Ramaphosa reflects on the year

DECEMBER 24, 2015

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday reflected on the year, thanking South Africans for making the country a better place for all.

In his Christmas message, Ramaphosa said significant efforts had been made to address the challenges facing the country - like poverty, unemployment and inequality.

"In a difficult global economic environment, we have been working to strengthen our economy through investment in infrastructure, providing support to key industrial sectors, and developing our agricultural value chain."

He said the supply of electricity to homes, schools, hospitals, factories and businesses had been stabilised.

Ramaphosa commended the manner in which President Jacob Zuma had handled the demands for transformation in higher education.

"We are confident that, working together with student organisations and management, we will find long-term solutions to all these challenges."

He expressed disappointment and concern over a trend where property was damaged during "generally peaceful" protests. "As a society, we need to remain resolute in our conviction that in a democratic society, protest must take place within the framework of the law."

As part of the African Union, South Africa continued to work within the framework of Agenda 2063 to ensure the political and economic renewal of the continent based on good political and economic governance, he said.

"Inspired by the vision of providing African solutions to African problems, we remain part of efforts by SADC, the African Union, regional economic communities and the UN to help bring peace and stability in those countries afflicted by conflict. These include the Kingdom of Lesotho, Burundi and South Sudan."

Reflecting on the COP 21 Climate Change Conference held recently in Paris, he said South Africa had begun feeling the effects of climate change on water security, food security and economic development.

"We welcome every resolution taken by the international community to limit the effects of climate change on humanity as a whole and developing countries in particular."

Ramaphosa thanked South Africans who contributed to making the country a better place and sent his condolences to those who had lost loved ones during the year.

"We salute our men and women in uniform who toil day and night to assure us of peace and security in our homes and communities."

He also thanked national sports teams which continued to represent the country with pride in national sporting events.