Item 1376 - Notes for a message from President Nelson Mandela to International Pentecostal Church

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ZA COM MR-S-1376


Notes for a message from President Nelson Mandela to International Pentecostal Church


  • 1995-03-12 (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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  • English

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1. Let me start off by congratulating His Grace FS Modise on the occasion of your birthday. Many happy returns. We are confident that with the passing of years you are growing younger in wisdom.

2. It has come to be that this occasion assumes a significance beyond an individual and the International Pentecostal Church. Last year, we were proud and truly honoured to be part of a two-day feast to celebrate black economic empowerment and to pray for peace in our land, particularly in that difficult period leading up to the first democratic elections. We fondly remember the sense of spiritual upliftment that the occasion meant to us.

3. That this day has assumed such national importance
is a reflection of the crucial role that Your Grace and the IPC have played and are playing in these times of challenge. For this we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We wish to assure you both as Government and as the ANC that we shall continue to value your partnership as we rebuild South Africa from the ashes of apartheid.

4. We have come this year as representatives of the Government of National Unity, thanks to your efforts in securing successful elections and blessing the transition. South Africa shall forever be indebted to the religious community for helping kindle the sense of the national interest, the spirit of national responsibility and reconciliation that has made our small miracle possible.

5 . But as with all success, the by-product is that the more difficult challenges become more obvious and more urgent. If we all needed one another as a people during the struggle to bury the sin of apartheid; we need one another even more today, as we tend the tree of liberty.

6. That challenge of victory is to address the untenable
situation created by apartheid;
- poverty and deaths from malnutrition and preventable diseases; - lack of social
infrastructure in so-called black residential areas;
- unemployment and shortage of decent housing affecting millions;
At the centre of it all is the imbalance in the ownership of productive wealth and income between whites and blacks, particularly Africans.

7. The Government has already gone a long way in planning and introducing some changes. Free medical care and a nutrition programme started last year as well as water provision and urban renewal projects are just the beginning. We intend to make visible change a primary feature of our operations this year and in future years. However, for all this to be permanent, requires a change in the budgetary allocations, an objective which we will start realising in a gradual manner this year.

8. All this is happening in the context of expanding and deepening democracy, including freedom of religion. It is a matter of pride for us that liberation has also meant that independent churches such as the International Pentecostal Church can now operate without the stigma of marginalised and despised religions by the government of the day.

9. The initiative of the IPC shown in the theme of this year's celebration reflects a profound appreciation of an important truth: that the government on its own is not capable of addressing all these problems. The RDP should be a collective effort of all South Africans. We need together to build the economy, to deepen democracy, to build one another and so enjoy the fruits of our freedom. Masakhane!

10. Religious bodies have a central role to play. In the field of economic empowerment, there are many things that are being done and can be done. Take for instance, mobilisation of savings for investment and employment-creation; promoting worthy products from black enterprises; self-help projects and so on. In education, religious bodies can play a crucial role in assisting the provision of facilities and in engendering the culture of learning and co-operation among teachers, parents and students.

11. Among the most urgent tasks that we face is to assist communities to appreciate their responsibility in bettering their lot. This means initiatives to help one another in the localities and sew together the social fabric of our communities; it means paying for the services rendered, for rent and the bonds that we have; it means co-operating with the police to root out crime... This is what the spirit of Masakhane, which the church has preached over the years should mean in our social life.

12. Communities are right to say that we should improve delivery of services. The transitional structures set up in the localities are starting to do this, But this can only be fully realised if we all register and take part in the local government elections. Let us mobilise for the election of representatives who will help national and provincial government to implement the RDP. The participation of the religious community in all these processes will also help reinforce public morality and the realisation of good governance.

13. The Government is firmly of the view that our objective to have a people-centred and people-driven development programme will not be fully realised without the participation of religious bodies. We therefore value very highly the role that the IPC has identified for itself in these endeavours.

14. It is an inspiration to witness the manner in which you have embraced the national programmes for the renewal of our society. We welcome you all as critical partners in the effort to create a better life for all.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 29/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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