Item 1292 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Launch of the Local government Elections Campaign in KZN

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ZA COM MR-S-1292


Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Launch of the Local government Elections Campaign in KZN


  • 1996-03-21 (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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Launch of the Local Government Election Campaign in KwaZulu-Natal

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  • English

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1. It is with great pleasure that I join you here in Newcastle today to launch our election campaign for democratic local government in KwaZulu-Natal. This is an election that the ANC must win so that the people of this Province can at last have a local government that cares.

2. In April 1994 we voted overwhelmingly for freedom, for the improvement of our conditions and for peace. Since then we have seen the emergence of a spirit of New Patriotism. The programme to build a better life has been set in motion. A rainbow nation at peace with itself is in the making. KwaZulu-Natal cannot and should not be left behind.

Peace and Security:

1. Today marks one of the most important anniversaries in the history of our nation. The Sharpeville massacre of 1960 was a
continuation of the brutality of the criminal apartheid regime. But it was also a sign that this regime could not rule forever.

2. So we meet here in Newcastle on Human Rights Day. The Government regards the right to life as the most fundamental of all human rights. it is, however, sad to note that while the scourge of political violence has become a thing of the past in all other provinces, it continues to cast a shadow on KwaZulu-Natal. The violation of this fundamental right cannot be allowed to continue.

3. Njengengxenye yomkhankaso wokuletha ukuthula kulesisifundazwe, uKhongolose uzimisele ukubamba iqhaza kwimizamo yeSilo samaZulu, iNkosi uZwelithini kaBhekuzulu, yokubiza imbizo yabantu bakwaZulu. Ngenxa yenqubekelaphambili esibe nayo emhlanganweni wakwallongoma ngoLwesihlanu olwedlule, sengiqalile ukuxhumana neSilo samabandla, kanye noMongameli welnkatha Freedom Party, uDokotela Buthelezi, kanye nomholi kaKhongolose kwaZulu-Natal, uJacob Zuma, ukuze sihlele omunye umhlangano wokulungiselela imbizo.

4. The continued murder of police personnel in KwaZulu-Natal is absolutely unacceptable. There can be no excuse whatsoever for killing the very same people who are in the front-line of our battle against crime. The ANC expects every member to give the fullest support and co-operation to the Government and the police when they act to deal with those involved in these despicable acts.

5. I should also emphasise that the ANC does not agree with the view that peace and reconciliation can be promoted by interfering with the course of justice. Those who are suspected of involvement in violence must be brought to trial irrespective of their political affiliation. I will never interfere with the work of our courts. That will be against the constitution; and it will send a wrong signal to the criminals.

6. I call on all opinion-makers to stand up and make themselves heard. This is not a time for religious leaders and business people to take a back-seat. Principals, lecturers, and students cannot continue to keep quiet while hit-squads are murdering people. Community leaders cannot afford to remain on the sidelines while no-go areas are created, whether those who control these areas are ANC or IFP. I call on all people of good-will, whether they are ANC or IFP, whether they support another party or belong to no party at all, to stand up and ensure that human lives are protected in KwaZulu-Natal.

KwaZulu-Natal - New Hope:

1. Being here in the rainbow town of Newcastle reminds us of the many threads in our country's fight for human rights. It was from Newcastle that Mahatma Ghandi led the 1913 march of striking Indian coal-miners in defiance of racial laws. We are also reminded of the fact that this year is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Passive Resistance Campaign, one of the landmarks in the remarkable contribution by the Indian Community to the long struggle for freedom, equality, and democracy.

2. Our young democracy was further entrenched last year when millions of our compatriots flocked to the polling stations to elect their local representatives. Those elections hammered the last nail on the coffin of apartheid structures and brought democracy right to our doorsteps. Across the country, our people are becoming true masters of their own destiny. On that day, the majority of South Africans once more confirmed their trust in the ANC. Your organisation, the ANC has been; it is; and it will always be the people's choice. But this depends on what you, and all of us, do, to build it and reach out to the people.

3. Unfortunately, the people of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Western Cape had to watch these local elections from the sidelines. This is the only province whose local affairs are still entirely in the hands of unelected councillors. We have, however, reached the end of that chapter. In little more than two months it will be your turn to bring democracy to your homesteads. May 29 will at last present all of you with an opportunity to change your lives for the better. You must not be left behind.

4. Njengoba simatasatasa silungiselela ukhetho lohulumeni bezindawo, kukhona imizamo yokuvimbela izakhamizi zasemaphandleni ukuba zingalibambi iqhaza okhethweni ngoba kuthiwa inqubo yentando yeningi ayihambisani nobukhosi bendabuko. Akulona iqiniso lokho. Inkosi eqotho ifuna kube nokuthula nenqubekela phambili endaweni yayo. Inkosi eqotho iyabavumela abantu bayo- bazithathele izinqumo ngekusasa labo kanti ayilwesabi uvo lwabantu. Inkosi eqotho iyisisebenzi sabantu bayo, hhayi umakhonya.

ANC- The Torch bearer:

1. The noble ideas of Peace, Democracy, and Development will be meaningful only if people vote for candidates who have proved their commitment to these goals. The history of the ANC places it head and shoulders above the other political parties in striving for these ideals.

2. Kuhulumeni walesisifundazwe, ngaphezu kokuba uKhongolose uyiqembu elincane, abammeli bawo bakwazile ukulwela izifiso zoquqaba kwaZulu-Natal. Zolo lokhu benze konke ukuqinisekisa ukuthi umthetho-sisekelo walesisifundawe uyilokho okufunwa ngabantu. Abamele uKhongolose bale baphetha ukuba izakhamizi zasemaphandleni zincishwe ilungelo lokuvota.

3. Abantu bakwaZulu-Natal bafanelwe nguhulumeni ozikhathazayo ngobuphofu, ukuswelakala kwemitholampilo kanye nezikole, ukuntuleka kwemisebenzi, nokuqhubeka kodlame. Nifanelwe yindawo enokuthula ukuze nihlale niphephile bese nikwazi ukwakha ikusasa eliqhakazile. Nifanelwe nguhulumeni we-A.N.C.

A free and fair election

1. My greatest hope at the start of this election campaign is that the period will be used by all the political parties contesting the elections to set an example of political tolerance and peaceful campaigning. To this end, the ANC has committed itself to a code of conduct for the elections which we hope will be embraced by all parties.

2. Peace and democracy require freedom to express opposing views without fear. It means that everyone who wishes to serve their community as a councillor should be able to put themselves forward for election with confidence.

Local Government and a Better Life:

1. Democratic local Government is the most effective tool we can use to change our lives. On their own, local councillors cannot achieve much, but they are a tool in the hands of communities to make things happen where we live.

2. There is no way that National and Provincial Ministers will know and address your local needs effectively. Only your local representatives can properly communicate your needs to the relevant government structures. It is through local government that National and Provincial Government can channel its funding. Already in other parts of the country, local authorities are getting down to the task of addressing basic needs of their communities. South Africa is on its way to a better life. No Province should be left behind.

3. In voting for local representatives, you must elect people whose record of community service is unquestionable. They must be people you can trust; people you can take your problems to; people whose commitment to democratic rule is known. The ANC has such candidates. Above all, we will ensure that the elected councillors account to the people.

4. Communities know best what your burning needs are. Hand in hand with your councillors you can prioritise these needs so as to make effective use of the available resources. You will design your projects to ensure that they provide job opportunities for the local population.

Challenges facing the people of Newcastle

1. Newcastle is a town with great scope for growth and development. I am encouraged to hear of the business initiatives which should help to alleviate the serious problem of unemployment in this area.

2. One of the priorities of local government in this area and throughout the province must be to find ways in partnership with local business, to stimulate job creation at the local level.

3. Development should go hand in hand with fair labour practices. The closure of a number of light industries in Newcastle recently is a matter of deep concern. It is important that employers work together with labour unions to seek ways of improving wages, productivity, and profitability in their companies.

4. I am deeply concerned about the eviction of farm workers that has affected more than sixty families in the Emalahleni region. We need to ensure that people are not deprived by evictions of what rightfully belongs to them.


1. The success of our democracy depends on the people we place in local government. The ANC calls on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to join us in working for peace, for prosperity, and for accountable, responsible and caring local government.

Let us make it happen where we live!
Vote for Peace, Democracy and Development !
Vote ANC

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 25/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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