Zuma urges S. Africans to move forward economic transformation

2016-12-30 18:39:35 GMT2016-12-31 02:39:35(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- South Africans must move forward the economic transformation as a major task in 2017, President Jacob Zuma said in his New Year message on Friday.

"We need to change the commanding heights of the economy, and increase the participation of black people as owners and managers," Zuma said.

Progress made on the achievement of this goal will greatly enhance the national reconciliation programme, the president noted.

Business, government and society must work together on this national imperative, he said.

Economic transformation and nation building are key in 2017, he added.

Zuma also stressed the need to make meaningful progress on the land reform and restitution programme in 2017, in line with the Constitution.

Nation building and promoting social cohesion will need to elevate in 2017, said Zuma.

One of the key tasks in this regard should be a heightened fight against racism, according to Zuma.

"All institutions and businesses must promote inclusion and non-racialism. Nobody must be excluded on the basis of colour or race, through subtle and unconstitutional means," Zuma said.

"We are one people. Regardless of the challenges we face, we must continue to work together, to build the South Africa of our dreams," he stressed.

Jobs remain high on the list of priorities of South Africans, Zuma said.

"In this regard, we must continue to promote unity in action to reignite economic growth," the president said.

The collaboration between business, labour and government to support the economy, which is one of the key achievements of the year 2016, must continue in the New Year, he said.

The year of 2016 saw further progress in extending services to South Africans, including housing, water, electricity, accessible education, health care, roads, transport, social grants and in fighting hunger through public employment schemes and other programs, according to Zuma.

He said the country moved a step further this year in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment, as South Africans continued working hard together, to reverse the legacy of apartheid colonialism.

The year 2017 must be a decisive one for the country as South Africans take the reconstruction and development programme forward, Zuma said. Enditem