6 January 2014
The year ahead will be a momentous year for South Africa as the country marks its 20 years of freedom and democracy, President Jacob Zuma said in his New Year message.
Zuma said that the year ahead would give South Africans an opportunity to reflect on how the country had achieved its freedom and democracy – and on the progress it had made in the last two decades.
“We will also reflect on how we will continue to work together as a nation as we implement our vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan,” Zuma said in a statement last week.
South Africa was a much better place than it was in 1994, he said, and life had changed for millions of South Africans. But “our work is not yet completed. We must continue working together in 2014 to build a South Africa of our dreams . we must continue to build a South Africa which inspires people to achieve greater things for themselves and their country”.
Zuma said a prosperous South Africa would be achieved when there was work for everyone, when it became a society where everyone could make a meaningful contribution to the development of the country.
‘Unity must be the rock’
He said that as South Africans came to terms with their loss of former president Nelson Mandela, they needed to emulate his values and continue to build on his legacy.
“In his memory, we must continue to reconcile and to unite our rainbow nation to deepen non-racialism. More importantly unity must be the rock upon which our nation is built, to borrow from Mandela’s own words.”
Zuma called on South Africans to unite beyond barriers of race, creed, and gender or class so that the country could succeed in confronting the challenges it faces. South Africans needed to work harder to build a caring society which loved, protected and developed its children, he said.
“We should also build stronger relations with the world, building on Madiba’s achievements as a citizen of the world and a global icon who opened up our country to many new friend and development partners.”