In June 2019, president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address. He made very limited comments on climate change whilst acknowledging the youth who had recently marched for their future but with no concrete plans to address the crisis.
Ramaphosa made reference to seven priorities for the nation, none of which included direct reference to ecological restoration or climate change mitigation. In fact, the top priority was listed as Economic transformation and job creation. But Ruby Sampson, chair of African Climate Alliance Youth, makes clear in her Daily Maverick opinion piece that:
“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.”
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