President Jacob Zuma has reaffirmed government’s commitment to radical socio-economic transformation in 2018.

In his New Year message, the president said the programme of radical socio-economic transformation will be the main focus of government in the year 2018 and it will inform the delivery of government’s programmes.

In the past, President Zuma has defined radical socio-economic transformation as a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

“Through our Industrial Policy Action Plan and other programmes, South Africa will continue to promote investments particularly in key strategic sectors such as energy, manufacturing, transport, telecommunications, water, tourism, the oceans economy, mining and agriculture,” the president said in his message to the nation.

Government will also continue with its infrastructure rollout programme.

“Despite serious challenges on the economic front, together we made substantial progress in providing basic services such as electricity, housing, roads, water and sanitation, health care, social grants as well as accessible education,” Zuma adds.

He says government will also intensify investment in education in 2018, and has announced that it is expanding access to free education for children from poor households.

More than 9-million children currently attend no-fee schools, which make up about 80% of state schools. Zuma last month announced that higher education will soon be free for students from poor and working class houselholds.

“The intervention must be the beginning of a skills revolution in our country, in pursuit of the radical socio-economic transformation programme,” he said.