Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to unite in building a sustainable economy following the recent credit rating downgrades.
“We need to unite even more now, given the challenges we face locally and globally,” President Zuma said.
On Monday morning, President Zuma had a meeting with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy Sifiso Buthelezi, the Governor of the SA Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, as well as South African Revenue Services (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane to discuss the impact of the credit rating downgrades and how the country should respond.
According to the President, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has been engaging the business community.
“Engagements with all social partners, including labour, will continue because we make progress and find solutions when we work together,” he said.
President Zuma was addressing the annual Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony, which is aimed at honouring and celebrating the life and legacy of one of the country’s most respected struggle stalwarts, Thembisile Chris Hani, in Elspark, Boksburg.
“As we navigate the transformation of our country, we encounter various challenges along the way. However, we should never forget that one of the trademarks of South Africa’s transition to democracy was tolerance and peaceful co-existence,” President Zuma said.
He urged South Africans to co-exist and tolerate one another, around the common vision of social justice, reducing inequality, maintaining political stability and national unity.
“As we celebrate the life of Chris Hani, we must work together to build a better life for all of our people, in spite of the economic hardships that we face currently. We must face the difficult times together, and united, we shall succeed,” President Zuma said.
As part of the wreath laying ceremony, the President unveiled a plaque on the declaration of the grave of Hani and the Chris Hani Memorial and Walk of Remembrance as a National Heritage Site, as declared by the Department of Arts and Culture.
“The leadership of Ekurhuleni must utilise the new status of these monuments, alongside other historic monuments of liberation, to build a thriving cultural tourism sector that also creates jobs for local people,” President Zuma said.
Hani was a former uMkhonto weSizwe commander, who played a significant role during the liberation struggle.
He was assassinated on 10 April 1993, outside his home in Dawn Park in Boksburg.
The month of April has since been named Chris Hani Month by the City of Ekurhuleni.