This is a difficult time for South Africa – Ramaphosa

Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says although South Africa has made great strides since the adoption of its Constitution twenty years ago there was still a long way to go.

"We have, as Madiba said, climbed a great hill," said Ramaphosa on Monday.

He also told guests at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg that the country risked being diverted from the path it has chosen.

South Africa's first democratic president Nelson Mandela died three years ago on December 5 at the age of 95.

A series of events were held across the country to celebrate his sacrifices and to remember his ideals.

Ramaphosa focused extensively the Constitution, which Mandela signed into existence 20 years ago.

He said a lot had been done to restore the dignity of South Africans along with a sense of collective pride in a nation which is now at peace with itself and the world.

'Many more hills still to climb'

"As a country, we have done much to push back the frontiers of poverty and to meet the basic needs of millions of our people," he said.

But the deputy president also admitted that there was still a lot to be done.

"We know there are many more hills still to climb," he said.

Ramaphosa told guests there were too many people in the country who were not enjoying the rights enshrined in the country's Constitution including those who go hungry, children who did not finish school and people without jobs.

"Too many people have yet to fully realise the rights contained in the Constitution that Madiba signed into law 20 years ago," said Ramaphosa.

He said as people considered the work that must be done to correct historical injustices he also expected them to acknowledge that it was a difficult time for South Africa.

Ramaphosa said now was the time to unite South Africans in order to complete the liberation of the country's people.

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