South Africans have rejected the analogy of the story Tintswalo by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address, SONA. During his address on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the first 30 years of South African democracy can be best told through the life of a child called Tintswalo. Born at the dawn of freedom in 1994.
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Tintswalo – democracy’s child – grew up in a society that was worlds apart from the South Africa of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. She also grew up in a society governed by a constitution rooted in equality. The rule of law, and affirmation of the inherent dignity of every citizen,” explained Ramaphosa.
“Tintswalo, and many others born at the same time as her. Were beneficiaries of the first policies of the democratic state. To provide free health care for pregnant women and children under the age of six.
“Tintswalo’s formative years were spent in a house provided by the state, one of millions of houses built to shelter the poor. Tintswalo grew up in a household provided with basic water and electricity. In a house where her parents were likely to have lived without electricity before 1994,” he explained in Cape Town.
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“Tintswalo was enrolled in a school in which her parents did not have to pay school fees. Each school day she received a nutritious meal as part of a programme that today supports 9 million learners. The democratic state also provided a child support grant to meet her basic needs.
“This grant, together with other forms of social assistance, continues to be a lifeline for more than 26 million South Africans. With this support, Tintswalo – democracy’s child – was able to complete high school.”
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Through the assistance of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Tintswalo attended one of our TVET colleges and obtained a qualification. When Tintswalo entered the world of work, she was able to progress and thrive with the support of the state’s employment equity and black economic empowerment policies. With the income she earned, she was able to save, to start a family. To move into a better house, and to live a better life.”
However, the analogy was also met with heavy criticism from both opposition parties and on social media platforms.
“SONA SUCCINCTLY SUMMED UP! Tintswalo definitely doesn’t live in the Eastern Cape,” wrote Athol Trollip from Action SA.
“Meet Papago Tintswalo the first man since 1840 to lie to the nation with a straight face for 7yrs without shame. No wonder the EFF always disrupts every State of the Nation address. This guy’s voice has even started being annoying with his lies,” said Kabelo dick.
“On a serious note, I think Tintswalo’s story resonates with those of us who were children in the ’90s. We really benefited from the fruits of freedom. I don’t think the same can be said for many of those younger than us. Ama2000 got a raw deal,” said Dr. Sithembile Mbete.
“This #SONA2024 is a slap in the face to the thousands of young people who face multiple challenges to finish school. Look for work, find opportunities or even start their own business. Tintswalo’s story is NOT their story,” said Youth Capital SA.