Deputy President David Mabuza

Rustenburg - Christmas should represent a new season of hope for South Africans, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Tuesday. 

"[Therefore], during this time we must commit to a different path of a South Africa we aspire for ourselves and for future generations. A South Africa, where poverty and unemployment, will not be a defining feature of our nation," said in his Christmas message.

"In this regard, government will continue to prioritise youth and women who are the majority in our society, and who in the main are unemployed. We shall continue to weave our responses differently and ensure that the path we are on, is taking us towards shared growth, shared prosperity, human dignity and development."

Mabuza painted a contrasting mixed picture of how the year had been for South Africans.

"We have experienced certain inconveniences visited upon us by less than predictable energy supply, causing power outages in our homes and areas of work. This has led to [an] unfortunate disruption of our daily lives. We commit to change this situation for the better.

"We further experienced severe drought in some provinces that has affected agricultural production and impacting on food security and jobs in the sector. In the similar vein, there are many South Africans who lost their homes and belongings due to floods," he said.

"These contrasting natural disasters, are testament to changing climatic conditions. As government, we will continue to ensure that the impact of these changes is mitigated."

He said in the midst of all problems, this has also been a year of major successes that bring a sense of pride and nationhood.

On the socio-cultural front he said, the Soweto Gospel Choir won the Grammy for the best world music album, Zozibini Tunzi won the Miss Universe title, 17-year-old Kealeboga Matsafu, was crowned Miss Teen Queen of the Globe for 2019.

"Our netball team was crowned the 2019 Africa Netball Champions, the Springboks brought home the Webb Ellis Cup, and the Under 23 football team qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games," he said.

"These are but some of the many achievements of South Africans here at home and abroad. Indeed, despite all our challenges, we remain a winning nation."

He called on South Africans to join hands to isolate from society all those who perpetuate the acts of violence and abuse against women, children, older persons and all the vulnerable.

"We are calling for peace and coexistence among all the people. Our call for tolerance is especially to those communities grappling with finding peace and resolution to their conflicts. To them, we extend our hand of friendship. We wish them wisdom and strength to navigate their political challenges that have led them to conflict and displacement of people."

African News Agency (ANA)