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It is a great honour to stand before you today to deliver the 25th annual State of the Nation Address in a free and democratic South Africa.

This year, as a diverse people and as a united nation, we will celebrate one of the greatest of human achievements.

We will celebrate the triumph of freedom over subjugation, the triumph of democracy over racial tyranny, the triumph of hope over despair.

We will celebrate the irresistible determination of an oppressed people to be free and equal and fulfilled.

We will use this time to recall the hardship and the suffering which generations of our people endured – their struggles, their sacrifices and their undying commitment to build a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.

We will remember the relief and exhilaration of the day of our freedom, the moment at which we became a nation, a country at peace with itself and the world.

During the course of this year, we must and will reflect on the journey of the last 25 years.

As South Africans, we will have to ask ourselves whether we have realised the promise of our nation’s birth.

We must spend this year, the 25th anniversary of our freedom, asking ourselves whether we have built a society in which all South Africans equally and without exception enjoy their inalienable rights to life, dignity and liberty.

Have we built a society where the injustices of the past no longer define the lives of the present?

We must use this time to reflect on the progress we have made, the challenges we have encountered, the setbacks we have suffered, and the mistakes we have committed.

A year ago, we set out on a path of growth and renewal.

Emerging from a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust, we resolved to break with all that divides us, to embrace all that unites us.

We resolved to cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption and to restore the integrity of our institutions.

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