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Promise of ‘94 not yet translated into meaningful change for some – Ramaphosa


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Promise of ‘94 not yet translated into meaningful change for some – Ramaphosa

Image of Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

8th May 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday although South Africa is a “vastly different place” than it was 30 years ago, he acknowledged that there is still much more that needs to be done.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the launch of the '30 Year Review of Democracy' report in Pretoria, where he conceded that South Africa was contending with slow economic growth, high unemployment, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.


“We know that for millions of South Africans, the promise of 1994 has not yet translated into the meaningful change that they seek and deserve. That is why we must, and we will, continue to work in earnest to resolve the challenges that are holding back our progress,” he said.

He explained that government would continue its efforts to overcome the energy crisis, to implement structural reforms to boost economic growth, adding that it would also drive programmes that created more employment, and improved the capacity of the State to deliver services.


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

He highlighted that government had established a unitary, democratic State and created institutions to uphold democracy and promote accountability.

South Africa has 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, Ramaphosa noted.

“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,” he explained.

Ramaphosa said land had been restored to many who had been dispossessed and government had provided emerging farmers with the means to productively use their land.

Ramaphosa highlighted that just as South Africans stood together to overcome Covid-19 pandemic, and having united to confront other crises, periods of difficulties could be overcome.

“If we are to fully transform this country, we must renew the same pledge made by our forebears at Kliptown – to strive, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic transformation is complete,” he noted.


Meanwhile, he said the story of 30 years of democracy contained in the report was an honest and critical appraisal, representing light and shade; and progress and challenges.

He said this report was a vital reference for anyone who wants to understand the last 30 years and for everyone who wanted to look into the country’s 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,” he said.

Ramaphosa noted that the report was undertaken as a tribute to all those who fought for the country’s freedom, and for all South Africans who had worked together to build and enrich democracy.

He highlighted that the scope of the 30 Year Review report was not only retrospective, it also looked to the future and the insights it had generated would inform future government planning.

He said it would also assist government as it worked to achieve the vision of the National Development Plan by 2030 and plan for the decades ahead.


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