ADDRESS BY DEPUTY PRESIDENT ZUMA TO
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
14 November 2000
Cape Town - 14 November 2000
Honourable Members of this House
I would like to begin my address to this house by formally
congratulating, once again, the Paralympic team for
doing us proud at the Paralympic Games in Sydney.
I am happy to have the opportunity to address this
House on the occasion of your last full sitting. The
uniqueness of the National Council of Provinces in bringing
together the national, provincial and local spheres
of government under one roof is evidence of co-operative
governance at work.
It is in this house that Provinces are able to share
their experiences, so that we are all informed as to
what is taking place at all levels of government.
Indeed, you conduct your business with the dignity
expected from public representatives in this house.
I am aware, Madam Chairperson, that you have personally
visited no less than five of our provincial legislatures
in the course of this year. In the National Council
of Provinces, Provincial Governments, in particular,
can learn from each other's successes and challenges
and, in so doing can improve the quality of governance
and the pace of delivery to our people. I note as well
that the National Council of Provinces has amended a
significant number of the Bills that have been tabled
before it this year.
This is, once again, clear evidence of provincial governments
and organised local government impacting on the national
legislative process. You have not failed to carry out
As we end this year, it is worth noting some of the
achievements that we, as a country, have made. Among
other things, South Africa, ably led by President Mbeki,
has firmly established its presence within the international
community. This has been done in record time, if you
take into account the fact that we have only been formally
admitted into the community of nations in the last six
We have been invited to address all major international
conferences and have succeeded to put across the views
of the developing countries and more particularly, the
views and the plight of the African countries. We have
succeeded in getting the developed countries to acknowledge
that steps need to be taken to reduce the debt burden
of the developing countries. We have set our country
on the correct economic path. The President recently
hosted a meeting of 25 of the World's top economists,
including World Bank President James Wolfensohn. The
Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary
Fund, Eduardo Aninat, who was also at the meeting remarked
afterwards, "We are comfortable with the degree
of progress in relation to the macro economic side.
The country is now in a new phase where it should continue
to foster investment, increased growth and more jobs".
Whilst looking at our successes, we need to recognise
that we still have a lot of challenges. One of these
is the moral degeneration of our society. I addressed
the National Assembly on 31 October 2000 and, given
the importance of the matter, I would to like re-emphasise
it again here.
To quote to the house from my address of that day,
I said "To be able to address this challenge as
a country, we cannot ignore the impact that our past
has had on our present, for the apartheid legacy not
only dehumanised some communities and individuals, but
also caused untold damage in many other ways".
I said that the previous government "introduced
extreme violence, and because it had to be maintained
through extreme violence, it encouraged violence at
every level of society".
Madam Chairperson, we were recently forced to confront
the dehumanisation, that I spoke about in the National
Assembly, when on our television screens we saw horrific
footage of members of our police services setting their
dogs upon three defenseless and helpless men.
This experience has shown us how certain people in
our society have lost respect for human dignity and
human life. It also showed us how members of our police
services have been so mentally brutalised by upholding
apartheid that they have lost all sense of what is right
and what is wrong.
Our hearts go out to Gabriel and Alexander Ntimane
and their friend Sylvester Mathonsi for the pain and
trauma they suffered. Our hearts go out also to the
families and friends of their tormentors. Many of us
will not stop to think about this, but they find themselves
having to confront an ugly truth - that their loved
ones, who protect, love and nurture them, are capable
of inflicting such pain on fellow humans. Their acts
traumatised, not only their three victims shown in the
video, but the entire people of our country.
Thus, Madam Chairperson, I believe that this has been
a wake up call like no other, to all South Africans.
I believe that the common rage expressed by South Africans
from all walks of life, about a single act that epitomises
very distinctly this scourge that we failed to collectively
agree on, as a country, in August -ought now to be channeled
towards bringing ourselves closer to each other as South
The work towards reconciliation that began in the early
nineties and was given impetus by our first democratic
election in 1994 cannot now be abandoned - indeed we
must build on it and, together, strive towards a better
society in South Africa.
I repeat the call I made to the National Assembly -
for South Africans to embark on a major national campaign
for moral renewal.
We certainly need an "RDP of the soul", as
former President Mandela stated. I urge all Provincial
Legislatures and local governments to debate this matter
of moral degeneration and look at positive ways in which
they can contribute to this campaign of moral regeneration.
Madam Chairperson, I believe that the majority of South
Africans share our desire for a South Africa that is
free from the many challenges that face them. Unfortunately,
as a nation, we are faced with another, more deadly
challenge, that of HIV/AIDS.
I am encouraged by the work done by the provinces in
fighting the pandemic. Most have launched provincial
AIDS Councils that will enable them to pool together
We are encouraged also by reports, which indicate that
our campaign against HIV/AIDS is yielding results.
South Africans are beginning to take responsibility
for their own lives and are changing their behaviour.
As we move towards World AIDS Day, on December 1, we
appeal to members of this House, and structures in all
the provinces, to assist us in taking the anti-AIDS
struggle forward. Together we can beat the disease.
There are many challenges that we face. The hopes of
our people are pinned upon us, as leaders in the different
spheres of government and as public representatives.
We need to work together to address these challenges.
The cry from our people is clear. They are not interested
in party-political point scoring. They want development,
they want just to be a nation, and they want the scourge
of HIV/AIDS to be defeated.
In our political activity in this house, and in our
local government electioneering, we need to ensure that
whatever we are doing is advancing the interests of
South Africa as a whole.
Madam Chairperson, as public representatives we should
identify key national priority issues around which we
must work to unite the country. The kind of issues that
we should agree not to play politics with, around which
we must demonstrate patriotism in the process of nation
Similarly, the issue of Traditional Leadership is one
that has taken centre stage in recent times. Madam Chairperson,
I am happy to report that we met with the Coalition
of Traditional Leaders yesterday. This meeting took
place at the request of Amakhosi, to discuss the proposed
Municipal Structures Second Amendment Bill.
It was agreed at the meeting that there would be continuous
interaction between government and Amakhosi with a view
to finding common ground, before the passage of the
Bill by Parliament.
In line with the President's undertaking in this very
house, " to ensure that we give real content to
the objective contained in our Constitution, to respect
the institution of traditional leadership", a special
Cabinet Committee has been formed with the aim of continuing
to seek appropriate and long lasting solutions to the
matter of traditional authority in our country.
Lastly, I would like to wish all political parties,
contesting the forthcoming local government elections,
well. May I also take this opportunity to encourage
all South Africans to exercise their hard won right
to vote and help us build our local government structures.
I wish you well during the coming holidays. The Minister
of Transport has asked me to say to all of you, this
afternoon: Don't Drink and Drive! I want to take this
opportunity, as Chairperson of the South African National
AIDS Council to remind all South Africans of the ABC's:
Abstain Be Faithful and, if all else fails, Condomise.
I thank you!