We have come to the end of the year 2016. As usual, there were ups and downs in various aspects of our lives, but fortunately by God's grace we live to see another day.
Many lost their loved ones through the criminal violence that continues unabated. Many more lost their homes and their priced possessions in many different ways including the recent flash floods. Abject poverty, hopelessness, joblessness and inequality continue to pummel our people.
However, not all is lost. This time of the year gives us an opportunity to reflect on a year that was while putting our ducks in a row in preparation for the new year.
Christmas should be a time of joy, when families come together to celebrate the festive season, while, New Year gives us time to look forward with hope and resolution.
Gone are the days when we had no reason to celebrate and little to look forward to in the year ahead due to the atrocities that characterised our struggle for liberation.
Twenty-two years into our democracy we have every right to appreciate this hard earned freedom and join the rest of the peoples of the world in participating in the festivities that go with the festive season as a free, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, just and prosperous country.
Let us use the festive break to relax and recharge our batteries so that when we come back in the new year – we are better individuals with the necessary energy to do better that we did this year.
As we close this year we must continue to open our minds and hearts to the struggles of others. The Christmas break must not disconnect us from the spirit of our work. Instead it must reconnect us with our communities and remind us that we live to serve them.
All of us must know and internalize the idea that a life of service to others is worth more than a life of selfishness. The book of Corinthians 9:7 says: "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
To those of us our people who will be hitting the road to various destinations either to visit family or on holiday, we wish you a safe journey. Remember that speed and fatigue kill. Adhere to the rules of the road and be patient with other road users.
Allow me on behalf of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality to wish you all a joyous, peaceful Christmas, and a very happy New Year. Let us all come back in 2017 oozing with confidence and energy to continue making our city a better place to stay, work and play.
Yours in Governance
Cllr Mzwandile Masina