Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Saturday said the party hoped that 2017 would bring with it positive change "that will contribute to personal and societal advancement".
Maimane, in a statement, said the party also hoped that the new year would make South Africans more committed to working together towards "building... an inclusive economy that guarantees job creation for the 9 million jobless South Africans and those who join the ranks of job-seekers following the release of matric and higher education results".
"We call upon students and higher education institutions to work together in order to ensure a peaceful registration period at the country's campuses."
Maimane said 2016 was a challenging year "making it vital for us all to reflect on it so that we do not repeat the same mistakes while working to find better solutions to our problems as a country".
He said next year presented the country with an opportunity to start afresh "by recommitting to economic advancement, the rule of law, accountability, constitutionalism and ubuntu".
He added that the country should continue its programme of reconciliation and building a country that was united in its diversity.
"The past year saw too many instances of racial discrimination and negative mobilisation," he said.
Maimane called on South Africans to be responsible in their new year's celebrations.