Ramaphosa Calls For Cannabis Industry Support

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday told his African National Congress (ANC) colleagues that there was a “palpable feeling of anger towards and disillusionment with this government” and it was mostly up to them to turn things around.

One of the solutions suggested by Ramaphosa that could instantly lift the gloomy mood in the country was his call for support for the cannabis/hemp industry. The industry has the potential to tackle the massive unemployment problem facing South Africa.

“Our country has been through a traumatic period, exacerbated by the pandemic, the ailing economy, and rising unemployment, poverty, and inequality,” said Ramaphosa at the opening of the second Lekgotla of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC).

Ramaphosa said the people attending the meeting “bear the bulk of the responsibility” for turning this around.

Among those attending the NEC meeting were former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

“It is our collective duty to address this,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the NEC meeting brought together political and governance leadership of the country to assess the “efficacy of our strategies and programmes.”

Ramaphosa added: “Based on this assessment, we are then requested and required to fine-tune these strategies and programmes to more efficiently serve the people of South Africa.

“We are going to receive a number of presentations and urge comrades to critically engage information presented at this Lekgotla and make concrete, implementable recommendations to improve life for all in the country.”

South Africa, and the world, continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa said South Africa must continue to strengthen its response measures.

“The movement must stress the necessity for every eligible citizen to be vaccinated and highlight continued adherence to the non-pharmaceutical interventions of maintaining physical distance, wearing of masks, and washing of hands,” said Ramaphosa.

“It is important to emphasise that even vaccinated individuals must continue to wear their masks in public settings.

“We must combat misinformation and conspiracy theories that contribute to vaccine hesitancy and put people’s lives at risk.

“The message must be that vaccines are safe, effective, and protect people against severe illness and death.

“If we do not succeed in vaccinating sufficient numbers of people, this would allow space for the virus to mutate and develop further resistant variants.

“Let us therefore spread the message about the importance of vaccination consistently and more widely.”

Among the many other initiatives to revive the economy that Ramaphosa spoke about was the need to support industries with potential including the growing of cannabis/hemp. He also encouraged support for renewable energy, global business services, and the hydrogen economy.

Ramaphosa noted the Constitutional Court ruling that local government elections must take place between 27 October and 1 November.

He urged ANC officials to use technology to campaign, while being mindful of the limited resources and to observe all Covid-19 prevention protocols.