“This long-standing exclusion is still having an adverse social and economic impact on the lives of many South Africans,” he said, according to a copy of his speech.
“The challenge of our new democracy has been to enhance social cohesion, a collective identity, and a sense of national pride.”
Mabuza said there was still a long way to go to eradicate the past regime’s ills.
“To this day, our people are still confronted by the triple and interrelated challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality –challenges that the ruling party has been confronting since the dawn of democracy.”
He said despite job gains in the past five years, unemployment in Mpumalanga remained unacceptably high and infrastructure backlogs continued.
“The fact of the matter is that the backlog is still enormous, with current demand outstripping our available resources.”
The main sectors shedding jobs were agriculture, manufacturing and construction.