Fellow South Africans,
It is a special honour for me to join you on the eve of Christmas 2017, at a time when all of us are devoting our attention to family and friends and celebrating the season of goodwill and peace.
2017 was made special by our celebration of the centenary year of our liberation leader, Oliver Reginald Tambo.
Oliver Tambo embodied our constitutional values of democracy, human rights and social justice.
His personal qualities of selflessness, integrity, trustworthiness, empathy and diligence should inspire all of us to follow in his footsteps as we work to unite our society and eradicate abuse, racism, sexism and prejudice.
2017 was a year in which, despite progress in many important areas that we have made, we continued to see the devastating effect of unemployment on individuals, families and communities.
That is why, as we reflect on the achievements and challenges of the last year, we must reaffirm our determination to build an economy that serves all our people.
We must enter the New Year determined to redouble our efforts to build a society in which all are safe, secure and feel valued.
We need to work together as social partners to focus on our economy by removing all the obstacles to investment and move South Africa to a higher level of growth.
The signs of recovery are there and we must all do all we can to ensure that we turn our economy around.
While December is a festive period for our nation, it is also a time when we observe World AIDS Day and we remember our brothers, sisters, parents, colleagues and others who have succumbed to illnesses associated with HIV.
We must remain focused on building a better society by implementing our National Development Plan with energy as well as with great urgency.
Our Vision 2030 remains the blueprint for inclusive growth, social cohesion and prosperity for all.
Under this Plan we will continue to develop skills that can help our country realise its developmental goals and address labour market issues.
We need more skilled managers, professionals, technicians, engineers and artisans.
We therefore encourage those who will be receiving their matric results in the next few days to investigate the possibilities that await them at universities, TVET colleges as well as community colleges. Our challenges are many, but we have an even greater number of achievements to celebrate as South Africans.
During our 23 years of democracy, government, social partners and active citizens have created a South Africa where the provision of social services and amenities has helped to confront the legacy of apartheid. New schools, hospitals, clinics, factories, bridges, dams and airports tell the story of a South Africa that has indeed moved forward.
Finally, let us enjoy this festive season without causing harm to ourselves or others.
Let us use this time to reach out to needy members of our families and communities.
Let us travel across our beautiful country safely and responsibly.
Let us respect women, children and the elderly.
Let us be safe in our intimate relationships.
Let us rest and restore ourselves so that we can enter 2018 with a renewed determination to move South Africa further forward.
I thank you.
Ngiyabonga! Enkosi! Dankie! Kealoboga! Thank you! Muito obrigado!Festive