SA urged to 'promote reconciliation'
18 December 2012
South African President Jacob Zuma says "phenomenal strides" have been made in
the past 18 years in promoting national unity and reconciliation among South
"We have this year dedicated time to build monuments and memorials and to rename
significant geographical features to pay tribute to men and women who paid the
supreme sacrifice for our freedom," Zuma said in his message for the national Day of
Reconciliation on Sunday.
The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of
fostering reconciliation and national unity.
'Unity in diversity'
"But we know that we should do more than that to achieve true reconciliation," he
"We need to bridge the inequalities, intensify the fight against poverty, combat crime
and drug abuse; champion the interest of women, children and people with disability
and combat all forms of racist, tribal and
He urged South Africans to use national days to embark upon programmes that
demonstrate that they were united in their diversity.
South Africans also needed to embrace the values of Ubuntu which included human
solidarity, generosity, hospitability, friendliness, caring, compassion, harmony,
forgiveness and neighbourliness.
This was a responsibility of all South Africans, not just government, Zuma said.