Racial trust deficit worrying, says Ramaphosa

Johannesburg - The trust deficit between racial groups is worrying, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

"We must address the attitudes, the practices, and the prejudices that undermine our efforts [towards social cohesion]," he told a Gauteng social cohesion summit in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

"Now more than ever we need to direct our energies to united action... we need to make sure the discourse of the past does not define our future."

Gauteng was holding its first social cohesion summit following the national summit in 2012.


Ramaphosa said there were many things ordinary South Africans could do to promote social cohesion.

One of these would be learning each other's languages.

"If we are to be a socially cohesive nation, it is important that we learn each other's languages. We should make an attempt."

Ramaphosa said he tried to speak Afrikaans, even though it was broken, because he wanted to extend a hand.

He said there also needed to be respect for different cultures, and people needed to be tolerant of those who had different views.

Another challenge affecting social cohesion was crime.

Crime and corruption

"Communities must fight crime and corruption... our communities must be united," Ramaphosa said.

"We must revere human life and protect the vulnerable."

Touching on what Gauteng premier David Makhura had said earlier, Ramaphosa said the province, which had the largest number of immigrants, had to lead the country in combating xenophobia.

"It is a difficult issue, but as South Africans we are accustomed to dealing with difficult situations," he said.

South Africans needed to come together to craft a social compact.

"Our people need to share a common identity and a common destiny."

"Let us do everything we can to forge social cohesion and continue to be one people like Madiba sought to make us," Ramaphosa said.

Made-In SA 2014-08-22 02:44:30 PM
South Africa can not afford Number One any more.He is taking us backwards,where Madiba was taking us forward.
Gia Concetta 2014-08-22 02:47:49 PM
We must focus on self development.
UNITY 2014-08-22 02:49:10 PM
I believe Safas are old enough into democracy to work their differences out..rather let's focus on the rampant corrupt culture within the ANC elect government.. Please pay back our money!
David Mabu 2014-08-22 02:50:08 PM
Pay the families for miners first.
DerekMain 2014-08-22 02:50:55 PM
If it wasn't for the politicians (cANCer in particular), we SAns would be a lot further down the road of reconciliation. The politicians seek to drive the wedge between racial groups to suit their own short-term agendas. Just take a look at the statements they make at election times if you don't believe me. Phansi cANCer, phansi!!!
Please dont go 2014-08-22 02:51:15 PM
Not racial but government you liar!!!
Teko Mohaeka 2014-08-22 02:52:03 PM
You will keep extending that hand but zuma will never.Just focus on getting the money back frm Jz.
Thelma Schoeman Nell 2014-08-22 02:55:09 PM
The racial trust deficit will only end once the cANCer stops with their racial slurs. cANCer must practice what they preach!!!!
Nukesta 2014-08-22 02:55:58 PM
I don't trust him ;)
Riyaad Hendricks 2014-08-22 02:56:04 PM
There's corruption everywhere. Racism will always be around to. I think it's time that the ANC's top brass stops their "Democracy, freedom, yadda yadda party bs" and deal with the actual issues all South Africans are facing. Inequality, Poor government, corruption, ridiculous unions, a workforce and population who feels entitled to everything with little or no effort.