President Cyril Ramaphosa says his government is working hard to ensure that every citizen is vaccinated against the Covid-19.
Ramaphosa was speaking during the virtual commemoration of Human Rights Day where 69 innocent people were killed during an anti-pass protest march led by the PAC in Sharpeville in 1960.
“We have been able to weather the coronavirus storm in large part because of the strong culture of human rights in our country. Human rights that were hard-won by the heroes and heroines of Sharpeville and the countless heroes and heroines of our struggle for liberation broadly.
“They were firm in their conviction that freedom for some is freedom for none; and that nobody must be left behind. It was at Sharpeville that President Nelson Mandela signed our democratic Constitution into law 25 years ago. The Constitution is a shade and a shelter for all. As we said at the time, the constitution is one law for one nation,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the constitution commits not just government but everybody to the values that were disregarded in the past – of human rights, of fair and decent treatment, of tolerance of difference, and of appreciation of our common basic humanity.
He said the country was now in the phase of reconstruction and recovery saying his government was working to build a new economy that promises equal opportunity for all.
“In doing so, let us remember that this is a struggle for all of us far greater than ourselves. It is not a fight not for our own piece of bread, for our own job to be saved, or for our own health and safety. It is a fight to preserve our common humanity. And it means that we must all work together, whether as government, labour, business or communities. We must rebuild a society that is far better than the one that came before it.
“We must become a society that is free from poverty, hunger and deprivation. We must become a society where women and children are free from violence, and where their rights are protected. We must become a society where young people are able to realise their full potential – where they are not doomed to lives of despair and poverty because they cannot afford an education or because there are no jobs for them.
“We must be a society of equal opportunity for all, regardless of one’s race, sex, sexual orientation or whether one is able bodied or a person with disabilities. We must be a society where quality health care, education and basic services are provided to our people regardless of whether they live in a village in a town or a city.
“We must be a society where the land is owned not by a few, but where all have access to land for development, for progress and for self-upliftment. Above all, we must be a society that recognises the dignity of every individual, and the role of every man, woman and child in building a better future. This is the promise of our Constitution,” Ramaphosa said.
He said his government must strive to make this promise a reality in the lives of our people.