Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has come out against racial polarisation, saying it should not be allowed to drag the country down a slippery slope.
He said the events in Senekal last month and Brackenfell are a reminder that racism has no place in society and it must be tackled with all its facets.
Ramaphosa said the country would not be allowed to put in a war situation, as it would undo what has been achieved.
Tension and violence broke out in Senekal after a farmer was killed and two men were arrested and one is out on bail and other remanded in custody. In Brackenfell, a school has been accused of racism.
He said those who are calling for war should be condemned as war breeds anarchy and chaos.
“I would say that no one in South Africa should be talking about war. War is a very dangerous phenomenon and I think those who are talking about war are playing with fire.
’’They should see what a war does in other countries. Where war is unleashed against citizens there is nothing that is benefited by anyone,” said Ramaphosa.
He added that he has seen this in parts of the content on the devastation caused by war.
“War is just a road towards attrition, towards suffering, towards everything that is wrong in the human development of things. That should be the language that should be banned by all of us in South Africa,” he added.
He said he and Deputy President David Mabuza have seen the effects of war during conflict mediation in war-torn countries in Africa. Those calling for war should be shown rejected with the contempt they deserve.
Ramaphosa said South Africans need to work together and avoid any racial polarisation.
He also said the ANC was still dealing with the issue of its members who are facing corruption charges to step aside.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said this week the legal people were still working on the shape and form of this decision in how it could be applied.
Ramaphosa also said the economic recovery plan he announced a few weeks ago would ignite growth. This comes after Statistics South Africa said unemployment has increased to 30.8%.
He said they need to fix the infrastructure and electricity to get the country back on track.
The government has pumped in billions of rand into the infrastructure plan to create thousands of jobs
Ramaphosa also said BEE policies were here to stay after the official opposition said they should be done away with. He said these policies were aimed at uplifting those who were previously excluded from the economy.
It would not be acceptable to remove policies uplifting many people, he said.
He also said the government would continue to crackdown against gender-based violence. Ramaphosa said the laws currently processed in Parliament to close loopholes in the system would ensure GBV was dealt with.
“Wwe are passing legislation to protect women of our country (against GBV),” he said.