Item 1293 - Notes for President Mandela at a Meeting with Opinion Makers in Newcastle

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-S-1293


Notes for President Mandela at a Meeting with Opinion Makers in Newcastle


  • 1996-03-21 (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

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Meeting with Opinion Makers

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




1. lt is a great honour to meet people who are so prominent in the affairs of Newcastle and its environs. In your hands you hold the future of this town. You have the necessary means and influence to ensure that Newcastle and Northern KwaZulu-Natal become the scene of development and peace.

Building a better life in Newcastle

1. On your shoulders, as leaders of this community, rests the responsibility of tackling the problems of unemployment and poverty. It is in this context that I salute the efforts of the business community and local authority to bring investments and create jobs in this town. Your campaign to market this town both nationally and internationally must be stepped up to match the stiff competition provided by other South African towns and cities.

2. The recent closure of light industries in this town is worrying. At this time of high unemployment, we cannot afford to have factories closing down, and it is vital that employers and employees work together to avoid such developments. Such a partnership is a key to prosperity. Through co-operation and negotiations business and labour can find ways of improving wages, productivity and profitability of companies

3.The same applies to the farming community. Changes are inevitable. New laws on land are aimed at normalising the situation on the farms. Eviction of farm workers such as those in Emalahleni which recently affected more than sixty families should be a thing of the past. Stability, and hence productivity and prosperity, depend on the rights of farm workers being respected. In this way, both farmers and farm workers will enjoy lasting security.


1. Education holds the key to our country's future. It is therefore important for education authorities to work together with teachers, students, parents and the community to create a climate for teaching and learning. In particular the current disturbances at the Madadeni College and the misunderstanding concerning primary school fees need to be resolved amicably between interested parties.


1.KwaZulu-Natal remains the only province still suffering from political violence. Despite recent estimates pointing to a drop in the number of casualties, the loss of innocent lives cannot be tolerated. As long as this province suffers from the scourge of violence, development will remain a pipedream. Investors will be inclined to look to other areas enjoying stability and peace.

2. As leaders you must speak out against the carnage. I call on you as opinion-makers to stand up and make yourselves 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 such areas are ANC or IFP. I urge you, as people of goodwill, whatever party you belong to or if you belong to no party at all, to stand up and ensure that human lives are protected in KwaZulu-Natal.

Masakhane Campaign

1.The time of rent and bond boycotts is over. There is no reason for non-payment. This government has created enough structures and channels to enable people to voice their dissatisfaction about poor services. We have regular elections which can be used to get rid of inefficient leaders. Boycott is certainly not one of the constructive options.

2. As leaders, you need to be exemplary and responsible, to ensure that public services are up to standard and that regular meetings of local communities are held for people to voice their grievances.

3. Service payment is the cornerstone of our local development. If people can't pay for services, the government will not have the finance for services in areas where people still lack them.

Local Government Elections

1. In two months' time the people of this province will at last be going to the polls to elect their local councillors. Although you were left out of last year's local government elections, now it is your turn to establish the vital local government component of democratic government. I appeal to you to use your influence to ensure a free and fair election in this town and the rest of KwaZulu-Natal. Your influence can help ensure that a peaceful atmosphere prevails.

2. Local councils are the basis of our development efforts. For real change to take place in people's lives, it must be driven locally. This is a level of government that cannot thrive on power struggles and mud-slinging campaigns. It is the government of neighbours, which is always under close scrutiny. Much as criticism and opposition are essential ingredients in a democracy, at a local level they must be exercised with care to safeguard the unity of the local population. Tolerance is the lifeblood of democracy.

3. For decades the apartheid regime used local councillors to fulfil its oppressive designs and thus discredited this crucial arm of government in the eyes of the people. In 1994 we established the TLCs to ensure a smooth transition to democracy at local level. The TLCs have a responsibility to carry their mission to the end.

4. As for the ANC we have pledged to promote free and fair campaigning throughout the country. We have vowed to act against any members interfering with other people's democratic rights. In government, the ANC has demonstrated our dedication to development. That is why the overwhelming majority of our people in the other provinces voted for the ANC during the local government elections last November.


1.I have confidence that you are equal to the task ahead of you. I am sure that you will guide the Newcastle community to a free and fair election and ensure rapid development of the town. 1 am also confident that during my next visit the emphasis of our discussion will be on development projects and investment plans rather than political violence and boycotts.

Our country depends on you.

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 25/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places