Giyani – For freedom to be complete, President Jacob Zuma said the economy of the country must be shared by all South Africans.
“For freedom to be complete, the economy of our country must not be skewed along racial lines. We must give practical meaning to the demand of the Freedom Charter that ‘all shall share in the country’s wealth’.”
President Zuma was addressing thousands of people gathered at the Giyani Stadium, in Limpopo, on national Freedom Day, on Wednesday.
He said government will continue to implement black economic empowerment programmes as well as affirmative action programmes.
“We have introduced new programmes such as the promotion of black participation in the manufacturing sector actively as industrialists.
“In partnership with the private sector, government will continue to work towards economic transformation so that we can expand our economy and create much needed jobs,” he said.
Cooperation between government, private sector
He also welcomed the continuing cooperation between government and the private sector.
“Consultations with business are ongoing to find ways of igniting economic growth and create jobs, to mitigate the punishing global economic climate.
“We also continue to engage labour. Together we recently resolved a critical matter relating to worker pensions, which was of concern to the labour movement, especially Cosatu,” the President said.
Freedom was not free
The President reiterated that the country’s freedom was not free. “It was fought for and many lives were lost for its attainment. We therefore have the collective responsibility to defend it as South Africans with the same vigour as when we fought for it.
“We must unite and not allow anything to threaten the freedom and democracy we fought so hard for,” the President said.
He said this means people must stop actions that take undermine the country’s hard won freedom such as engaging in violence.
“For example, when people are angry, there is no reason for them to burn factories as it happened in kwaSithebe in KwaZulu-Natal recently. How do we call for job creation and then burn the very factories that are supposed to provide jobs?”
He said schools, trains, libraries, clinics were all built to provide services and a better life. “We must guard and protect these facilities in our communities. It is shocking that some people destroy these facilities so easily,” he said.
He urged people to report such destructive elements to the police and work together to build better communities where all guard jealously all facilities that are built to make people’s lives better.
Unit in promoting SA
He further urged South Africans to unite in promoting the country.
While South Africa faces several challenges as a new democracy and a developing country, he said the country’s positive attributes far outweigh the challenges.
“For example we should unite on celebrating the achievements that South Africa has scored in 23 years socially, economically and politically.
“It is a fact that the country is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994.”