‘Come out of hiding’, Maimane urges Ramaphosa

Staff Writer | Sep 04, 2019
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to ‘break his silence on the unfolding social and economic crises’.

Maimane said South Africans were ‘scared and lack real hope for the future’.

‘Our businesses are shutting down and struggling to create jobs, our young girls are being raped and murdered, and drugs and gangsterism are stealing our young people’s future. South Africans are crying out for leadership in action.

‘We are seeing economic and social collapse in action, and the widespread violent protests, looting, destruction of property and general lawlessness which has taken place over the past weeks and months is evidence of this.’

Maimane recommended immediate law and order strategies to curb unrest, and give the country a sense that lawlessness would not be tolerated.

But he said behind many of the country’s crises was its ‘collapsing economy’.

‘Protests, violence and looting are often caused and exacerbated by vast inequality, joblessness, and economic exclusion faced by millions across our country. With over 10 million South Africans unemployed, and half the nation living below the poverty line – we have run out of “extra time”. It’s now or never.

‘If we don't fix our economy we will not fix our broken society. Therefore, it is high time our political differences are put aside as we work together across party lines in order to implement one economic plan that benefits all South Africans.’

Maimane said this would be the focus of an ‘urgent debate of public importance’ in parliament, in response to his own request, on South Africa’s jobs crisis.

‘This debate comes at a time when politicians in Parliament need to put the people first and put their words into action. If we don’t deal urgently and decisively with the underlying causes of the unfolding economic and social collapse engulfing our nation, we will have no country left to build.’

President Ramaphosa issued a statement yesterday on the ‘brutal murders of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana and SA boxing champoion Leighandre Jegels’, in which he said: ‘This is a very dark period for us as a country. The assaults, rapes and murders of South African women are a stain on our national conscience.’

 

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