assisting our people as they encountered this great hardship.”

Presidential land summit

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee has continued to oversee work on policy research around the important issue of communal land tenure. We remain committed to hosting the Presidential Summit on Land and it is critical to resuscitate the initial plans to convene provincial engagements beforehand.”

Initiation seasons

“I want to commend the national house of traditional leaders, the provincial houses and the Congress of Traditional Leaders SA (Contralesa) for your management of the customary initiation process during the pandemic. This was going to be a testing area for us as government but in you, we found great understanding and support for adherence to the regulations.”

Tribute to leaders who died from Covid-19

“Some of our leaders passed away due to the deadly pandemic that is still very much with us. The coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million people worldwide and more than 50,000 in our own country. I would like to express my gratitude to you as traditional leaders for joining the government to fight this pandemic.”

Gender-based violence

“I believe our traditional leaders can play an outstanding role in tackling GBV and in pointing out that the beating of women, rape of women and killing of women and children is not part of our cultures, the DNA that has been passed onto us from generation to generation.”


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