I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate The Star newspaper for having reached the ripe age of 125 years.
In the 125 years of its existence, The Star has been an indispensable part of our nation. It has impacted on our evolving history in much the same way that our history has impacted on it as part of the fourth estate.
Our history could not have been the same without the outstanding men and women The Star produced in the course of its work; men and women who would go on to make vital contributions to our nation in different endeavours.
Despite the effects of colonial and later apartheid oppression on the media in a manner that both prescribed and defined our social landscape, The Star has, to this day, remained both versatile and influential on the state of our nation.
The Star continues to play a commendable role as a critical but constructive voice in the post-apartheid era as South Africa grapples with the Herculean task of constructing a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, just and prosperous society.
Multiplicity of voices is a key component if not a pillar of democratic systems; we are therefore confident that The Star will continue to expand the democratic space through its invaluable contribution to this nation building project.
The vision of the society to which we must advance necessarily requires that media outlets such as The Star continue to promote the ideals of a free and democratic society, providing a public platform for South Africans to express their opinions, thus contributing to the strengthening of our
Any democratic society worth its weight in salt appreciates the need for a critical media which keep the public informed of developments and enable society to engage meaningfully on matters that are of public concern. As a country we have made great strides and remarkable progress in creating an environment in which the media is free to operate without let or hindrance.
For its part government believes that the role of the press is to hold government accountable and to empower, inform, educate and entertain the public.
Indeed, this noble act can only serve to enhance the quality of our democracy.