SA a winning nation despite challenges, Mabuza says in Christmas message
This has been a year of success for SA despite all the challenges facing the country, deputy president David Mabuza said in his Christmas message on Tuesday.
Mabuza said the festive period was a time when South Africans joined in various activities to mark the end of an often long and busy year.
“To some, it has been a year of success, and coming to life of hope for a better tomorrow. Yet for others, it has been a year of pain and grief for the loss of their loved ones,” Mabuza said.
He said the country had much to celebrate, as much as it must reflect on the state of its public affairs.
Mabuza said 2019 had been a tough year for the economy, leading to job losses.
He acknowledged that there were various inconveniences, including a less-than-predicable energy supply, which caused power outages in homes and workplaces.
“This has led to unfortunate disruption of our daily lives. We commit to change this situation for the better,” Mabuza said.
He said the country also experienced severe drought in some provinces, which affected agricultural production and impacted on food security and jobs.
There were many South Africans who lost their homes and belongings due to floods.
“These contrasting natural disaster are testament to changing climatic conditions. As government, we will continue to ensure that the impact of these changes is mitigated,” Mabuza said.
He said, in the midst of all these challenges, this had also been a year of major successes that brought a sense of pride and nationhood.
This included the successful general elections, and that the country's comprehensive programme against HIV/Aids, TB and sexually transmitted infections continued to yield good results.
“We now have the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world, which we must complement with a massive programme on prevention.
“As we enjoy ourselves during this time, we are particularly called upon to act responsibly and prevent new infections that are mostly affecting young members of our communities.”
Mabuza also noted that the Soweto Gospel Choir won the Grammy for the Best World Music Album, Zozibini Tunzi won the Miss Universe title, the 17-year-old Kealeboga Matsafu, was crowned Miss Teen Queen of Globe for 2019, the Proteas netball team was crowned the 2019 Africa Netball Champions, the Springboks brought home the Webb Ellis Cup, and the Under 23 football team qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“These are but some of the many achievements of South Africans here at home and abroad. Indeed, despite all our challenges, we remain a winning nation,” he said.
However, Mabuza said just as the country celebrated these human achievements, in the same breath, there was the blight of racism, tribalism, violence against women, xenophobia and homophobia that continues to befall SA.
“These social ills are in conflict with our values as South Africans.”
Mabuza called all to join hands to isolate from society all those who perpetuated these acts of violence and abuse against women, children, older persons and all the vulnerable.
“For us, Christmas should represents a new season of hope for a different tomorrow.”