SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

22 August 2014

South Africa: Gauteng Ready for Socio-Economic Transformation

Boksburg — The Gauteng Provincial Government is ready to work with national government to drive the struggle for radical socio-economic transformation.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced this during his opening remarks at the Gauteng Provincial Social Cohesion Summit in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg on Friday.

"The Gauteng provincial government ... is ready to work with national government, municipalities and leaders of civil society to join the struggle for radical economic transformation.

"Social cohesion is a critically important task during this new radical phase of our transition to a national democratic society. We need your ideas on how we are going to respond to President Jacob Zuma's call for radical socio-economic transformation," he said.

Following the 2012, National Social Cohesion Summit, Premier Makhura said their provincial summit is aimed at continuing the dialogue and discourse on how to galvanise all sectors of society around the vision and programme of building a caring and inclusive society based on humanity, equality, solidarity, diversity and tolerance.

"We came together at this provincial summit to also celebrate the tremendous progress we've made as a country over the 20 years towards constructing a national democratic society.

"Social cohesion is one of the fundamental tasks that arise from our quest for a society based on democratic values, social justice, solidarity and human rights for all," he said.

Premier Makhura said his provincial government is very proud about the tremendous strides made since the dawn of democracy in addressing the basic needs of the overwhelming majority of South Africans who endured centuries of racial oppression, socio-economic exclusion and super-exploitation.

He said millions of people have unprecedented levels of access to education, healthcare, housing, water, modern energy and other life-supporting services such as world-class infrastructure that have restored their dignity.

"Ours must be a truly integrated, inclusive and sustainable City Region wherein all South Africans enjoy human rights and care for each other as human beings, regardless of race, class, gender and religion.

"We must forge ahead with nation-building and a common citizenship amongst our people, when we celebrated the achievements of our democracy, let's do so together as people.

"When we fight against corruption and fraud, let us do so as fellow patriots who share a dream of building a clean and accountable government that deploys public resources to assist the most vulnerable in society and enable citizens to live productive and meaningful," he said.

Promoting women rights key to social cohesion

Speaking at the summit, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said there can be no social cohesion without recognition and promotion of the equal rights of women and a concerted effort to improve their economic and social position.

"Women still bear the brunt of social cohesion problems such as inequality, poverty, discrimination and violence. It is essential that everyone in society should come together to craft a social compact that will propel South Africa onto a higher developmental trajectory and build a more cohesive and equitable society," he said.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said all people are born free, with an equal expectation that they should enjoy the right to life, shelter, food and security. "We all expect that we will be members of a society that is cohesive and prosperous.

"These rights and expectations are indivisible, let's work to make them a reality for all," he said. - SAnews.gov.za

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