Mabuza delivers Christmas message reflecting on 2022

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Deputy President David Mabuza has cautioned South Africans against irresponsible behaviour during this festive season. Mabuza says better health care has increased the life expectancy in the country particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS and TB.

The Deputy President, however, says the epidemic continues to pose a threat and urged the country to take precautions this festive season. He delivered this Christmas message ahead of the holiday on Sunday.

“Our country continues to make the necessary progress as a member of a family of nations. Our life expectancy keeps going up because of better healthcare especially in the fight against HIV and Aids and TB and a social safety net for the most vulnerable amongst ourselves. However, the festive season should not make us complacent about the continued threat of HIV and Aids epidemic. We should take the very necessary precautions to protect ourselves from risky behaviour.”

Deputy President’s full message:

Mabuza on energy

The energy instability in South Africa continues to pose a threat to the country’s economic productivity says Mabuza. The Chairperson of the Eskom Task Team says load shedding compromises job security and stifles growth.

Eskom has been implementing various stages of load shedding including Stage 6. President Cyril Ramaphosa, earlier this year, established the National Energy Crisis Committee of Ministers amid the country’s worsening energy crisis.

Mabuza says poor living conditions compound the challenges faced by South Africans.

“We must also confront other developmental challenges including energy instability that presents itself through load shedding which harms the economy productivity to generate the necessary jobs and growth. Poor access to water, sanitation and decent housing for some. We must admit that the majority of people are still not on the path to a better and more prosperous society which has been our shared goal since the beginning of freedom and democracy.”

Mabuza on GBV

Mabuza has warned that the rising levels of violence against women and children threaten efforts to build social cohesion in the country. Mabuza says sexism, tribalism and racism have also undermined South Africa’s democracy.

Government, together with stakeholders, earlier this year held the second Presidential Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit to continue reflecting on gender-based violence and femicide, what President Cyril Ramaphosa has described as the second pandemic.

Since the first Summit in 2018, the National Strategic Plan on GBVF was adopted and the Domestic Violence Act was amended to make it easier for victims to get protection orders.

This, in an aim to strengthen efforts of combating the scurge.

“We also end the year facing the rising levels of violence against women based on their gender, most of which comes from intimate relationships. This is further worsened by the abuse of children whom we should treasure and protect for they represent the future existence of our nation. The cancers of sexism, tribalism, racism, ethnicity that undermine our collective being as a nation have shown their ugly heads again, undermining our social cohesion. Collectively, these social ills undermine the commitment to building a united, democratic and a prosperous society we envisage at the founding of democracy in South Africa,” says Mabuza.

Mabuza on April floods

Mabuza has expressed regret over the deaths and damage to property experienced by some South Africans during the April floods. Over 400 people died while nearly 4 000 homes were completely destroyed in KwaZulu-Natal.

It was estimated that more than 40 000 people were displaced as a result of the floods. This while deadly road accidents have also claimed the lives of some and for their loved ones, Mabuza says it is a sombre period.

“Terrible floods in different parts of our country especially in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the North West killed many of our people and displaced a lot of families who lost their homes. We also have families who have lost loved ones in horrific accidents on our roads putting an end to many young lives, very promising ones. The overall effect is that some of our fellow citizens will have to spend the holiday season and Christmas without their families and friends.”

Mabuza on COVID-19 fight

Mabuza has lauded all stakeholders who fought in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Since 2020, South Africans have had experienced a subdued festive season as the country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africans battled various variants of the virus with over 100 000 deaths recorded.

The rate of infections prompted government to ramp up vaccination drives and safety measures. This year, however, marks the first year with no restrictions after President Cyril Ramaphosa lifted the State of Disaster in April.

Mabuza hailed social partners.

“This year we celebrate Christmas and the festive season free from the restrictions of the past two years which were meant to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have survived the virus and adapted. We have improved science, we have improved medicine, technology to prepare for future pandemics. We succeeded because all social partners were coordinated under policy and action. We applaud our traditional leaders, our faith-based leaders for mobilising communities to vaccinate against the virus and dispelling vaccination myths.”