President Cyril Ramaphosa in his reply to the debate on his state of the nation address. Picture: GCIS

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday urged South Africans not to give up on the dream of a better society and to return to the objectives of the National Development Plan.

"Let us imagine this South Africa that we so long to have," Ramaphosa said in his reply to the debate on his state of the nation address, delivered last Thursday.

He said his address had been a blueprint to achieving the vision, initially born out of the Freedom Charter adopted by the liberation movement a century ago, of a country that had overcome injustice and dire challenges.

Those who drafted the charter dared to look beyond their present reality to envision a country that was fundamentally different from the country they lived in, and risked ridicule to pursue that vision.

"We are not starting anew," he said, adding that government set of an a path of renewal some 18 months ago.

"But our actions do require greater urgency and greater focus."

Ramaphosa said the run-up to the May national elections which returned him to power had shown, through interaction with voters, that they experienced extreme difficulty.

He said change needed to be a collective effort, because South Africa's problems affected all its people, and that he viewed the opposition as colleagues in this effort.

He therefore viewed the comments of opposition parties not as criticism, but as "complementary and supplementary to what we set up".

Ramaphosa promised greater policy certainty and insisted that economic reform was on the cards in order to attract investment, particularly from abroad.

There was significant focus on making the cost of doing business lower, and these were reaping fruit.

African News Agency (ANA)