9 January 2012
South African President Jacob Zuma, addressing thousands of supporters during the ruling African National Congress’ (ANC’s) centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein on Sunday, said the party, and the country, had to face up to the “triple challenge” of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Addressing a packed Free State Stadium, Zuma said it was the right moment to pause and ponder the future of South Africa and of the ANC over the next 100 years.
“Principally, Africans, women and youth continue to carry a disproportionate burden of the challenges,” Zuma said.
“Over the next decade, both the ANC and all organs of state shall pay a single-minded and undivided attention in order to overcome these triple challenges.”
Zuma added that the country’s education and training system should be the cornerstone of all efforts to radically transform South Africa and build a truly non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society.
He said that the difficult questions about the future of the country had to be asked and answered.
“As we move into the future, we shall invest hugely in, and elevate the importance of, theoretical and ideological work, as well as a scientific approach to analysing and solving society’s problems.
“During this year, 2012, our nation must renew our determination to build a South Africa founded on the principles of the Freedom Charter and our democratic Constitution. We must bring new energy and new ideas into the kind of society we want to build over the next few decades.”
Zuma called on all South Africans to work with the ANC to make the dream of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa a reality “in our lifetime”.