“From today onwards…you shall become full and proud members of the family of South Africans, fellow citizens of this country who enjoy not only the full rights of citizenship but also the enormous responsibilities that accompany such rights,” Gigaba said.
In 2016, the Department of Home Affairs decided to conduct Naturalisation Ceremonies. During the events, people from around the world are inducted as naturalised South African citizens and presented with what the country represents, its symbols, dreams and all that it represents.
“Over the many years of its existence, our country has continued to evolve to accommodate in its rich fabric ever newer elements of people all whom, individually and collectively, enrich our understanding of who we are as well as our standing in the world,” the Minister said.
“You bring into our society not only the learned experiences of your countries of origin, but also the rich diversity that helps enrich who we are and makes us a better people ready for future challenges in a highly complex and diverse, but very integrated and globalised world” Gigaba said, adding that the naturalisation was not a routine administrative matter.
“This ceremony came as the South Africa and the rest of the world were battling international migration issues highlighting moral, political, economic and social matters.
Minister Gigaba reminded the naturalised citizens that South Africa valued and practiced the concept of Ubuntu, which recognises that "I am, because you are".
Gigaba also reminded the group that despite the country’s dark past of apartheid, the democratic state was building a nation where race, gender, class, sexual orientation, physical ability or any other difference mattered.
“We seek to transform this economy into an industrialised knowledge economy, based on labour absorbing and value adding industries, and the development of human capabilities,” he said.
“We seek to grow our economy inclusively, such that all of our people have access to the dignity of work, economic opportunities and wealth creation.”
Simultaneously growing the economy to transform defective structures, he said, required active citizens who seek opportunities and hold leaders accountable.