Nation is in a good state: Motlanthe

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parliament - President Kgalema Motlanthe says despite the current economic climate and political uncertainties that the country faces, the nation is still in a good state.

He however warned that the challenges the country faced should not be underestimated.

"The global economic meltdown does pose serious dangers for our economy in terms of job losses and the quality of life of our people.

"Naturally, the uncertainties of a political transition can pose more questions than there are currently answers," he said, delivering his first State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

The President said that although this may lead to some becoming despondent, the journey for the country should be one of hope and resilience.

"Our democracy is healthy. It is steadily growing stronger, underpinned by a Constitution hardly equaled in the world," the President said.

He said he would in the next few days conclude consultations with the Electoral Commission and the Provincial Premiers and announce the date of the elections.

The President urged all eligible South Africans to register and to vote in the coming national and provincial elections, so that "we can shape our destiny ourselves."

"This we should do every working day in the municipal offices, before the voters' roll is closed. But we should also take advantage of the special registration weekend arranged by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (the IEC) tomorrow and Sunday, the 7th and 8th of February respectively."

The President urged South Africans to note that peaceful and dignified elections was the surest guarantee of the continued survival and deepening of the country's democracy.

"It is South Africa's people who have ensured its progress; and it is they who shall secure our democracy in the years to come," he said.