President Jacob Zuma addressing the National Freedom Day celebrations held in Manguzi. Picture: GCIS

Durban - President Jacob Zuma says the country is better than it was before 1994 but more needed to be done to eradicate social ills such as racism.

Zuma was speaking during the 23rd Freedom Day celebrations in Manguzi in KwaZulu-Natal where he received warm greetings from hundreds of community members.

He was accompanied by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and a number of ministers.

Zuma said there were three arms of government, legislative, executive and judicial, which were there for South Africans.

He also mentioned Chapter 9 institutions that were created for the purpose of protecting citizens.

Zuma also took the time to boast about the government's achievements over the past 23 years specifically on the spending of social grants for children, the elderly and disabled.

Like with every other speech his given in the past few months since his State of the Nation Address, Zuma put the issue of radical economic transformation into the spotlight.

He said because the South African economy remained unequal, there was an urgent need to implement the second phase of radical economic transformation.

This was a sentiment also shared by KwaZulu-Natal MEC Sihle Zikalala, who pointed to key aspects such as land where the policy of "willing buyer and willing seller has failed".

Zikalala, who is seen as a strong Zuma ally, said Zuma would remain the president until 2019.

His remarks were sparked by the growing resistance to Zuma's administration with numerous protest being held across the country led by opposition parties and civil society.

While Zuma spoke in KwaZulu Natal, The Freedom Movement, a campaign led by opposition parties and civil society, was hosting its own rally in Pretoria calling for Zuma to resign.

This rally prompted Zuma to take a swipe at the rally's organisers with him saying that the Manguzi event was the "official" celebration of freedom day.

Politics and Development Hub