Item 198 - Notes for speech at the Namaqualand Rally

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ZA COM MR-S-198

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Notes for speech at the Namaqualand Rally

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  • 1994-09-17 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Website

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Namaqualand Rally to pay tribute to people for ANC election victory

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPT

INTRODUCTION

It is a singular honour and source of joy for me to be with you here in Namaqualand today.

We have come here as a result of the decision that was taken by the National Executive Committee of the ANC to go around the country to pay tribute to our people for their victory in the April elections. It is as a result of your actions that we are today gathered here as a liberated people.

Particular praise must go to the people of this province who against all odds, ensured that the ANC won the elections. Despite the vicious campaign of the opposition whose major focus was to fuel racism and suspicion, the people of this province voted not on the basis of the colour of their skin or as a result of racial prejudice, but voted for peace, non-racialism and freedom.

We have come here to also report on progress we are making since the establishment of the Government of National Unity. The government is operating well and is on course with its programme.

THE RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Out of a broad consultation over the years emerged the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the RDP now forms the cornerstone of government policy. It has now been accepted by leaders of business and society in general as a guide to resolving the ills of apartheid.

During the State of the Nation address in parliament on the 24th of May, certain targets were set for the implementation of the RDP. These projects were placed under the direct supervision of the President. I am proud to report that in implementing these objectives, we have acquitted ourselves well.

Indeed, on the 1st of June we commenced the free medical scheme for children under the age of six and pregnant mothers. This bold step by the government threw up enormous challenges for us. Most of these arose from the legacy of apartheid and the deliberate neglect of the disadvantaged communities.

Soon thereafter, the Minister of Health announced a scheme to combat the spread of AIDS. Funds have been allocated for a major awareness and prevention campaign. We also announced an electrification programme which has been proceeding well.

Despite problems here and there, the scheme to provide feeding for needy primary school pupils has begun. Initial reports indicate that as a result of the introduction of the scheme, attendance figures in a number of areas and punctuality have improved dramatically.

We also announced ca uld townships and restore services. A number of areas have been identified across the country.

The implementation of the RDP has important lessons for us. One of these is that the RDP requires the involvement of the masses of the people in order to be a living and achievable programme. For the people to be involved, strong grassroots organisations are needed, and the provinces and local structures must be empowered to implement the programme.

THE NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE

I congratulate the Premier of the Province, Comrade Manne Dipico, the members of the Executive Council and the Legislature for the outstanding job they have done since the elections. The Northern Cape province was the only province that did not inherit an administration from the erstwhile structures. Its affairs were always run from Cape Town.

An untenable situation is that a lot of people from this province, particularly here in Namaqualand, still have to travel as far as Cape Town to receive medical attention in hospitals. This is a grave situation that needs urgent attention. In the meantime, we appeal to those institutions that can afford to make a contribution to the improvement of the welfare of our people, to put their medical facilities at the disposal of the people. The mining houses, for example, could alleviate the burden on our people by making their facilities available to nearby communities. The success of the RDP depends on the co-operation of the government, business, and mass organisations of the people. Without this relationship, we are doomed. The proposal we are making should be viewed in that spirit.

I take this opportunity to express my admiration for the strides that are being made by your provincial government to implement the RDP. Not only have they started with the feeding scheme and other lead projects, they have also made remarkable progress with the land restitution programmes. A word of praise for the outstanding work the Minister of Land Affairs, Comrade Derek Hanekom, is doing.

CHALLENGES

The greatest challenge facing the ANC is to continue to foster the spirit of national reconciliation and nation building that is blossoming in the country. Inseparable from this is the twin objective of reconstructing the country by addressing the legacy of apartheid.

An equally important challenge is to transform our movement into a force for rebuilding the country. We have to stop looking at ourselves as the opposition. Our militancy must be rededicated to improving production and the creation of more job opportunities.

The Government of National Unity is committed to upholding the rights of mass organisations to protest and engage in other forms of action to advance the interests of their constituencies. However, there is a growing tendency to abuse these rights by engaging in acts of violence or violation of the rights of others. The holding hostage of individuals during protest actions is a criminal act which the government cannot tolerate. Similarly, the setting alight of public property as we witnessed recently is an act which, if not ceased forthwith, will prompt the government to consider actions to ensure that this does not happen again.

Late next year, local government elections will take place. It is at a local government level that the RDP shall find real expression. In order for us to succeed in its implementation, we have to win the elections handsomely.

While I have reported progress that is being made by the Government of National Unity; there is a continuing need to be vigilant and always act to safeguard our new democracy. The unity of the democratic forces, more especially the cohesion of the ANC - SACP and COSATU, is paramount. Without hesitation, we must act to isolate elements that seek to undermine the alliance.

The ANC will hold its national conference in Bloemfontein from the 17th to the 22nd of December 1994. This will be the first conference in a democratic South Africa. It will be the first conference the ANC will be holding as the leading party in government. Our conference will therefore be different from all the conferences the ANC has had in its 82 years of existence.

As we approach conference, our attitude should be to consolidate the unity of our movement. It is only when we act as a united people that we shall take our country and our people to brighter horizons.

I thank you!

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EDITORIAL CHANGES
Paragraph beginning: "We also announced ca uld townships and restore services. A number of areas have been identified across the country."
Changes made: "ca uld" not changed to "a campaign to rebuild". Correct wording got from NMS199 which is the exact same speech for a different rally.

Note

RELATED INFORMATION

This is the same speech as MD-S-199

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 14/11/06 by Helen Joannides

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