National Assembly: 15 February 2010
Since this year's State of the Nation
Address, in the main, celebrated that momentous occasion in the
history of this nation, which is the release from prison of our
iconic former President, Nelson Mandela 20 years ago, it was
inevitable, fitting and proper to also reflect on President
Mandela's legacy of reconciliation and peace which he bequeathed to
present and future generations of South Africans, twenty years on.
It is, however, most tragic that real and
true reconciliation has eluded us in this country for various
reasons. This country needs reconciliation, perhaps more urgently
than most of us realise, to enable us to build on a solid foundation
of our achievements of yester-year.
This reconciliation which has eluded us for
two decades after the cessation of conflicts of the past, does not
only need to take place between white and black South Africans but
also between and among black South Africans; and indeed between and
among various political organisations that operate in this country.
Reconciliation is not something we can
afford to brush aside or postpone to some unknown moment in the
future, but is an imperative for the very survival of our nation.
It is the very cornerstone of true nation-building which is pursued
in order to guarantee lasting peace for ourselves, for our children
and for generations to come.
It is for this reason that we call on the
Presidency of our country as an institution, and on you, Mr
President, as a person, to be an embodiment of the values enunciated
by such an icon of our struggle as President Nelson Mandela was.
In particular, we call upon you, Mr President to take decisive
initiatives to save and extend the legacy of President Nelson
Mandela who demonstrated in word and deed, that reconciliation and
peace were firm foundations upon which to build this Nation.
We mean bold and honest initiatives which go
beyond mere public relations exercises pursued for political
expediency and cheap political propaganda, driven by the temporal
need to only do that which helps one score political points over
It is for this reason that we read with
horror that an ANC-controlled eThekwini Municipality which
commissioned the erection of the sculpture of three elephants has
now, after squandering millions of tax-payers' and rate-payers'
funds, balked under pressure from those inside the ANC who now think
it was not politically correct to have commissioned such a sculpture
because they think it would bolster the image of the hated IFP whose
logo has three elephants.
While we have very profound appreciation for
the boldness with which you, Mr President, gave rare recognition to
the positive role played by people such as the late Mrs Helen Suzman
and by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in particular, we are concerned
at the failure of the ANC, of which you are the President, to rein
in the President of the ANC Youth League, Mr Julius Malema who
poured scorn on the positive role of President de Klerk in getting
Mr Mandela released, while castigating the IFP in very derogatory
terms. Mr President, Mr Malema is bad news for reconciliation in
this country and he is bad news for the survival of the legacy of
reconciliation and peace pursued by President Nelson Mandela.
What is even more disturbing is the tacit
approval and encouragement which he receives from some senior
leaders of the ANC, including from you Mr President. The office
that you occupy does not belong to you personally, it is not your
private property or that of the ANC, it actually belongs to ALL the
people of South Africa - we urge you to use it for the common good
of ALL the people of South Africa - those who voted for the ANC and
those who did not.
The ANC may have won election after election
since the advent of our democratic dispensation in 1994, it may
perhaps continue to do so in the foreseeable future, BUT that does
not mean that the ANC has the monopoly of wisdom of all that needs
to be done in this country to achieve the very nice-sounding
intentions and goals that the government has set for itself.
It will need the inputs of all people of
goodwill from across the political spectrum represented in this
house to make headway.
The people of South Africa look up to the
leadership of the country which sits in this House for answers to
their daily problems. We cannot fail them and we dare not fail
Mr President, you have committed your
government to halving the loss of water through leaking pipes by
2014. Mr President, as someone who hails from KwaZulu Natal you
know as I do that the water of uThukela River literally runs a
stones-throw from your home into the Indian Ocean, leaving behind
thousands of drought-stricken and destitute people in the rural
villages who cannot benefit from that water through no fault of
Is there nothing that can be done to change
this? Moreover, the Jozini Dam, which is in Mkhanyakude Municipal
District, does not, for reasons we suspect are political, benefit
the majority of the people of Ingwavuma, oBonjeni and the entire
Mkhanyakude District and yet when it is full, the sluice gates are
now and again opened and the water is allowed to destroy even the
subsistence agricultural fields of the people downstream. Even the
Makhathini flats area which has great potential for agriculture and
food security does not fully benefit from that water.
Mhlonishwa Mongameli, ngiyethemba ukuthi
kasibakhohlisi abantu basemakhaya ngokuba sisho okuningi okuhle
kulendlu ngezidingo zabo zentuthuko kepha sibe singaqondile
ukukulandela ngezenzo ezibonakalayo ukuze basizakale impela.
Umuntu uze asole ukuthi hleze kushiwo izinto
ezinhle lapha ukuze basivotele nje kuphela kepha singezukwenza lutho
oluphathekayo ukuhlangabezana nezidingo zabo zansuku zonke.
I thank you.