Tragedy such as Life Esidemeni must never happen again: Ramaphosa

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The Life Esidimeni tragedy is the most appalling dereliction of duty by the State to its people. This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. He reflected on the Esidimeni and Marikana tragedies in his reply to the joint State of the Nation Address (SONA) Debate. Ramaphosa says history should never repeat itself.

Hundred and forty-four mentally ill patients died after they were transferred from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed Non-Governmental Organisations in Gauteng.

“Alongside Marikana, the Esidimeni tragedy stands out as an instance of the most appalling dereliction by the State of its duty to its people. We welcome the arbitration process led by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and are determined that we should never ever allow something like this to happen in our country.”

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa says white young South Africans still have better opportunities than their young black counterparts. During the SONA debate Freedom Front Plus leader Peter Groenewald said white young South Africans could not get opportunities due to affirmative action and transformation policies. However, Ramaphosa differs with Groenewald.

“Data from Statistics South Africa indicate that white young people still do better in developing indicators such as education, employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and well-being. Unemployment among Africans stands at 30-percent and just under seven percent for white people, a big difference. Employment prospects still favour white young South Africans as compared to their black counterparts and that is dealing with the reality which is born out of evidence.”

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