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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Ramaphosa: ‘Let’s push for Steve Biko’s dream of true humanity’

Ramaphosa said South Africans should remember Steve Biko's powerful call to the people to be architects of their own liberation.


President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation in his weekly newsletter “From the Desk of the President”.

Biko died in police detention in September 1977, and to this day – the circumstances surrounding his death remains unclear.

“It is 45 years since Steve Biko died. In considering the relevance of his life and legacy, we should recall his powerful call to the people to be architects of their own liberation,” Ramaphosa said.

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Economic Climate

The president said government is working with social partners to build an inclusive economy, create employment, enable businesses to thrive, and tackle poverty and hunger.

He said when South Africans won their freedom in 1994, they understood that the right to vote was just one part of their struggle for human dignity.

“Twenty-eight years into our democracy, we are confronted with many challenges, such as poverty, unemployment and inequality. As a result, we often lose sight of how far we have come in giving effect to the principles on which our Constitution is founded and that anchored Steve Biko’s thought and teachings.”

Human Dignity

Ramaphosa said the country has come a long way towards the fulfilment of human dignity that Biko so cherished, but it still has much further to go.

“Without a job, without a house, electricity or running water, without land, without skills or opportunities, millions of South Africans are still deprived of the lives they seek and deserve. That is why government is working with social partners to build an inclusive economy, create employment, enable businesses to thrive and tackle poverty and hunger.”

Ramaphosa added that South Africa must be focused on addressing challenges to achieve a truly free and equal society

“This call is as important now as it was back then. We each need to play our part by using the foundational rights in our Constitution to build a South Africa free of poverty and hunger, underdevelopment, crime and violence.”

“As Steve Biko urged, let us march forth with courage and determination on our common quest for true humanity,” Ramaphosa said.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Steve Biko

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