Supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling ANC celebrate election results at a rally in Johannesburg, May 12 2019. Picture: REUTERS / MIKE HUTCHINGS
Supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling ANC celebrate election results at a rally in Johannesburg, May 12 2019. Picture: REUTERS / MIKE HUTCHINGS

I do not doubt President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sincerity, but the challenges he faces to fix SA cannot be underestimated. In the context of the broken SA, he has inherited the task is beyond natural capability. He will not achieve his objectives overnight.

Both Ramaphosa and the nation will have to be patient. SA will take longer to remedy than it took to destroy, especially when those who benefit through its failure will do everything in their power to derail the president’s efforts.

Turning SA around is not only the task of the president, the political leadership and the government officials who support his vision; it is the task of every South African. No matter who they voted for on May 8 they have an obligation to make SA successful.

All South Africans have the constitutional right (perhaps even a constitutional obligation) to vote according to their conscience. However, no South African has the right to sabotage SA through what we do or fail to do, or what we say.

We easily underestimate the devastating effect of destructive words — which radically differs from constructive criticism — have on others and ourselves. It poisons and paralyses everyone. Negativity never pays.

Our words have the power to build, motivate, inspire and encourage to persist, even against all odds. Or they can discourage, paralyse and eventually destroy. What benefit does the barrage of blatant, and even subtle, negativity have when it comes to finding solutions to our problems and achieving prosperity?

Gerhard Papenfus
CEO, National Employers’ Association of SA