Deputy President David Mabuza has used his Christmas message to emphasize hope for the future. Mabuza says despite the challenges faced in 2020, South Africans must endeavour for new possibilities and aspirations in the New Year.
Mabuza addressed the nation ahead of Christmas Day.
“It is time to cast our eyes on new dreams, new possibilities, new hopes and new aspirations for the future of our families, our nation and ourselves as individuals. Even in the face of difficulties, the Christmas period is a time for renewal of our collective resolve as a nation to unite behind the vision of a cohesive and inclusive society.”
The Deputy President also pleaded with South Africans to refrain from complacency amid the festive season saying they must continue to strictly adhere to COVID-19 health protocols. Officials have expressed concerns over the rapid manner in which a new variant of the coronavirus transfers among people. Over 14 000 cases have been reported in the past 24-hours – the country’s highest recorded infections since the start of the pandemic.
At least 411 people have died from COVID-19 related illnesses in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 25 657.
“While significantly, progress has been made in containing the spread of infection during the first phase of the pandemic, the current resurgence and rise in infections continue to demand our collective commitment and adherence to all the COVID-19 protocols and regulations. We cannot afford as a nation to be complacent and let our guard down during this difficult period in our lives. As we celebrate Christmas with our families and friends we must at all times adhere to COVID-19 regulations.”
Political parties have urged South Africans to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations as Christmas celebrations get under way.
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule says as the governing party, they have set the example by cancelling the parties annual January 8 birthday celebrations. Magashule has appealed to citizens to observe all regulations.
“The prognosis paints a worrying picture and all indications are that this virus will escalate in term of infections and that is why we have decided to ensure that we don’t have any events for January 8 and we are calling upon all South Africans and our structures to ensure that during this festive season people take care of themselves and wear masks and have no gatherings and ensure that we keep all South Africans safe.”
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says South Africans spending these holidays away from their families should be seen as the ultimate sacrifice.
“Christmas is a time of family, of sharing and of peaceful reflection. Just because we may be apart or spending the season alone, doesn’t mean that we cannot still share in the love, peace and festive spirit that Christmas brings with it. While many of us are spending time apart from loved ones this year, we do so in the name of love for our fellow man and to me there is no better sacrifice to show the true meaning of this holiday to all of us and so on behalf of myself and the DA I want to wish you a peaceful and restful Christmas.”
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Velenkosini Hlabisa has called on the country to remember and support those who have been directly affected by the pandemic.
“As we approach this Christmas day let us be mindful that many families have lost their income and their homes, let us, therefore, extend a hand of solidarity and support to a neighbour in need. This Christmas I also want to thank every South African who pro-actively cares for our nation.”
Freedom Front-Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says South Africans must keep hope alive during these trying times.
“The year 2020 will be known in history as an exceptional year, many people had to face exceptional challenges and many have lost their jobs and are still unemployed. But we have hope for the future and that hope lies in the true message of Christmas. May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas time and that you can experience his love in your own life and for the future”
Congress of the People (COPE) spokesperson Dennis Bloem says as Christmas celebrations begin, South Africans must take responsibility for their own lives.
“A dark cloud is hanging over our heads, our joy and happiness have been turned into tears. Our wish is that all of us must take responsibility of our own health and lives. We wish everybody Happy Christmas under these very difficult circumstances.”
African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyolwethu Zungula has also sent wishes to South Africans.
“As the ATM we’d like to wish you Merry Christmas, knowing for a fact that a lot has happened in 2020, people have lost their lives, people have lost their livelihoods, however, let us not lose faith, God willing things will turn around and God will restore the joy and salvation in our country.”