President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to attend the G7 Leader Summit this week, where he will be taking a message of hope about the prospects for South Africa’s recovery, and the global recovery.
Writing in his weekly open letter to the public, Ramaphosa said that this was a message that not all South African are ready for.
“When times are tough, it is easy to be pessimistic. It is understandable that citizens may be frustrated by the slow pace of change, and feel that our problems appear to be intractable. Our high rate of unemployment, for example, has not improved since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago and was made much worse by the pandemic.”
“But sometimes we are so absorbed by our shortcomings, that we often fail to acknowledge what we are doing right and where things are improving,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that South Africa is making progress in resolving many of its challenges, from corruption to energy shortages to the obstacles that discourage investment. The pace of reform is picking up, he said.
He added that government does not take the patience and resilience of the South African people for granted.
“We acknowledge our shortcomings as a government and are working to remedy them. Optimism is the foundation of progress and hope is the companion of development. Cynical though some among us may be, let the progress we are making in overcoming the immediate crisis motivate us to do even better.”
Ramaphosa said that South Africa’s history is full of ‘setbacks and false starts’, but South Africans have proven to be resilient.
“Let us look ahead and move forward. Let us nurture the green shoots of progress. Let us not only hope for better days, but let us work even harder to achieve them.”
Ramaphosa said that South Africa’s delegation to the G7 summit will talk about the green shoots of economic progress, and the tangible results of commitments made by his administration to resolve challenges that have long hindered the country’s economic growth.
“I will be presenting the clear signals that our country is emerging from the devastation wrought by the pandemic. These signals include a strengthening currency, a record trade surplus, and growth in mining, financial services and manufacturing,” he said.
Other topics on the agenda include:
- The jobs created through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which has directly benefited nearly 700,000 people since it was launched eight months ago.
- Greater policy and regulatory certainty in important economic sectors such as energy and telecommunications.
- A push for broader support for the struggle we are waging alongside India and more than 100 other countries to achieve a temporary waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property agreement at the WTO to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
- South Africa’s move to manufacture its own vaccines and pave the way for the development of a local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in our own country and on the continent.