Police officers and members of the SANDF patrolled the streets in Alexandra. File photo: ALON SKUY
Police officers and members of the SANDF patrolled the streets in Alexandra. File photo: ALON SKUY

Many South Africans who have been living in a bubble for years have had to come to terms with the realities of SA due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus is holding up a mirror before us, revealing two vital issues: our unequal and still divided society; and the environment within which President Cyril Ramaphosa has to operate.

Many embraced the lockdown when it was first announced, and opened their hearts and pockets to those who were worst affected. However, people soon fell back into the grooves of the past. Old habits die hard.

Of course, mistakes have been made with the reopening of the economy, as Ramaphosa has admitted. SA is not the only country that is struggling. Criticism is healthy and necessary, but some take it too far. 

The public discourse is if anything worse than before, more irrational and emotional. I now have even more admiration than before for the calm manner in which the president is leading a divided and unequal country through a global crisis.

Admitting mistakes, welcoming criticism, consulting all role players and dealing with rude comments, while handling a diverse team is no easy feat. It is tough at the top — the president needs our support. There is no alternative on the horizon.

Dawie Jacobs
Sterrewag

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