President Cyril Ramaphosa has described 2020 as an extremely difficult year. He was speaking when he led a candle light ceremony at the Khayelitsha District Hospital on the Cape Flats on Thursday evening.
The ceremony was in honour of frontline health care workers who are among those who make up the 28 469 national death toll of people who lost their lives due to COVID-19.
President Cyril Ramaphosa labels 2020 as a year of uncertainty:
Ramaphosa was accompanied by Western Cape Premier Allan Winde, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, the State and Security Deputy Minister and various religious leaders.
He said the year has left South Africans with painful memories.
“2020 has been a year in hell. It has been the most difficult year for all of us here in South Africa. I could not think of a better moment to spend with people who have put their lives on the line, who have been the true frontline workers, who have been willing to sacrifice everything so that they could save the lives of many other people. We bow our heads, we dip our heads and we also bow our knees; we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could never thank you enough. Many of you have passed on and many of you are currently infected and were infected and either in isolation or in quarantine, but you bore it all.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s candle lighting commemoration for COVID-19 victims:
A similar candle lighting ceremony was held on the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The city’s Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo lit a candle of hope in memory of the nearly 2 000 residents who have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala together with the KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu led a candle lighting ceremony at the King Edward Hospital in Durban.
Call for unity
As South Africans enter the year 2021, President Ramaphosa said citizens can only win the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if they remain united.
The country has recorded 18 000 new infections in the past 24 hours, putting the cumulative number of cases at 1 057 161. 4 36 more people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications.
The national death toll now stands at 28 469.
Delivering his New Year message, Ramaphosa warned that the year ahead would be challenging.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s New Year 2020/2021 message:
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