President Jacob Zuma has reaffirmed government’s commitment to radical socio-economic transformation in 2018.
In his New Year message, the President said the programme of radical socio-economic transformation will be the main focus of government in the year 2018 and it will inform the delivery of government’s programmes.
In the past President Zuma has defined radical socio-economic transformation as a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.
“Through our Industrial Policy Action Plan and other programmes, South Africa will continue to promote investments particularly in key strategic sectors such as energy, manufacturing, transport, telecommunications, water, tourism, the oceans economy, mining and agriculture,” the President said in his message to the nation.
Government will also continue to lay a firm foundation for greater growth through the infrastructure rollout programme.
He called on South Africans to put in an extra effort to reignite the economy and promote growth and also to make it inclusive and beneficial to all.
South Africa’s economic front was turbulent in 2017, which saw the country emerging from the technical recession.
Despite the economic challenges, the country still made inroads in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment.
“Despite serious challenges on the economic front, together we made substantial progress in providing basic services such as electricity, housing, roads, water and sanitation, health care, social grants as well as accessible education.”
These inroads will continue in the New Year with the government targeting the improvement of the quality of life especially the poor and the working class.
Government will also intensify investment in education in 2018. Already government has announced that it is expanding access to free education for children from poor households.
More than nine million children attend no-fee schools, which represents at least 80 percent of state schools.
Government has also announced the provision of free higher education for young people at universities and colleges who come from poor households earlier this month. “The intervention must be the beginning of a skills revolution in our country, in pursuit of the radical socio-economic transformation programme.”
President Zuma said government will continue to eliminate mud schools and inappropriate school structures, replacing them with state-of-the-art buildings, especially in rural areas and other neglected communities.
He called on South Africans to work harder to build a caring society in 2018 and eradicate crime, drugs and substance abuse as well as violence against women and children in communities.
“Let us work together to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa,” the President added.
Government has dedicated the year 2018 to the late former President Nelson Mandela who would have turned 100 years old on 18 July had he lived.