New Year’s message from President Jacob Zuma. “We have come to the conclusion of a fruitful and productive year.
We moved a step further this year in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment, as we continued working hard together, to reverse the legacy of apartheid colonialism.
Further progress was made in extending services to our people including housing, water, electricity, accessible education, health care, roads, transport, social grants and in fighting hunger through public employment schemes and other programmes.
Most of these services are included in the Constitution as the socio-economic rights that South Africans are entitled to.
The year 2017 must be a decisive one for the country as we take the reconstruction and development programme forward.
Jobs remain high on the list of priorities of our people. In this regard, we must continue to promote unity in action to reignite economic growth.
The collaboration between business, labour and government to support the economy, which is one of the key achievements of the year 2016, must continue in the New Year.
Importantly, together we must take the economic transformation programme forward. We need to change the commanding heights of the economy, and increase the participation of black people as owners and managers.
Progress made on the achievement of this goal will greatly enhance the national reconciliation programme.
Business, government and society must work together on this national imperative.
We also need to make meaningful progress on the land reform and restitution programme in 2017, in in line with the Constitution.
As we continue to invest in the future, access to education and training as well as the provision of youth employment and economic opportunities must remain key priorities for all decision makers in the country.
Nation building and promoting social cohesion will need to elevate in 2017. One of the key tasks in this regard, should be a heightened fight against racism.
All institutions and businesses must promote inclusion and non-racialism. Nobody must be excluded on the basis of colour or race, through subtle and unconstitutional means.
We will mark two important centenaries next year.
We will celebrate the centenary of His Excellency Oliver Reginald Tambo, the late President of the ANC and national hero who worked tirelessly so that all South Africans can live in peace, freedom and democracy….
The two centenaries must be used to unite all our people in appreciation of what the country has achieved against all odds, in building a new society from the ashes of apartheid colonialism.
We are one people. Regardless of the challenges we face, we must continue to work together, to build the South Africa of our dreams…..
Statement as Issued by the Presidency.