President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a message of hope for 2022, saying despite the hardships, the country has much to be grateful for. He has commended South Africans for their ability to unite in times of crisis.
Ramaphosa delivered his New Year’s message to the nation.
“As we greet the New Year, we know that better times are on the horizon – notwithstanding the difficulties of 2021. We have much to be thankful for: the strength of our democracy, this year we held another free and fair local government election, we celebrated 25 years since the signing of or constitution. We can be grateful for the ability of the South African people to unite in times of crisis.”
Ramaphosa has called on the public to remember those who lost their lives in 2021 including leaders and activists such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Tutu will be laid to rest on Saturday after passing away at the age of 90.
“In the course of the year, we have lost men and women who were pillars of strength in our communities – leaders, activists and veterans of our struggle for liberation. Tomorrow, the nation will gather in spirit to lay to rest our beloved Archbishop Tutu. We have had to weather many storms in this past year,” says Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has thanked frontline workers for their commitment in the fight against the COVID-19. He has commended healthcare workers, emergency personnel, law enforcement officials, volunteers and others for their services in 2021.
“We are grateful for our men and women who are on the frontline everyday fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. As we speak, many of these men and women are on duty, even at this hour. To our healthcare workers, emergency personnel, our policemen and women, our soldiers and many volunteers – we thank you for our commitment, to heal, to serve and protect us all.”
Ramaphosa has thanked the science and medical sectors for their commitment to the fight against COVID-19.
He has also commended learners and matriculants for their resilience and persistence in 2021.
“We are grateful for the pioneering work of our scientists, academics and members of the health fraternity who are helping us to better-understand the pandemic, to plan and to respond accordingly. We are grateful for the resilience of our learners and educators, particularly this year. We are also grateful for our matriculants who had to write their final exams under challenging conditions.
Ramaphosa has urged people who have not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus to ensure they do so in order to protect themselves against severe illness, hospitalisation or death.
Following the outcomes of Thursday’s Special Cabinet meeting, the midnight to 4am curfew has been lifted with immediate effect. The Alert Level 1 COVID-19 regulations were adjusted following calls from some organisations and political parties for an end to the curfew before New Year’s Eve.
“We are thankful for the nearly 18-million South Africans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination remains our best protection against severe illness and hospitalisation for COVID-19. I want to call on all South Africans over the age of 12 who have not yet vaccinated to please go and do so as soon as possible. Vaccination is safe, free and the responsible thing to do for yourselves and those around you.”
COVID-19 Lockdown: SA lifts the curfew and there are now no restrictions on the movement of people