2024 Wishlist: No blackouts, lower rates, more jobs, safer world

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South Africans from all walks of life are pinning their hopes on 2024 for a fresh start and a better place for the whole country.

Ending load shedding, a decrease in interest rates, more job opportunities, and a safe environment for all are just some of the things topping people’s wish lists for 2024.

Some senior citizens from Gauteng – who spent their festive holidays in Durban – say they hope the government will do more in the New Year to fight drug abuse, especially among the country’s youth.

“We were born before technology and the youth of today should be taking advantage of the opportunities available to them. They just need to stop using drugs and consuming alcohol. I wish the country could fight this. The future of this country is bleak with not leaders of tomorrow. Our environment is bad. I see load shedding but I am mad that our country is a mess even our children.”

These women say they are hoping 2024 will be a turnaround year for those in business. Some are hoping for a positive change in their personal lives.

One woman says, “We are here to start our New Year’s Day here. We are hoping for the best in 2024 and start our New Year’s here. We are hoping for the best in 2024, prosperity, good health, and wealth.”

“For South Africa as a whole, no more load shedding or water cuts … I hope the New Year brings excitement and it is good for everybody. All the sick people should get better, and all the poor should enjoy themselves,” expresses another one.

Power cuts

Delivering his New Year’s message on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa says while the country has experienced the worst load shedding ever in the first few months of this year, there has been a steady decline in the severity of power cuts in 2023.

He says this is because of the government’s intense focus on implementing the Energy Master Plan. He is encouraged by the confidence of local and international investors in the country’s prospects.

“We continue to attract new investment, which supports the growth of local businesses and creates more jobs. Government departments, Transnet, industry and other social partners are working closely to relieve congestion at our ports and increase the volumes of freight being carried on our key rail corridors. To address the crisis of unemployment, government has undertaken a number of interventions, including the Presidential Employment Stimulus.”