The National Development Plan, rhinos, service delivery, soccer, Brics, Marikana and Mandela are on President Jacob Zuma's mind as 2012 draws to a close on Monday.
In his New Year's message the president said the NDP would guide the country to prosperity.
By 2030 the NDP would create a society where people had adequate access to water, electricity, health care, education, safety, and jobs.
The year had been "eventful, successful and also very challenging".
He noted that in the short term, South Africa had to become a country where problems could be anticipated and resolved peacefully without an outbreak of violence, as had happened in Marikana. Police shot dead 34 striking miners on August 16 during a clash at the Lonmin platinum mine.
South Africans needed a society free from abuse and violence, as well as one where animals, especially rhinos, were safe from poachers.
Zuma expressed gratitude to everyone who had prayed for and supported former president Nelson Mandela while he was in hospital.
"We should continue to keep the Mandela family in our thoughts and prayers until Tata has fully recovered."
He said South Africa's hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations would make January an exciting month.
In March the country would host the Brics group of nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, in Durban.