Millions of unemployed, poor and desperate South Africans were recently glued to their screens hoping that President Cyril Ramaphosa will have answers for them. But instead, the only solution Ramaphosa had for our people, was to urge them to “dance to the Jerusalema” song.
The President yet again missed the opportunity to outline the economic recovery plan, to respond to the destruction left by Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of urging people to dance on Heritage Day, Ramaphosa could have committed to take practical action against the rot in government, which has recently reached the new height when those involved stole from the pandemic. He should have committed the day to reign in on the rampant and open season looting.
He could have committed to fighting Gender-Based Violence which has become the national shame. Human-trafficking of young girls and women has reached uncontrollable levels in the country. It’s catching up with already unacceptable statistics of women who are murdered, raped and assaulted by their partners. So, Mr President, I think dancing is the last thing from the minds of many of our people.
Many unemployment youths and many more who recently lost their jobs due to the lockdown, don’t have a reason to dance. With unemployment having climbed more than 30% with the bleak economic outlook, millions are worried about their future.
This also comes when the country is experiencing the shocking crime and many citizens frustrated. It comes when one experienced top Cape Town Anti-Gang-Unit commander Charl Kinnear, was killed in the rain of bullets outside his home. This shows how brazen and daring gangs are operating.
So, Mr President, I won’t take your call to dance for the global hit Jerusalema song but will continue to call for the prioritization of citizens in the economy. I will continue to call for the introduction of the death penalty for serious and heinous crimes committed by drug lords, perpetrators of gender-based violence and human traffickers. I will dedicate the day to continue to hold the Executive accountable and continue to advocate for the special courts to deal with Covid-19 corruption.
Mr President, it looks like the spirit of “Thuma Mina” has long died and have instead resorted to dancing.
Written by: African Transformation Movement (ATM) President and MP Vuyolwethu Zungula, Pretoria.