New Year message by President Nelson Mandela

31 December 1998

Good evening!
Ke a le dumedisa!
Ri perile!
Ndi madekwana!

The New Year will bring many changes.

They will depend on our working together to realise our dreams.

Our nation is founded on the pledge to work together to end poverty and inequality.

We can and must do it.

This past year has reminded us how much we can achieve if we work together.

Our confidence grows out of the way in which South Africans from every background and all walks of life have joined hands to deal with the issues facing us.

Communities, local authorities and government have worked day by day to bring the clean water, health-care, housing and electricity that we all deserve.

Business-people, farmers, government, communities and the security services have come together to forge a common approach to safety, in a partnership that is starting to bear fruit.

Steadily but surely those who prey on innocent people will learn that crime does not pay.

Our religious bodies and political organisations resolved in the Morals Summit to work together to renew our society's morality, to support efforts to combat crime and corruption.

Business, workers and community organisations joined government at the Jobs Summit in taking joint responsibility for job-creation, and therefore also for the attack on poverty.

By launching the Partnership Against Aids every sector of civil society declared its commitment to help turn the tide against this epidemic.

In all these ways the partnership of all sectors of our society is being strengthened, combining the energies and resources of our nation in the name of what unites us.

It is this spirit of shared responsibility, the spirit of Masakhane, that should guide our efforts.

In this spirit too, we must be mindful in this festive season of the need to drive with care, and to end violence in our families and communities.

In this spirit of Masakhane let us march towards a better life.

However robust the coming election campaign, we must emerge still more united.

Our task is to complete the reconstruction and development of our society.

Together, let us work to build the peaceful, just and healthy society of our dreams.

Together let us work with other nations for peace and happiness across our continent and our globe.

I wish you all a happy and fulfilling New Year.

Gold bless South Africa!

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website