Item 1154 - New Year

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ZA COM MR-S-1154


New Year


  • 1995-12-31 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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New Year Message

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  • English

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Fellow compatriots, the year 1995 is drawing to a close on a high note. We have achieved the highest level of social, political, and economic stability in the history of our nation. Never before have South Africans acted in unison as they have done in the past year. We deserve to congratulate ourselves.
Our democracy is growing from strength to strength. The local government elections brought democracy where we live. Far reaching changes have been set in train at every level of society. Legislation passed in the last session of Parliament is transforming the police services, labour relations, education and land reform. Institutions and mechanisms to ensure the vibrancy of our democracy, good governance, and lasting reconciliation were set in place. Among these, we can single out the National Economic Development and Labour Council, NEDLAC, the Constitutional Court, the Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Public Protector, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We have registered at the lowest inflation rate in two decades. Economic growth has assumed encouraging levels and business confidence is at an all time high. Foreign investment figures are growing impressively by the day. Our sporting community has registered a singular achievement in the past year. Our young men and women have conquered continents and the world in a number of sporting codes.
The Rugby World Cup, stood out as a particular spectacle, our whole nation stood behind a sport which was once a symbol of apartheid. We therefore have reason to approach the coming year with confidence. Above all, we must build on the good start we have made in improving the living conditions of the people.
We can look forward to multiplying the numbers who so far have benefited from initial projects to provide water, to start a land restitution, to bring basic health care where it was lacking and to start the housing programme. Sadly, we continue to have an unacceptably high crime rate. Although our overall approach is to ultimately defeat crime by removing its causes, we have taken immediate measures to deal with the lawbreakers. The community safety plan is a dynamic formula which summons all South Africans to call upon it to vanquish this concern.
Thankfully, political violence has been all but eradicated in most parts of the country and we have begun to register some progress in KwaZulu-Natal. The scale of the killings is however unacceptably high. One of the great challenges of 1996 will be to heighten the struggle against violent crime. I am confident that South Africans will not be found wanting.
The government is focusing its attention on measures to ensure that economic growth is further stimulated in order to improve the nation’s quality of life. Proposals on the restructuring of state assets should be seen within the context of this objective. And all of us should ensure that this process does not undermine the interests, especially of the wealthy.
I appeal to all South Africans: teachers, doctors, workers, business people, lawyers, women, youth, and our sports people to join ranks with the Government of National Unity and work for a better future for all our people. The good start we made in 1994 and 1995 must inspire us to even greater achievements.
I feel obliged to single out the members of the security forces for praise, for the outstanding work they have done despite the appalling conditions under which they work. We are proud of you. I wish to thank all South Africans for the support they gave to the Government of National Unity and the President in the past year. It is this kind of support that will spur us on to make 1996 an even better year. Together, let us reach for the stars.

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Acquisition method: Audio Recording ; Source: Verbatim transcript by NMF. Accessioned on 22-06-2012 by Kelsey Duinkerken




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