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S African Prez Ramaphosa pledges to create work, fight hunger, corruption and rising crime in 2022

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Johannesburg, Dec 31 (PTI) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged in his New Year address to the nation that his government will create work and intensify efforts to fight hunger, corruption and rising crime in 2022.

“In 2022, we will dedicate all our energies to create work and fight hunger. We will build on the important progress that has been made in ending state capture and fighting corruption.

“We will continue to prevent corruption and successfully prosecute those responsible for malfeasance,” Ramaphosa said in his message.

The report of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is expected to be handed to Ramaphosa next week by its Chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Ramaphosa is expected to advise Parliament after that on steps to be taken, including prosecution of those implicated in looting billions from state coffers.

Among those implicated by witnesses at the hearings of the Commission are the three Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – and former President Jacob Zuma.

The Guptas, originally from Saharanpur in India, are currently believed to be in self-exile in Dubai as South Africa seeks their extradition to face criminal charges, while Zuma is appealing a 15-month sentence imposed by the highest judicial authority, the Constitutional Court.

“We must work together to deal decisively with rising levels of violent crime; with crimes against women and children, and with the sabotage of our economy,” Ramaphosa added, in a reference to the rising tide of gender-based violence and the rampant looting and arson earlier this year that left billions of rands in damage.

Ramaphosa had referred to the week-long orgy of violence and looting in July, which left huge shopping centres and factories stripped bare until he called in the army as embattled police failed to stop it, as “ a failed insurrection.” The President also made a plea to citizens to play their part in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after the nightly curfew that had been in place for almost two years was lifted on Thursday evening.

“It will be some time before the world is free of COVID-19, but if we all play our part, we can limit the impact it has on our lives and livelihoods.

“We must ensure that our actions, our behaviour and our decisions over this festive season and beyond do not lead to more infections, more people ending up in hospitals and more deaths,” Ramaphosa said.

He also commended those who had assisted their fellow citizens as South Africa went through a third and the current fourth wave of the pandemic in 2021.

“I speak of the help given to neighbours to pay rent and buy food, of the community food gardens and soup kitchens set up to feed the destitute, of the millions in donations to the Solidarity Fund, (which assisted those in need during the pandemic) and of the business owners who went out of their way to retain jobs.

“The hardships we have endured over the past year have brought us together as a nation. In this season of goodwill, we are reminded that generosity of spirit has always been our greatest strength.

“It is my wish that the spirit of solidarity, empathy and compassion should continue into the new year and in the years to come” Ramaphosa said.

The President made special mention of the importance of vaccination to fight the pandemic.

“We can be thankful for the nearly 18 million South Africans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination remains our best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation for COVID-19.

“I want to call on all South Africans over the age of 12 who have not yet vaccinated to please go and get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is safe, it is free and it is the responsible thing to do for yourselves and for those around you,”’ Ramaphosa said. PTI IND

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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