The struggle to free our people and rebuild our country has taught us important lessons. One lesson is that the people are their own liberators. To bring real and lasting change for the better, all of us need to work together. Each of us needs to do what we can to help drive back the frontiers of poverty. Every person and every community has a part to play in turning our society from one that was divided and unequal into one that is just and prosperous. In the first ten years of our freedom we made much progress as a nation towards a better life for all. Millions of our people now enjoy basic rights they were denied before. But many still lack clean water; many do not yet have the electricity that has brought light and warmth to millions of others; there are many villages that do not have proper roads.
Though many jobs have been created, many of our people do not have proper jobs — or any work opportunities at all — and must struggle to make a living as best they can. This is mainly because they were denied the education and the skills that would have given them the possibility to find decent work or start their own businesses. Since we achieved freedom, government has created many programmes to improve the lives of especially the poor and to help make our economy grow. They bring opportunities for work and skills development; new access to credit; support for small farmers; improvements in housing and basic services; better roads and transport. But government on its own cannot make these programmes work. Communities and individuals need to seize the opportunities of democracy, so that together we make the best use of the resources that we have as a nation, steadily to continue improving the lives of all who live in South Africa. Our experience has also taught us that without information, people cannot make use of these opportunities. So one of the critical elements of the programme of change is to expand the platforms of government communication, so we can provide the majority of citizens with information they need to improve their lives. Vuk’uzenzele is our new addition to the arsenal of information tools to bring you information you can use. Its name and its content speak of a partnership that we must continually forge – between government and all citizens – in building a South Africa that truly belongs to all! Together, let’s make it happen!