Fellow South Africans,
The year 2013 has come to an end.
It has been a momentous year, filled with both successes and challenges, as we continued to work together to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
We will tomorrow, on 1 January, begin an important year, during which the country will celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy and the successes we have scored.
We will reflect on how our freedom and democracy were achieved and the progress we have made in the past 20 years.
We will also reflect on how we will continue to work together as a nation to implement our Vision 2030, as outlined in the National Development Plan.
Our country is today a much better place than it was before 1994.
Life has changed for the better for millions of South Africans, but some of our people are still waiting.
Therefore, our work is not yet completed.
We must continue working together in 2014, to build the South Africa of our dreams.
Informed by the National Development Plan, we must continue to build a South Africa which inspires people to achieve greater things for themselves and for their country.
We must continue to build a society where there is work.
A society where everyone would be able to continue to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the country, because they would have been provided with the tools they need to reach their full potential, such as education.
This is the society we must continue to build together, taking forward the legacy of our much loved former President and late father of our young nation, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
We are still coming to terms with our loss of this remarkable human being and world icon, and one of the greatest leaders to be produced by our country and the African continent.
It is not going to be easy to have another Nelson Mandela in our lifetime. However, he lives on in our hearts.
The values he stood for must guide our work as we continue to build on his legacy. In his memory, we must continue to reconcile and to unite our rainbow nation and to deepen non-racialism.
More importantly, unity must be the rock upon which our nation is built, to borrow from Madiba’s own words.
South Africans must unite beyond the barriers of race, creed, gender or class, so that we can succeed in confronting head on, together, the challenges that face our beautiful country.
We must also, in Madiba’s memory, work harder than ever before, to build a caring society which loves, protects and develops its children.
They are our nation’s greatest resource and our future. Children were also Madiba’s greatest love. In them, he saw the foundation of a new nation.
We should also continue to build even stronger relations with the world, building on Madiba’s achievements as a citizen of the world and a global icon who opened up our country to many new friends and development partners.
As we start the new year, let us also remember one of the pivotal rights we gained in 1994, which Tata Madiba could only exercise for the first time in his 70s -, the right to vote.
Those who have not yet registered since the opening of the registration period must make use of the opportunity which is open until February, so that they can exercise their hard-won right to vote on Election Day.
Those who are using the roads during the festive season, please ensure your safety and that of other road users.
The holiday period road carnage has to stop and all road users must play their part by obeying the rules of the road.
Compatriots and friends,
Let me take this opportunity to wish all in our country, a successful and prosperous 2014!
I thank you.