Item 1066 - Address at Opening of the Chatsworth Youth Centre

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ZA COM MR-S-1066


Address at Opening of the Chatsworth Youth Centre


  • 2003-10-14 (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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Opening of the Chatsworth Youth Centre

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  • English

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Your Majesty
Your Worship the Mayor
Representatives of the Donors
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a joyous day seeing this project going into fruition, demonstrating that out of the gravest tragedy we can rise and built something of hope for the future. The opening of the Chatsworth Youth Centre this morning stands as another testimony to the indestructibility of the human spirit, and our enormous capacity for caring for each other.

I am deeply moved and greatly privileged to have been a small part of this initiative.

I have developed a very bad reputation for being able to pressurise funders into giving money to causes without them necessarily being inclined to do so. This is one occasion where I know that not to have been the case; the founding donors - Daimler-Chrysler, Debla Fleet Management and Nando’s – responded with such generous willingness that I did not need to apply any of the supposed pressure measures I am so wrongly accused of!

Your public-spirited generosity is noted by the community and appreciated by all of us. It stands once more to the credit of the South African corporate world that it has almost without fail responded so positively to our calls for support of community development in various forms. The unhesitating response of the founding donors inspired others to join them in support of this initiative.

Amongst those are Ethekwini Municipality, I&J, and Microsoft in partnership with the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum.

In addition to those there are too many for me to mention by name but I am certain that they will all be appropriately and prominently acknowledged today. We all join in paying tribute to you for your generous support.

It was Kerishnie Naicker who first approached me with this idea and who together with Sivi Chetty piloted the project. I have always regarded her as a young lady with exceptional capabilities and talents and the successful completion of this project is evidence of that. Our congratulations rightly go to her and to Sivi Chetty.

The work now lies ahead of us. We have this excellent facility. Now we must all join to make it work for the improvement of the quality of life of the youth of our community. South Africa is in the process of rebuilding communities within the framework of our young democracy. Projects such as this one are crucial building blocks in that process of communal healing and reconstruction.

The suffering and deprivation brought on by the legacy of apartheid is felt and borne by all communities. Indian communities in our country show the same social scars of deprivation and suffering. The tragedy at the nightclub that led to this project was in large part due to the social disruption of stable community life.

As we reconstruct and develop our society we do so with equal concern for all communities, and it is important for the success of our transformation and nation-building that all communities experience the even-handedness of those processes.

The hurt and tragedy of that night-club incident may in the end not have been in vain if it succeeds through the work of the Chatsworth Youth Centre to draw all of us closer together in our sympathy for one another and our caring for our brother and sister. The compassion shown to our youth and children may in fact be the greatest national treasure to spiritually fund our future.

It is my great honour to declare this Youth Centre officially open and to now hand over the key to Chatsworth Youth Centre Committee.

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 020=/03/09 by Razia Saleh




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