‘Qualified but no work’

2018-03-08 06:00
President Cyril Ramaphosa chats to Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido during tour from the Look Out Hill in Ilitha Park to Rocklands in Mitchells Plain on Wednesday morning. Insert: Namse Janda with President Ramaphosa.PHOTOs: lindile mbontsi

President Cyril Ramaphosa chats to Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido during tour from the Look Out Hill in Ilitha Park to Rocklands in Mitchells Plain on Wednesday morning. Insert: Namse Janda with President Ramaphosa.PHOTOs: lindile mbontsi

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As Khayelitsha residents woke up yesterday(Wednesday) to the presence of President Cyril Ramaphosa in their midst, one woman who also braved the dawn chill, used the opportunity to vent her frustrations to the Head of State.

Namse Janda,62, was one of dozens of people who joined Ramaphosa on his now famous morning walks, which stretched the 6km route between the Khayelitsha’s also famous landmark, the Look Out Hill in Ilitha Park, and the Rocklands Centre in Mitchell’s Plain, also a famous landmark in its own right.

For this was where the United Democratic Front against Apartheid was formed on August 20 1983.

Janda had her own axe to grind yesterday morning, even bruising her knees during a fall to get the president’s attention did not deter her ambition to do so.

Until an unexpectedly kind bodyguard ultimately allowed her closer to the president.

This is her story: “I told President Ramaphosa I have a Masters Degree in Public Administration, and yet have been unemployed for so many years. I am now living on a government grant and I feel like my education has been wasted,” she said.

The president listened to her talk for five minutes before replying: “I don’t forget”.

She said she told the president she was happy to hear those words.

“... And hopes that he will think hard about the many people who are qualified yet jobless.”

Earlier on, President Ramaphosa stopped his walk to chat to a group of youth activists who were concerned about safety in schools and he assured them that he would review the social audit report they have handed to him and thanked them for their efforts.

In Mitchell’s Plain, he was received with jubilation by residents as he concluded his morning walk.

Since taking office, “Runnerphosa”, as he is now called in athletic circles, has hit the ground walking, so to speak, in a unique way, to meet ordinary South Africans.

Even before sunrise, in their running gear had gathered at the Lookout Hill. Even the cold nip in the air could not dampen the spirit of locals as they were only too happy to brave a few shivers to get to walk with President Ramaphosa.

This is his second walk to promote good health since taking office earlier this year.

It’s also an opportunity for him to literally walk side-by-side with ordinary South Africans.

‘As I walk I keep talking to our people, getting to know them, sharing their thoughts, their concerns, their aspirations... This for me is a great moment just to engage with ordinary people...’

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithi Tyhido said he was excited to be part of the walk.

“It sends home the message of healthy lifestyle. The country is confronted by illness and staying fit is one way of combatting diseases,” said Tyhido.

ANC councillor Xolani Sotashe was also seen chatting with the president, boasting about his “increased dosage of kilometres”.

“I am inspired by President Ramaphosa because now walking and running is becoming fashionable.

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