Msunduzi News (English)

COVID-19: We need to work together as leaders

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NORMALLY when people speak about councillor­s they refer to them as leaders or their leadership. Under the democratic government it is you our community members who elected us into the leadership positions but most importantl­y to be your servants. But in this trying period where we are living with Covid-19 I believe that we are all leaders in our own right.

When our head of state, President Ramaphosa, announced the easing of the lockdown restrictio­ns to level 3, he spoke deeply about the situation we are facing and said “It is now in your hands”.

These words remind me of the comments once made by our first democratic President, Mandela, when he announced that he would be stepping down from his daily duties at the time. President Mandela said it was all in our hands to continue with the struggle that his generation had led after taking over from their elders.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 our Government, under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, has done all it could to implement the necessary measures to prevent the spread of this disease. A lot has been done to educate people about it and our Government also did a lot to collect funding to assist citizens and different industries that were economical­ly impacted by the outbreak. But our Government was also the first to admit that what has been done is not enough because the need is just too great.

As a Municipali­ty we are adhering to the directives from President Ramaphosa and our Premier in KwaZulu-Natal in doing our best to ensure that our people are safe and businesses are able to operate so that the economy is not further impacted.

Today we are faced with a challenge that does not just need leaders but members of the community as well. We need you as Municipal employees to do everything in your power so that we can get out of this hole. The provision of municipal services must continue uninterrup­ted otherwise we will all be in trouble. And for you as a member of the public, it is in your hands to ensure that everyone you come in contact with is protected from this disease, whether it is your family or colleagues or it is another member of the community.

The leadership that I’m talking about does not need qualificat­ions but it requires residents that do not just know their rights but also their responsibi­lities in terms of ensuring that our country is protected. As your Mayor I know I’m speaking on behalf of our Local Government when I say we need all of you to play your part if we are going to win this. We need you the same way that you need us. The risk of not working together is that we will all perish.

As I mentioned when I delivered the report of my first 100 days in office last December, we are all in this journey together in this ship but should it sink we must not think we can just blame one person because they were heavier than others. We must work together so that we can get out of this dangerous situation we are in and once we are safe then we can talk about what should have been done to prevent it so that we don’t find ourselves in the same position in future.

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