South Africa marked eight years since the Marikana tragedy on Sunday, with government acknowledging that much more can be done to uplift the lives of those living in Marikana and other communities across the country.
"While work has been done by government and the private sector to change the lives of those living in Marikana, government acknowledges that much more needs to be done in communities across the country," said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director-General, Phumla Williams.
In remembering the events that led to the Marikana tragedy in August 2012, Williams said the pain felt by the workers, their families, government and the nation on that fateful day in 2012 is entrenched in the country's history and is a reminder of what must never happen again in South Africa.
"The tragedy that befell South Africa in 2012 is an incident that should have never happened. Government is not immune from the pain that the nation still feels. The values that underpin our democracy, such as respect for human rights and the right to life, is of utmost importance and must always be adhered to.
"Government, business and social partners, and every individual must continue to work hard to weave strongly the vines that hold us together as a country. Never again must a tragedy of this magnitude be experienced in South Africa," said Williams.
In remembering Marikana, government noted the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in areas such as strengthening public order policing.
Government further acknowledged the process of reparations for families, as well as the housing project for Marikana. Government also acknowledged the role played by the private sector.
With the high level of inequalities that still persist throughout the country brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic, government acknowledged the need to turn the tide on the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
"Government, working with its social and business partners, must continue to strengthen its fight to address these challenges," said Williams.
Government is steadfast in its commitment to strengthen economic and social transformation through the new District Development Model.
The new model, which is district based, aims at fast-tracking service delivery and to ensure that municipalities are adequately supported and resourced to carry out their mandate.
The model seeks to change the face of rural and urban landscapes by ensuring complementarity between urban and rural development, with a deliberate emphasis on local economic development.
"Government remains resolute in restoring confidence in labour market institutions, address income inequalities and build social cohesion, address socio-economic challenges, and combat violence and lawlessness," said Williams.