Zuma says 2016 a good year‚ target economy‚ nation-building in 2017
Despite the year where the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down reached its highest peak‚ the president described 2016 as a “fruitful and productive” year.
He said government made good progress in extending services such as housing‚ water‚ electricity‚ education‚ health care‚ roads and fighting hunger to citizens.
Zuma says next year the government will prioritise transforming the economy and building the nation. He added that in 2017 job creation would remain a high priority for the country.
“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‚” he said.
“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.”
“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.”
Zuma said that 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.
He added that there will be two important centenaries next year. The first will be that of former president of the African National Congress Oliver Reginald Tambo. South Africa will mark the centenary of the sinking of the ship‚ the SS Mendi‚ in which scores of black soldiers died on February 21 1917.
“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.”
Zuma thanked wished all South Africans a happy new year and thanked those who have continued to work during these holidays.