Now, asking whether or not a government received a “clean sheet” from its predecessor is never a question a government would want to affirm to and the Zuma-led administration wouldn’t be the first to do so.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced to the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday, that the African National Congress-led government did not inherit a “clean sheet” and was dealing with three issues at the same time.
Raamphosa said this while responding to questions by the council. According to him, the government inherited “a history of dispossession‚ a history of racial division‚ a history of oppression and exploitation” and that they had to deal with all three issues at the same time.
We are dealing with the past‚ trying to correct our past‚ also dealing with our present but as we deal with our present‚ we also have to focus our eyes on the future‚ hence the national development plan‚ which will take us to 2030.
The deputy president further noted that the Zuma-led government was working hard to address the lingering land issues. He added that South Africans are land hungry and so it won’t be an easy task to satisfy all in this quest.
“Remember we did not inherit a clean sheet. We inherited a history of dispossession‚ a history of racial division‚ a history of oppression and exploitation. What we needed to do was deal with that and we are essentially dealing with three things at one go‚” said Ramaphosa.
However, the deputy president noted that the divisions the country faced were perpetuated by “racists and sexist attitudes and practices” and that government had managed to come up with a “draft of national action” that would help combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination in the state.
He therefore urged all citizens of the country to comment on draft plan before the end of June. Also, that a national summit on social cohesion had been planned for 2018.
The deputy president had earlier in March, stated that racism does not belong in the country and that South Africans has the responsibility of rooting out the “demon” that is racism.
Ramaphosa added that building a non-racial South Africa which is economically inclusive is important to social cohesion and nation building. Recounting that the Freedom Charter and Constitution calls on all citizens to uphold and subscribe to the high values that are enshrined in the Constitution, values such as non-racialism, equality and tolerance.
If we are to build a truly non-racial society, then all South Africans – black and white – need to unite in tackling racial prejudice, discrimination and intolerance.
Racism is embedded in attitudes, beliefs and behaviour to one another. Racism is at the heart of the economic disparities in this country.
March 21 has been marked to commemorate the National Day Against Racism on Human Rights Day