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News & Press: GENERAL

President Cyril Ramaphosa SONA 2019

Friday, 08 February 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kara Van den Heever
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Fellow South Africans,

It is a great honour to stand before you today to deliver the 25th annual State of the Nation Address in a free and democratic South Africa.

This year, as a diverse people and as a united nation, we will celebrate one of the greatest of human achievements.

We will celebrate the triumph of freedom over subjugation, the triumph of democracy over racial tyranny, the triumph of hope over despair.

We will celebrate the irresistible determination of an oppressed people to be free and equal and fulfilled.

We will use this time to recall the hardship and the suffering which generations of our people endured – their struggles, their sacrifices and their undying commitment to build a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.

We will remember the relief and exhilaration of the day of our freedom, the moment at which we became a nation, a country at peace with itself and the world.

During the course of this year, we must and will reflect on the journey of the last 25 years.

As South Africans, we will have to ask ourselves whether we have realised the promise of our nation’s birth.

We must spend this year, the 25th anniversary of our freedom, asking ourselves whether we have built a society in which all South Africans equally and without exception enjoy their inalienable rights to life, dignity and liberty.

Have we built a society where the injustices of the past no longer define the lives of the present?

We must use this time to reflect on the progress we have made, the challenges we have encountered, the setbacks we have suffered, and the mistakes we have committed.

A year ago, we set out on a path of growth and renewal.

Emerging from a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust, we resolved to break with all that divides us, to embrace all that unites us.

We resolved to cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption and to restore the integrity of our institutions.

We resolved to advance the values of our Constitution and to once again place at the centre of our national agenda the needs of the poor, unemployed, marginalised and dispossessed.

We agreed that, in honour of the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, we would devote our every action, our every effort, our every utterance to the realisation of their vision of a democratic, just and equitable society.

In our magnificent diversity, and despite our many differences, the people of this country answered the call of Thuma Mina.

In their multitudes, South Africans asked not what can be done for them, but what they could do for their country.

In ways both large and small, both public and private, South Africans set about building a better nation.

Many reached out to other South Africans to lend a hand where others were going through difficulties.

Others expressed a willingness to support government in its efforts to turn the country around.

Today, as we reflect on the year that has passed, we can attest to meaningful progress.

Our people have embraced the renewal that our country is going through and are much more hopeful about a better tomorrow.

Our people’s hope is not baseless; it is grounded on the progress that is being made.

Over the last year, we have begun to rebuild a durable social compact for fundamental social and economic transformation with key stakeholders as we promised.

As social partners, we are restoring the bonds of trust, dialogue and cooperation.

We are reaching out to those parts of our society that have become disaffected, disinterested or marginalised through various forms of dialogue and engagement.

Our efforts may have been uneven, and we still have much work to do, but we have demonstrated over the last year our shared determination to work together to confront our common challenges.

We have focused our efforts on reigniting growth and creating jobs.

We have worked together – as government, labour, business, civil society and communities – to remove the constraints to inclusive growth and to pursue far greater levels of investment.

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