Item 511 - Notes for a speech by President Nelson Mandela at Worcester Station

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Notes for a speech by President Nelson Mandela at Worcester Station


  • 1997-09-27 (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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ANC Website

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Launch of the new Blue Train

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  • English

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Mr Mayor;
Distinguished guests;
My children and grand-children;
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for your warm welcome. I am particularly delighted to meet you here this morning, because you know the fondness I have for children. Our youth are the future leaders of this country and their welfare is one of our nation's highest priorities.

Unfortunately that has not always been the case. In the past the welfare of most of our children was neglected. As a result there are still far too many who have been denied a proper start in life. Too many have been, and still are, victims of violence, poor nutrition and lack of facilities. Many of those who are physically disadvantaged need care they do not get. Far too many do not have a home or even a family to care for them.

Government is working to address these needs. But this is a task for the whole country, and not only government. The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children. I firmly believe that South Africans care deeply for their children, and that is why I decided to start the Children's Fund. It provides a way for ordinary people to get together with the community and others, and join hands with government in improving the lives of our children.

The response has been enormous. Last year alone the Fund's work with hundreds of other organisations touched over 200,000 young people - and I do know that that includes children here in Worcester through a project involving some of the town's schools.

This adds up to a large amount of practical help, including assistance to street-children; children's homes; feeding schemes; rural schooling; skills training and playgrounds.

When so much is needed, we can never do enough. One of the things we have to achieve is to inspire new efforts in others, and strengthen existing ones, and to engage our youth positively in every aspect of their lives.

This is why the launch of the new Blue Train has extra and special importance. Thanks to Spoornet, this journey will benefit the Children's Fund, to help it provide this kind of support.

But the new Blue Train is also important for the future of our country. Everyone involved in this journey is helping make it a success. They are doing so in the hope that people from all over the world will want to come and visit our country and ride on the train. When they pass through such beautiful areas as this, they will want to stay even longer.

The visitors will help create jobs and economic growth for the reconstruction and development of our country.

Today as this train goes to Cape Town it carries a message that South Africa means business when it comes to the competitive industry of tourism, but also that we care deeply about our youngest citizens.

To our young people we say: seize the opportunity for quality education that most of your parents never had; study hard and gain the knowledge and skills that we need so that our economy and our country thrive under your leadership.

Now I must leave you, because good trains always run on time!

Thank you for your kind welcome.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 04/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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