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Open letter to President Ramaphosa - Voice of the voiceless

16 Apr 2020 at 07:00hrs | Views
Dear Mr President

I humbly greet you Sir

South Africa is one of the most blessed and beautiful countries in Africa, however at this time whilst we are facing this giant called covid-19 that is under threat. Nevertheless it doesn't change how privileged we are to call South Africa our home.

Even the most beautiful garden does wither in a certain season, but if it's well taken care of during that season, it always emerges more beautiful than ever at a proper time. So will our nation be, if we do the lockdown in the right way and avoid an uprising by angry South Africans after this pandemic has passed. I always say one must not resolve today's problem, by postponing future problems that will rise from the problem he claims to have resolved today.

Mr President this is definitely not the best time for critics or playing the blame game. We need to come together as South Africans despite our gender, race, religion, status and political differences and make each day a time to pull and push together in the best interest of all South Africans. I mean all, not only a selected few. I know very well that leadership is not easy and you can't reach everyone, but we can reach everyone when we unite our hopes, and trial and test every suggestion.

Mr President I can't despute the necessity of a lockdown. I support and understand your decision. Nevertheless we all know the economic situation of our country, more especially the high rate of poverty caused by unemployment. I don't want to mention the cause of this high unemployment rate, because I made it clear that this is not the time for criticism. We just want to survive this pandemic as a nation and that can only be possible by working together against all odds.

Mr President we can't say people must be locked in their homes and not go out because you don't want them to be infected and that you are saving their lives while they have nothing to eat in their houses. Isn't that a violation of theirs rights? I have personally spoke to many relatives and friends telephonically and they don't mind the lockdown but most of them are stressed and worried because they can bearly feed themselves and they are running out of food. Mr President I heard you very well when you addressed the nation you spoke of social reliefs and solidarity funds.

The employed will will file for UIF, the businesses will apply for some grants, for assistance and other measures of assistance you mentioned. But you left out the unemployed and the informal businesses, like salons, car washes, spaza shops...etc. When I speak of the unemployed I speak of hustlers, who can't hustle because of the lockdown, and I don't mean lazy and idling people who only complain and wait for handouts.

Most informal businesses are not registered, they don't even pay tax, because it's all about putting bread on the table, and many families survive because of that. Although they are not paying tax, they are helping the government since creating jobs is mission impossible for our leaders. Sir, you also spoke about food parcels; how many families will be reached? Will they even be able to prepare a decent meal from those foods parcels?

Mr President don't be deceived Sir by the rich and the working class applauding you for great leadership during this pandemic. They have enough food and money saved to survive for a year or more whilst they relax with their families, bonding without worrying about their next meal.

Sir, the poor masses that are economically affected and stressed today will be the decision makers  in the municipal elections next year; the only chance to voice their grievances. Mr President this pandemic is your opportunity to lead us, by ensuring all your subjects see the care not with words, but with actions.

Many law abiding South Africans are worse than prisoners at this very moment. Prisoners will continue to get 3 decent meals and have free accommodation whilst many South Africans who hustle to put bread on the table won't be able to do so due to this lockdown and many will even be thrown out by landlords for not paying their monthly rent. Although the lockdown can be justified, we can't avoid the basics of living.
On the other side, some law enforcement officers are abusing their powers despite you clearly requesting them to serve with love and care. They are busy abusing innocent citizens, while our crime rate is so high. Where it matters most for them to enforce the law to criminals they fail with flying colors. People are already going through a lot, this is a democratic nation our constitution must be upheld and respected even during the lockdown.

My President I request you to work more on giving food vouchers rather than food hampers. That can be achieved by giving every child and elderly grant recipients food voucher as an additional benefit to their grant. Most of the grants beneficiaries feed huge families, more especially now when schools are temporarily suspended.

Mr President please take a firm stand and suspend any rent payment either to landlords or municipalities, and plead with the banking sector to pardon bonds payers during the lockdown.

Mr President urge and advise every household in South Africa to have a small vegetable garden in their yards, this will play a crucial role to food security.

Mr President make sure educational and inspiration programs take over our tv screens. A fearful and panicking nation, won't overcome anything, unlike a strong and hopeful nation.

My president, make price hiking during this time a serious criminal offense with hefty consequences to ascertain that households are able to sustain themselves.

Mr President there is much I can advise with but I can only mention few things in this email to avoid being lengthy.
Lastly Mr President, I advise all parliament members, to be excluded from lockdown. It's high time they go to the streets and serve the nation. Aslong as they follow safety measures protocol. We also need these comrades to ensure that our democracy is not taken for granted due to the lockdown, they are voted to be seers and protectors of human rights.

I thank you in advance Sir, and I wish you all the best in leading our nation during this life threatening pandemic.

"Leadership is not a career, but it's a calling that comes with great responsibilities."✍🏽

Kind Regards
Mr Eric Shikobela
Pretoria, Mamelodi.
☎️078 169 7968

Source - Eric Shikobela
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