President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf government and the people of South Africa, wished all members of the Chinese community in South Africa a happy and successful New Year - the Year of the Rooster.

The Year of the Rooster is said to be marked by brilliant success for those who have endured with patience and it also signifies the ability to handle challenges.

It calls on us all to overcome the challenges that we have to face along the way to success and prosperity, President Zuma said.

The Year of the Rooster begins on Saturday, Jan 28.

Relations between South Africa and the People's Republic of China have grown from strength to strength.

President Zuma said the symbol and the spirit of the Year of the Rooster calls for robust and frank engagements that seek to grow the energy of the South African and Chinese relations further.

At the dawn of this Chinese New Year, it is time also to contemplate the goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

We recognise and value the work of the South African Chinese community to help in our efforts to create more jobs through the establishment and growth of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs and the promotion of economic transformation and Black Economic Empowerment, President Zuma said.

He said South Africa appreciates the Chinese investments and job creation through the entry of many Chinese enterprises, which contributes to a better life for all who live in our country.

Small businesses are important for any economy. To drive such enterprises requires attributes of punctuality, enthusiasm, trustworthiness and independence - all characteristics symbolised by the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

We further believe that motivation, independence and innovation, encouraged by the Year of the Rooster, will see a year ahead of strength and endurance, leading to the achievement of our mutual goals of the improvement of the lives and circumstances of our people.

With the commencement of the celebrations of the Chinese Year of the Rooster in South Africa and across the world on 28 January, I would like to extend our warmest and most sincere greetings and good wishes to all members of the Chinese community in our country, he said.