LETTER: Responses to crisis healing the nation
The spirit of ubuntu and of the rainbow nation prevailing in adversity deserve praise
The diversity of the SA socioeconomic and political landscape presupposes an encompassing approach and special negotiating skills to table a drastic, yet viable and affordable, plan to curb the coronavirus without causing huge disruption to our economy and vulnerable communities.
President Cyril Ramaphosa deserves a feather in his cap for a masterful balancing act in challenging circumstances. He managed to involve and obtain the buy-in of diverse players. The plan also displays a much-needed sensitivity towards the most vulnerable sections of our society.
The Rupert and Oppenheimer families’ donation of R2bn to support the president’s plan is, in essence, a contribution to economic restitution, something that has been raised in the public debate lately and also in the declaration of the Group of 10.
Another significant contribution that slipped under the radar is the spontaneous decision of tens of thousands of employers to pay their workers, most notably domestic workers, full salaries to enable them to stay home and still be able to care for their families. This, in a sense, also falls into the category of economic restitution.
As the plan to address the global Covid-19 threat is unfolding there are also promising elements emerging that could contribute to the healing of our nation. This is the spirit of the Rainbow Nation in action, the spirit of ubuntu.