United nation needed to move SA forward: President Zuma

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Bathandwa Mbola

Pretoria - Humbled and determined to lead South Africans for another five years, President Jacob Zuma says he will need the backing of a united and cohesive nation, to move South Africa forward.

Addressing the nation for the first time after winning the 2014 General Elections, President Zuma said the new administration will promote nation building programmes "to rebuild the soul of our nation".

This, he said, was because many South Africans still bear the emotional scars arising from decades of apartheid divisions and hatred.

“Therefore, the national healing and reconciliation process has to continue. We will work together to promote unity, understanding and tolerance across race and colour lines, as we build a South Africa that truly belongs to all,” he said, after taking the oath of the highest office in the land.

He said South Africa was a nation that had produced generations of selfless freedom fighters, who made untold sacrifices, so that we could live in a country that was free of racial discrimination and oppression.

“Today we wish to acknowledge the contribution of every South African to the process of renewal, reconstruction and development of this country in the past 20 years of freedom. It is through your hard work, that we are able to count so many achievements in only 20 years of freedom.”

Confident, the President began his speech by expressing his gratitude.

“I am greatly honoured to stand before you today, to accept the mandate bestowed upon us by millions of our people…I accept this responsibility and privilege with great humility, given the history of our country and where we come from as a nation.”

He reminded the nation that this year marked 20 years of freedom and 20 years since former President Nelson Mandela took his oath in the same Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre was named after Mandela who died in December last year.

President Zuma said a lot of progress had been made in the country since democracy, although challenges remained.

“We will strive to build a caring society and to be an administration that will serve our people with courtesy, ubuntu and efficiency.”

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng earlier swore-in President Zuma for a second term. - SAnews.gov.za

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