South Africans Raise Their Concerns Directly With President Ramaphosa

analysis

As South Africa faces a surge in Covid-19 cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa sat down with the nation for a virtual imbizo. Though the sentiment behind the engagement was admirable, in the end, there were more questions than concrete answers.

A visibly exhausted Cyril Ramaphosa appeared before the nation for a virtual "Presidential Imbizo" about coronavirus on Wednesday evening.

The interaction was broadcast live on television, social media and more than 80 community radio stations. On YouTube alone, close to 3,000 people tuned in.

Karabo Mokhubela from GCIS Radio facilitated the chat.

An announcement from the Presidency earlier in the day described it as "a public-participation platform" where citizens would be able to "engage on community-generated solutions" to challenges in society.

The president began the imbizo by highlighting the dire reality of the pandemic:

"Many of us now know someone. It can be a friend, a colleague, a relative... we know who has now been affected in one way or another."

Ramaphosa was clearly tired, so tired that a few small yawns managed to catch him unawares and escape mid-sentence. There were also technical glitches to deal with, but the president did his best to respond to all questions - even...

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