Is this Tintswalo and is she living happily in South Africa? Image: File

WHO is ‘Tintswalo’ and is she living happily in South Africa?

If you didn’t follow the 2024 State of the Nation speech but have ‘Tintswalo’ trending all over your social media, here’s why …


Is this Tintswalo and is she living happily in South Africa? Image: File

In a bid to communicate the success of the ANC’s’ pro-poor policies at the 2024 State of the Nation address last night, President Ramaphosa told a story about Tintswalo, democracy’s child. During his two-hour speech, he hoped to throw a positive light on the government’s South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

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In his analogy, Ramaphosa explained that Tintswalo grew up in a society that was worlds apart from the South Africa her parents knew. Tintswalo is one of the first beneficiaries to receive free health care. 30-years ago, Tintswalo grew up in a house provided by the state, and she had access to water and electricity.


NSFAS applications 2024
NSFAS explains the extended deadline to the 2024 application process. Image via NSFAS/ Facebook.

And so, the story continues, “Tintswalo was enrolled in a school in which her parents did not have to pay school fees, and each school day she received a nutritious meal as part of a programme that today supports poor families,” explained Ramaphosa.

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Tintswalo was provided a SASSA child support grant and with it she was able to complete high school. “Through the NSFAS, Tintswalo attended a TVET college and obtained a qualification,” Ramaphosa continued.


employment equity
Newly tabled changes to employment equity in South Africa are up for discussion till May 2024. Image: File/Fotor

“When Tintswalo entered the world of work, she was able to progress and thrive with the support of the state’s employment equity and economic empowerment policies. With the income she earned, she was able to save, start a family, move into a better house and live a better life,” concluded Ramaphosa.

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This is the ANC’s ‘Tintswalo’ analogy, and the perfect outcome of 30-years of pro-poor policies. However, some commentators were not so taken with the analogy. As this scathing retort from independent political party, Build One South Africa (BOSA) proves. “May God have mercy on her (Tintswalo’s) soul.” Watch the full eNCA retort HERE.

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