“Due to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, many breadwinners have lost their jobs, businesses have closed and millions of families are struggling to put food on the table.
“The second pandemic that I spoke about last year, that manifests itself through violence against women and children, has continued unabated.
“Earlier this year, the country experienced the worst acts of public violence and destruction since the advent of democracy. This unrest led to loss of life, jobs being destroyed and billions of rand in damage to businesses and to the economy.”
Yet, 2021 had positive experiences too, he said.
“We can be thankful for the strength of our democracy. This year we held another free and fair local government election. We celebrated 25 years since the signing of our constitution. Our strong democracy withstood a deliberate and co-ordinated attempt to challenge our constitutional order and undermine the rule of law.
“We can be grateful for the ability of the South African people to unite in times of crisis. In the midst of the unrest, many South Africans came together to prevent looting. They cleaned the streets and helped to rebuild ransacked businesses.”