By Nomonde Mnukwa
There are many positive developments in our country that we can be proud off, which as patriotic citizens we can share with each other and the world. By spreading the good news we inspire hope and also help to build our country’s reputation and image.
Today we live in a country where democracy reins and will soon mark 30 Years of Democracy and Freedom. As a young nation, we have risen together from the ashes of apartheid to forge a new society rooted in democratic principles.
Our democracy has provided many avenues for citizens to raise their voices and to be part of forging our nation’s path. Our journey is characterised by co-operation, collaboration and building of partnerships to improve the lives of the people.
At the heart of our democracy is the world’s most progressive constitution. It is admired and respected around the world for its approach to human rights. The Constitution contains the aspirations of all the people of South Africa as expressed in the Freedom Charter and the preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
South Africa prides itself on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. The rule of law remains sacrosanct and is fundamental to peace, security, stability and our efforts to achieve economic and social progress.
Our nation’s positive attributes also extend to areas such as tourism where the country was recently honoured by readers of the UK’s Telegraph Travel publication, with the prestigious title of "Best Country," while its iconic city, Cape Town, claimed the coveted title of "Best City in the World."
Earlier this year our country received the prestigious International Social Security Association Good Practice Award in Social Security for Africa 2023, which recognises our investment in the lives of our children, especially those from poor and vulnerable households.
Since 1994 our social assistance has been at the heart of government’s poverty alleviation programme and central to restoring the dignity of our people. South Africa’s social protection system is amongst the largest in the world, with more than 18 million beneficiaries and around two million indigent households receiving free basic water, free basic electricity and free solid waste removal.
In 2021 our country was ranked first in the world as a destination for global business services in a survey of over 600 executives from eight key sourcing markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
South Africa has several advantages that make it an attractive destination for business services such as its sophisticated digital infrastructure, including mobile networks and high-speed broadband.
Under the stewardship of President Cyril Ramaphosa we have begun to methodically construct an environment for investment to flourish and accelerated economic reforms to secure confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty and unlock greater investment in growth sectors.
In April this year, all that hard work came to fruition when South Africa concluded the first phase of its five year investment mobilisation drive surpassing its investment target by 26 per cent. Over the period, the country reached a total of R1,51 trillion in investment pledges.
In our fight against unemployment, we have through our country’s biggest youth employment programme placed 235 000 young people as school assistants in 23 000 schools in the country. While there is still more to be done, the Presidential Employment Stimulus continues to draw of thousands of young people into the workplace.
In building our country’s reputation let us speak about our nation’s attributes at every available opportunity. Let us endeavour to speak from the same script, saying that South Africa is open for business, unique and abounds with potential.
It is time for every proud South African to make their voice heard and rally behind the country in every conversation. We are called to transcend individual or sectional interests and with great maturity, pull together to take our country forward.
Through sharing, the many achievements of our nation we can help build the great country we envisioned at the start of our democracy. Let us all become part of the change we want to see.
Nomonde Mnukwa is Acting Director General of GCIS