Zuma reflects on ANC’s achievements at celebratory concert

2013-01-07 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma last night said the ANC should build on its successes as the party moved into its second century.

“The most urgent task facing us is to speed up the building of a national democratic society wherein all South Africans enjoy an improved quality of life, especially the working class and the poor,” said Zuma, addressing the closing ceremony of the party’s centenary celebration in Durban.

Zuma said the situation where white households have six times the income of black households (as recorded in the 2011 census) should become something of the past.

“It is bad for reconciliation and nation building and all of us, black and white, must work to reduce and ultimately eradicate such a massive gap in the second phase of our country’s revolution.”

He described the centenary celebrations as a great success that left an indelible mark in the memories of the vast majority of people and reconnected people with the party.

“This has had the benefit of demonstrating how the history of every part of South Africa is inextricably linked to the history of the ANC,” Zuma said, adding that SA could not be imagined without the ANC.

He said the ANC remained the only hope for a better society and a better future for thousands of the poor and the working class.

“We have laid a firm foundation for democracy, based on the Constitution of the Republic … The ANC remains the only true and honest defender and promoter of this supreme law of the land,” he said.

Earlier a choir sang Lizalise idinga lakho Thixo wenyaniso (God of truth fulfill your promise), a song that was sung when the ANC was formed in 1912.

The national centenary flame was also brought onto the stage and nine youths lit nine flames that were sent out to the provinces.

“We are getting into the second [century] of the ANC and as we do, the older generation will hand over to the younger people,” national chairperson Baleka Mbete said.

The crowds were later entertained by a star-studded line-up of local artists.

• Mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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