President Jacob Zuma has appealed to South Africans to continue striving towards socio-economic freedom in the new year, by working towards implementing Vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan.

In his New Year’s message, Zuma says 2013 has been an eventful year for the nation as a whole.

While he steered clear of speaking about the controversy surrounding his Nkandla homestead, his address largely focused on how the nation should honour the legacy of former President, Nelson Mandela.

Zuma said 2014 will be a milestone year in the nation’s history.

“We will reflect on how our freedom and democracy were achieved, and the progress we have made in the past 20 years,” Zuma said in the address.

However, he also stated that there is still a lot of progress to be made to build the South Africa of our dreams.

“Our country is today a much better place than it was before 1994. Life has changed for the better for millions of South Africans, but some of our people are still waiting. Therefore, our work is not yet completed.

“We continue to build a society where there is work. A society where everyone would be able to continue to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the country, because they would have been provided with the tools they need to reach their full potential, such as education.”

Zuma said that while the recent loss of former President Nelson Mandela was still being felt around the country, it was important to honour his legacy.

“The values he stood for must guide our work as we continue to reconcile and to unite our rainbow nation and to deepen non-racialism,” he said.

The president also called on all eligible voters to cast their ballots in the 2014 national elections, so that they can exercise their hard-won right to vote.