JOHANNESBURG, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans should celebrate Christmas with hope for the future and peace in their hearts.
The newly elected president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) made the comments while delivering a Christmas message.
South Africa has experienced a tough year with the economy barely registering any growth, political violence claiming many lives, especially in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and the world facing conflict in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula but Ramaphosa said South Africans of all persuasions should mark the holiday in peace and look forward with optimism.
He called all South Africans to be safe and enjoy responsibly this festive season. People must use this season to spend time with family and improve the lives of others, said Ramaphosa.
Fellow South Africans, let us enjoy this festive season without causing harm to ourselves and others. Let us use this time to reach out to needy members of our families and communities. Let us travel across our beautiful country safely and responsibly.
The ANC's two partners in the Tripartite Alliance -- the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) -- also issued Christmas messages to South Africans.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini urged South African workers to use their savings responsibly under difficult economic conditions this festive season.
He said the year 2017 was ending on a positive note with the governing ANC emerging from its national elective congress with a pledge to improve workers' conditions.
The SACP wished all South Africans a well-deserved rest during the festive holidays. It says the future demands a united nation in order to defend democracy and overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK