NATIONAL NEWS - The COVID-19 pandemic has revived the spirit of solidarity among countries of the world, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Goodwill and solidarity has manifested itself through donations and therapeutic medical suppliers, as well as food parcels to those in need,” said President Ramaphosa.
The President said this during 18th Nelson Mandela annual lecture on Saturday.
Acts of care and solidarity, he said should deepen collaboration to address humankind’s most pressing challenges, including education, the eliminating poverty and under development, food security, climate change, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
“We have it within us to rise above the devastation brought upon us by this pandemic,” said President Ramaphosa.
Paying tribute to the late father of the nation, the President said Mandela was undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders of our time.
“He was the hero of South Africa’s liberation struggle, but he was not ours alone. He belongs to peace loving and freedom loving people, all over the world. His commitment to advancing freedom made him the father of just not our nation, but of every nation.”
“His legacy in fighting apartheid is all the more relevant to us today [and] across the world people are rising and taking a firm stance against racism, injustice and inequality,” President Ramaphosa said.
Tackling racism and the inclusion of women
Meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Chief Executive, Sello Hatang said racism and ecological destruction has taken many lives and destroyed many more.
He called for a change in behaviour.
“The only way we can beat this virus, is to work together in solidarity,” Hatang said.
In her address, wife of the late former President Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel said that COVID-19 has exposed and deepened harsh global realities.
She said the world is grappling with multitude of complexities, including poverty.
Machel also called for women to be put in leadership positions.
“No meaningful planning about transformation we seek can take place without having women leadership and women’s rights and wellbeing at the heart of these strategies. COVID-19 is forcing us to stop and re-examine the predominately value systems of the last century, and exposing the harvest of inequality that we ourselves have sown,” she said.
At Saturday’s lecture the NMF in partnership with One Campaign and MTV Base, also launched a COVID-19 anthem with 10 of Africa’s biggest artists.
This year’s lecture was held under the theme “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new social contract for a new era.” - SAnews.gov.za