Item 1190 - Message of Mr Nelson Mandela President of the African National Congress to the Association of Young Portuguese Entrepreneurs and Professionals

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-S-1190


Message of Mr Nelson Mandela President of the African National Congress to the Association of Young Portuguese Entrepreneurs and Professionals


  • 1993-10-30 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

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

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



We have gathered here today to honour young Portuguese professionals, entrepreneurs and technicians who have, by contributing to their own community, will also enrich our society as a whole. They have attained excellence in their chosen careers and play an active and constructive role in their community.

We have confidence that this occasion signifies not an insular, and exclusive achievement but that what we acknowledge and celebrate here tonight must also impact on our greater South African community which is poised on the threshold of renewal. That renewal entails change for all of us in this country. It demands from us the courage to participate fully in shaping the future.

None of us can shirk that duty by retreating into the cocoon of yesterday. Only two weeks ago, we paid a memorable visit to Lisbon.

We met President Mario Soares, Prime Minister Cavaco da Silva, Foreign Minister Dr Durao Barosso and many other eminent members of Government, business and industry. I was honoured to receive the highest award of Portugal, the Order of Freedom.

We went to Portugal fully aware of the affection and support of the Portuguese government and people, but the rousing welcome, hospitality and attention we received was overwhelming. We returned affirmed of the deepened friendship and support of the people of Portugal. This, we believe, has a direct bearing on the fact that there are more than half a million Portuguese-speaking people in South Africa, one of the largest immigrant populations in this land.

When I was addressing a gathering in Lisbon, I mentioned to them that I was going to directly appeal to you - the Portuguese Community in South Africa - to become more involved in the struggle for peace, freedom and democracy. Not only to keep investing, but to actively encourage more investment.

The Portuguese community needs to become more visible in the process of transformation and reconstruction now taking place in South Africa. For you, as well as other cultural minorities, apartheid policy has meant a negative image among black people and it is your task and ours to seek by all means possible to build bridges, open lines of positive communication and reconcile the past. We are aware of the significant role the Portuguese community is playing in industry and commerce. We say, you must continue to play that role in a democratic South Africa where we will ensure that your economic and cultural contribution is woven into the rich tapestry of our multicultural society.

We appeal to you, professionals, technicians, businessmen to help realise the dream of peace, justice and democracy. The destiny of South Africa is deeply interwoven with that of the subcontinent. We must together seek and find means to create prosperity for our entire region. In that regard, we rely on you to enhance the efforts of a democratic South Africa to bring about peace and economic reconstruction to Mozambique and Angola. You have a rare opportunity to play a historic role in our future relations with the Portuguese speaking African countries as you bring with you a unique cultural ingredient to that relationship.

The present juncture presents all of us with considerable challenges. The establishment of the Transitional Executive Council is in sight and we have faith that it will be set up by the end of November. This will signal a crucial phase of the process toward democratisation with an oversight on matters such as State Finances, International affairs, Defence and Security Law and Order. The TEC shall help to create a climate conducive to free and fair elections as well as bring down the levels of violence.

It is our conviction that prosperity and justice go hand in hand with peace and stability. The ANC is committed to pursuing a path that will engender the security and freedom of all the people of South Africa not least the South African minorities. That is why we have continued to espouse a Bill of Rights that entrenches the freedom of worship, language, movement, association, employment and culture for all. The violence, a direct product of apartheid culture, is a threat to these and all freedoms.

We are mindful that a growing portion of the violence is criminal in nature and that it impinges destructively on the lives of honest shopkeepers, traders and small businessmen and their families. There is no admissible excuse for the wanton brutality of these criminals who are a scourge on our society and threaten us all.

The ANC is committed to fight crime in all neighbourhoods and to create an environment that will enhance and encourage small business. The individual wealth achieved through the enterprise of small businessmen and women is incremental to the prosperity of the nation as a whole. That is why we espouse a free market economy and protection for honestly acquired private property.

We are thus actively engaged in both grassroots and national efforts for the establishment of an integrated and democratic police force whose major task will be the protection of the community. In this context, we are acutely sensitive to the vulnerability of those in the frontline of criminal violence, particularly shop- and café-owners and isolated smallholdings. We view these attacks as residual perceptions from the apartheid legacy which is still with us. That is why we must now all visibly work together to bring about a non-racial democratic South Africa. On April 27 next year, all men, women and youth, from all walks of life, will have the option, for the first time, to exercise their right to choose. We believe that the Portuguese Community, with its intimate links to the historical experience of Angola, Mozambique, Cap Verde, Guinnea Bissau and apartheid South Africa, will have the courage to choose hope over despair, new life over death, non-racialism over racism and equity for all.

In conclusion, we once more extol the virtues of hard work, responsibility, excellence and community consciousness to which the organisers of this event are committed.

To these Portuguese speaking youth we say, extend your gifts to your adopted country which embraces you with love and hope in our joint future.

The African National Congress, the leading and oldest liberation movement, has always espoused an inclusive and democratic approach. We welcome you into the future to build a new order of justice, peace, democracy and unity. Now is the time.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 19/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places