We must appreciate that as people we have different needs and also that we may not share the same ideas on certain issues. But we must be united by a common desire to build a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic nation.
“We should intensify our efforts in this regard and not allow anything to defocus or reverse the gains made in the past 16 years," he said at the Freedom Day celebrations in Ga-Marishane near Jane Furse.
He said it was fundamental for all races to join the celebrations of Freedom Day, which marks the date of the first democratic elections that took place in South Africa on 27 April 1994 and other national days.
"We fought for this freedom in order for all South Africans to live together in peace and unity," he said.
He urged Limpopo residents to defend the gains made in building a democratic nation and to prepare for new battles against poverty and other forms suffering.
He said significant progress was being made in providing many households with water, sanitation, and electricity.
"We are furthering the programme of providing our people with houses that are decent for human settlement even in the midst of budgetary constraints created by the recent global economic downturn," he added.
New hospitals and clinics had been built in the past 16 years, while more health facilities were offering 24 hours services, he said.
"Some of these facilities have been constructed in the rural areas of the province and as such, many people are no longer compelled to walk or drive long distances to access health care services.”
Mathale said new schools and classrooms had been built, learning and teaching materials were being delivered on time and teachers were being given more training.
"Education is the most fundamental weapon immediately available to be used in the offensive against poverty and underdevelopment. If freedom fighters were able to study from jail, military camps, and from underground, why is it difficult for young generation to learn under a free and democratic education system, which has a conducive environment for teaching and learning?" he asked.
Mathale said the State also has a duty to ensure its people benefit meaningfully from the wealth of their soil.
"It cannot be accepted that here in Limpopo we have a high unemployment rate in the midst of many minerals, which are lying under our soil.
"We want the mining activities, which are taking place in the province, to benefit communities through by creating job opportunities, skilling people, offering bursaries to educate people and contributing to the community infrastructural development.” - BuaNews