S. African president uses RWC championship to forge national unity

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-04 22:45:39|Editor: yan
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CAPE TOWN, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's success in winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWG) inspired the whole society to "put our collective shoulder to the wheel as we confront our economic, political and social challenges together," President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.

"At a time when South Africa is experiencing profound challenges, we have rallied around the victory in Japan," Ramaphosa said in his weekly address from the Desk of the President.

South Africa's national team, the Springboks, beat England 32-12 at the International Stadium Yokohama, Tokyo on Saturday to lift the William Webb-Ellis trophy. It is the third time that the Springboks have won the cup.

"The outpouring of support for the Springboks on the road to the final once again showed the immense potential of sport to unite us as a people," the president said.

Saturday was a triumphant day as it confirmed what South Africans are as a nation, firm in its resolve to find unity in its diversity, as exemplified in their national rugby team which is transforming beautifully, being presented to the world with its first black captain Siya Kolisi, said Ramaphosa.

"As we held our breath on Saturday and awaited the final whistle, we momentarily forgot our woes. And now, our sails swelled by the wind of victory, our pride must not deflate, our euphoria must not dissipate and our optimism must endure," Ramaphosa said.

South Africans are not only united by the achievements of their sportstars or internationally acclaimed performers, they are also united by a shared desire for a country where all can live in peace and comfort, where all have an equal chance to achieve their potential, Ramaphosa said.

"We are united by the vision of a country where the divisions of the past can be overcome, a nation of equality, dignity and respect for human rights," he said.

Since the end of apartheid 25 years ago, South Africa has been working together to build the nation, and while this is still very much a work in progress, "we are firmly on the path to unite, renew and transform our society," the president said.

"The spectre of racism, sexism, tribalism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance has on occasion taken root in our society and has blindsided us as we strive towards our national objective of creating a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous and tolerant society," he said.

There is much more that South Africans need to do to make this a country where the black child and the white child can attain the heights they always dream of, Ramaphosa said.

Public sports and recreation facilities must be better resourced, especially in rural areas, so that young men and women who cherish dreams of sporting success attain their goals, he said.

This week, South Africa will be hosting its second Investment Conference in Johannesburg as part of its ambitious drive to set the economy on a path of faster growth and to create the many jobs that South Africans need, Ramaphosa said.

"As we welcome over 1,500 investors and business people to explore the many investment opportunities in our country, let us be as united and as determined as we were on Saturday in Japan," he said.