The seven priorities listed in President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address can only be achieved if climate action and ecological restoration are acknowledged as foundational to all endeavours. We cannot succeed in creating economic transformation, education, safe communities or a better Africa in the wake of climate and ecological breakdown.
Dear Mr President,
In your third State of the Nation Address (SONA), you stated that our biggest concern as a country is that our economy is not growing and therefore not enough jobs are being created.
You said this concern "rises above all others".
However, the youth of South Africa disagree.
In the next breath, you admitted that we are experiencing "the most devastating changes in global climate in human history" and that these changes "threaten our economy... the lives and livelihoods of our people".
We, the youth, believe that this existential threat should be seen as the nation's biggest concern -- as it not only jeopardises jobs, but the very survival of our generation.
Your recognition of the climate crisis is the first step to fundamental change and we appreciate that you have directly acknowledged the recent calls from South African schoolchildren, who recently protested ahead of...