Follow the money and bring it back to your rural areas, was the message from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa when closing the traditional leaders’ indaba yesterday.
Addressing delegates in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Ramaphosa emphasised that talent shouldn’t leave rural communities and not return.
“Everyone, including traditional leaders, must be worried when rural schools don’t perform like the ones in urban areas. There shouldn’t be a difference.
“The issue of unemployment, which has reached record levels, requires all of us, including government, leaders in rural communities and businesses to work hard in order to find ways of creating jobs, particularly for the youth,” Ramaphosa said.
While acknowledging that government has done a lot in terms of improving the living conditions of citizens, Ramaphosa admitted a lot more needs to be done, but stressed that traditional leaders also have an important role to play. He said service delivery programmes will be intensified.
“We want to combat the appalling hunger that still affects many of our people because there is no reason why one should live in hunger.
“Economic genocide was perpetuated on our people and it has remained with us for a very long time,” Ramaphosa said.
Commenting on the recent disturbing and worrying violence against women and children, Ramaphosa said everyone in the country has to be unequivocal in acknowledging that such barbaric acts of criminality not only destroys the future of the nation, but “shames our ancestors”.
On the sensitive issue of land, Ramaphosa said as the country navigates the path to economic freedom, all stakeholders, including traditional leaders, have an important role to play.
“Our work in terms of addressing the land issue is far from over because we still see people rightfully demanding dignity and restoration of land.
“The time is now for us to rebuild our land,” Ramaphosa said.