Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that is only through unified action that we will be able to successfully deal with corruption and the sense of entitlement that currently abounds.
The deputy president was speaking at an event marking the third anniversary of the passing of former president Nelson Mandela. In his address, Ramaphosa called on leaders to listen to their constituents and to be more humble. He encouraged them to follow the example of humility set by the former president.
He said that a hallmark of Madiba’s leadership style was the way he handled conflict. The more Madiba disagreed with someone, the more intently he listened to them. He listened to those who disagreed with him in a manner that acknowledged the difference, in the belief that points of difference could enrich one’s own view.
Ramaphosa went on to say that after more than 20 years of democracy, the country was now in need of economic renewal and leadership. He acknowledged the strides that had been made in improving the quality of life for South Africans thus far, but admitted that there were still many challenges that remain. He reminded his audience that the national minimum wage of R3 500 was not perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. He also cautioned against setting too high a minimum wage, saying that it may come at the cost of jobs.
He continued his cautionary note by saying that as long as the economic gap between white and black South Africans remains as stark as it currently is, the country will continue to struggle to build a non-racial society.