Government committed to resolve SA challenges

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

While government has made significant progress in improving the lives of its citizens in the past 30 years, President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged that for millions of South Africans, the promise of 1994 has not yet translated into a meaningful change.

“That is why we must, and we will, continue to work in earnest to resolve the challenges that are holding back our progress,” the President said on Wednesday in Pretoria.

Addressing the launch of the 30 Year Review Report, he said there is room for improvement in growing the economy, addressing unemployment, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.

The 30 Year Review Report reflects on the work the country has collectively undertaken to build a democratic, prosperous and free South Africa.

“We continue our efforts to overcome the energy crisis, to implement structural reforms to boost economic growth, to drive programmes that create more employment, and to improve the capacity of the state to deliver services,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the democratic breakthrough of 1994 represented both a decisive break with a painful past and an opportunity for South Africa to chart a new course.

WATCH | Launch of the of the 30 Years of Democracy Review Report in Pretoria

Strides made

“South Africa is a vastly different place compared to what it was 30 years ago. Guided by our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, successive democratic administrations have implemented progressive policies and programmes to uplift the material condition of all South Africans, particularly society’s most vulnerable,” the President said.

These policies have included the provision of basic services, housing, education, health care and social support.

“We have established a unitary, democratic state and created institutions to uphold democracy and promote accountability.

“We have an independent judiciary, a robust civil society, a free media and a clear separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

“We have advanced transformative policies to change the racial and gender composition of the economy and the workplace. We have implemented laws to protect workers and advance their rights.”

Government has restored land to many who had been dispossessed and has provided emerging farmers with the means to productively use their land.


“South Africa today is a valued member of the international fellowship of nations. We pursue a progressive foreign policy rooted in advancing the African Agenda, in social justice and solidarity, and in support of multilateralism. Yet we know that still much more needs to be done.

“We are contending with slow economic growth, high unemployment, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. What is made clear by this Review Report is that the task of consolidating our democratic gains is not just the responsibility of the state. It is a responsibility that we all share.

“Just as we stood together to overcome COVID-19, just as we have united to confront other crises, we can overcome this period of difficulty in the life of our nation together,” the President said.

He said government was to create a better South Africa, a transformed South Africa, a South Africa that leaves no-one behind.

“The story of 30 years of democracy contained in this report is an honest and critical appraisal. It presents both light and shade, both progress and challenges. It is a vital reference for anyone who wants to understand the last 30 years and for everyone who wants to look into our future.

“It is our hope and expectation that this Review Report will be studied in detail and that its findings will be applied. This 30 Year Review Report is much more than a chronicle of a changing nation.

"As we chart the path ahead for our democracy, we will look to this Report as a valuable instrument for transformation, progress and growth. Let us make this a living document that inspires, encourages and guides us as we continue to build a democratic, prosperous and free South Africa,” the President said. –