President Cyril Ramaphosa says he’s heard loud and clear the message that workers who booed him off the stage at a Worker’s Day Rally were trying to convey.

Ramaphosa was meant to address ANC alliance partner Cosatu’s main Worker’s Day rally in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, North West on Sunday.

After failing to get striking workers from Sibanye Stillwater’s gold operations to calm down on at least two occasions, Ramaphosa had to make his way to a police Nyala swiftly and left the stadium, his speech undelivered.

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa says, these workers wanted to be heard and they wanted their union leaders and government to understand the challenges they face.

“As political and union leaders, we have all heard the workers and understand their frustration.” “More than that, we are firmly committed to take the necessary action to improve their lives and their working conditions. This is not something that government can do on its own. It needs both labour and business, and indeed the whole of society, to work with government to implement an agreed set of measures to grow and transform the economy.”

The President says: “The workers at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium also made plain what nearly every South African knows: the working class and the poor of our country are suffering.”

“They made the firm point that we must do more, and act with greater urgency, to address issues of unemployment, poverty, deprivation and hunger. At the same time, we must establish more efficient mechanisms to enable workers to participate more fully in the formulation and implementation of policy and programmes,” he added.

In a statement following the incident, COSATU said that Ramaphosa being chased away from Cosatu’s Worker’s Day rally was “regrettable” and “unacceptable.” But the trade union added that this should also serve as a warning to the ANC.”

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised that there will be real-time audits done of all state funds allocated to the victims of the recent floods.

Addressing a joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, 26 April, Ramaphosa said it’s disappointing that the public debate in the immediate aftermath of the disaster was that government officials would loot the disaster relief funds. “It is a great source of shame that when this disaster struck, the most burning public debate was around fears that the resources allocated to respond to this disaster would be misappropriated or wasted.”

Ramaphosa assured Members of Parliament that they will not tolerate corruption: “Working together with National Treasury, the Auditor-General will conduct real-time audits on the emergency flood relief funds. This will provide independent assurance on whether public funds have been appropriately accounted for and were used for their intended purpose.”

“These audits aim to prevent, detect and report on the findings to ensure an immediate response to prevent leakage, potential fraud, and wastage.”

While opposition parties criticized Ramaphosa and the national government’s response to the tragedy, the President insists at this time of mourning; government is doing all it can to assist flood victims.

 

 

 

 

In his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa has reassured South Africans that there is light at the end of the Eskom tunnel. On 11 April 2021 Eskom implemented Stage 2 loadshedding when Unit 5 tripped at Medupi Power Station wiping 700 MW from the national grid.

The light at the end of the loadshedding tunnel dimmed as more generation units tripped over the Easter weekend and Eskom was forced to implement Stage 4 loadshedding nationally.

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa says the current phase of loadshedding is the “result of policy missteps and the impact of state capture over many years.” Ramaphosa writes: “To solve this intractable problem, we need to understand its roots. South Africa’s fleet of coal-fired power stations are old and their performance is deteriorating.”

“Despite warnings from energy experts about impending energy shortages nearly two decades ago, there was a delay in commissioning new generation capacity. When construction began on Medupi power station in Limpopo in 2007 it was the first power station to be built by Eskom in more than 20 years. Medupi has subsequently been beset by delays, costs overruns, and breakdowns due to design problems, with many of these challenges linked to allegations of corruption.”

During a report back session to Members of Parliament, Eskom board member and head of Business Leadership SA, Busisiwe Mavuso walked out when she believed the current board and management were being blamed for all the failures they inherited at the power supplier.

In his newsletter, Ramaphosa reiterated his support for the board of Eskom and their turnaround strategy. “We owe the board and management of Eskom our full support as they work to turn the utility around. They have to keep the lights on while rebuilding Eskom as a viable entity that fulfills its developmental mandate as a state-owned enterprise, and positioning it for a just energy transition.”

The Special Investigating Unit has found that more than 2800 Covid-19 tenders in government were irregularly awarded.

President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the release of the final report of the investigation by the SIU into Covid-19 procurement.

The unit investigated 5,467 contracts with a total value of R14.3 billion.

In a statement, the Office of the Presidency says: “The release of the report follows the President’s authorisation on 23 July 2020 of an investigation by the SIU in terms of Section 4(1)(f) of the Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals Act, No 74 of 1996.President Ramaphosa authorised the SIU to probe any allegations relating to the misuse of COVID-19 funds across all spheres of government.The President gave the commitment that if the SIU found evidence that a criminal offence had been committed, it was obliged to refer such evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority.”

Key findings include:

  • The SIU made 224 referrals for disciplinary action against officials in government departments or entities.
  • The SIU made 386 referrals to the National Prosecuting Authority, as well as three referrals for Executive Action.
  • The SIU made 330 referrals for Administrative Action, which includes blacklisting.
  • The rand value of actual cash and assets to be recovered on the basis of the investigation is R551.5 million, while cash and assets recovered to date total R34.2 million.
  • The value of potential loss prevented by the investigation is R114.2 million, while contracts set aside amount to R170.4 million.

Ramaphosa says it’s unacceptable that so many contracts associated with saving lives and protecting livelihoods were irregular, unlawful, or fraudulent.

 

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19. The office of the presidency confirmed this in a statement on Monday morning and said he is receiving treatment for mild Covid-19 symptoms.

Last week, Ramaphosa returned home from a tour of four West African countries, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Senegal. On Sunday, he delivered the official tribute at the Memorial Service for statement FW De Klerk.

In the statement, the Presidency said: “On his recent visit to four West African states, President Ramaphosa and the South African delegation were tested for COVID-19 in all countries.”

“The President and the delegation returned to South Africa from the Republic of Senegal on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, after obtaining negative test results. The President also tested negative on his return to Johannesburg on 8 December.”

Ramaphosa is now self-isolating at his residence in Cape Town and Deputy President David Mabuza has been delegated all responsibilities.

In February, Ramaphosa received his Covid-19 vaccination. The President received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.

In the statement, the Presidency said: “President Ramaphosa says his own infection serves as a caution to all people in the country to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure.”

People who have had contact with the President today are advised to watch for symptoms or to have themselves tested.