In his weekly letter from the president’s desk (13 April), pres. Ramaphosa lamented the vandalism that had caused the demolition of schools, describing it as “a great indictment of our society”. He pointed to the despicable implications: “When lock-down is lifted and learning resumes, thousands of our children will have no school to return to, depriving them of the right to education…”
The irony of his words is that the government is currently the vandal-in-chief. The damage done to schools in the president’s lament of four months ago is dwarfed into insignificance when compared to the destruction its lock-down strategy is inflicting on South Africans.
The sheer magnitude of their destruction boggles the mind. They have:
- destroyed at least one in five salaried positions in the private sector. Bankserv data indicate 20.7% fewer salaries and wages were processed in June 2020 compared to a year before. (These people are not necessarily unemployed as yet, a large percentage has been furloughed);
- added at least 2 million of their citizens to the ranks of the unemployed since the start of lock-down;