Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a united South Africa where all citizens work together to build a non-racial and non-sexist society in a keynote address during the third anniversary of former president Nelson Mandela’s death at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory here Monday.

“The unity that we must work with great urgency to build should be underpinned by the discipline and principles that leaders such as Madiba subscribed to as well as the values contained in our Constitution and the vision of a free, just and united nation that it describes,” Ramaphosa said.

“The Constitution is not only the supreme law of the Republic. It also informs who we are and what we want to be. The unity that we must work to build must be founded on the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism.

“It requires that we grapple directly with the attitudes, practices, institutions and material circumstances that perpetuate racism and sexism. Fundamentally, we need to redress the economic inequality that underpins racial division in our society.”

He said for as long as the natural state of the black South African is poor and the natural state of the white South African is privileged, South Africa will never succeed in building a non-racial society.

The Deputy President said for as long as the economic and social conditions of women are inferior to those of men, the country will never succeed in building a non-sexist society.

If South Africa is to be a united nation, the Deputy President said there is an urgent need to redistribute the wealth of the country. “A united South Africa requires the restoration of the land to those who work it. It requires meaningful transfer of ownership and control over the country’s natural resources, over the means of production, to the people as a whole.”

Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sello Hatang, also raised concern on a number of issues affecting South Africa economically and politically, including student protests. He asked the nation “what would Madiba say?”

Hatang said South Africans should ask themselves what was all that struggle about, if poor people remained poor or even worse. “We are not leading the reality of Madiba’s dreams,” said Hatang.


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