The calm way South Africa handled recent political change proves it is a mature democracy, said Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya in Pretoria on Sunday.

“As government we appreciate the prevailing atmosphere of calmness and maturity prevailed over this period.

“It is a good sign of a mature democracy that we should all be proud of,” said Skweyiya in Atteridgeville on Sunday during a church ceremony honouring Grandparents’ Day.

“Government, under the ANC leadership, will do all in its powers to ensure that stability is maintained in governance and service delivery.”

Skweyiya said it was important to celebrate grandparents with honour and respect every day.

“The presence and positive influence of grandparents is particularly poignant at this important juncture in society, as we witness the erosion of the moral fibre of our society.”

He said South Africans had people they could consider the grandparents of the struggle for freedom – like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the late Oliver Tambo and Father Trevor Huddleston, Ellen Khuzwayo, Ruth First, Charlotte Maxeke, and Albert Sisulu.

Skweyiya appealed to young people to respect grandparents because they were repositories of knowledge, values and wisdom.

“Older persons represent an accumulation of human wealth and vast potential which can contribute creative solutions to many of the problems facing us today,” he said.