Response on the Occasion of the Budget Vote of the Presidency
19 June 2002

Madame Speaker
Deputy Speaker,
Honourable Deputy President,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Members,
Fellow South Africans:

Firstly, I would like to say a word of appreciation to our national soccer team for being with us today. We want to thank you for the good and quality football you displayed in Korea. You have made us proud. One mark you have left in the world of football is that our national team is world class. We were unfortunate to be eliminated on goal difference, but I am confident that next time, we will go to higher levels.

To Jomo Sono and the entire technical team and Lucas Radebe and all the players, we say: Heita Bafana Heita!

All of us are very pleased that our continent remains in contention to win the Soccer World Cup, thanks to the excellent performance of the youth of Senegal. The prospects are good that Senegal will advance further towards the achievement of this objective when they face Turkey in the quarter-finals. Accordingly, all of Africa wishes them success as they engage in that battle.

In many ways, the honourable manner in which Bafana Bafana acquitted themselves in Korea and the progress achieved by Senegal indicate Africa's determination to move out of the periphery in global affairs to which centuries of adverse developments have sought to confine her.

As an African country we must be proud that we are part of a Continent that has set itself such a goal. As the present generations, we must be excited that we are part of a mass movement for the creation not only of a new Africa, but also of a new system of international relations that will no longer allow that some view us as a strange occurrence on the human map, an object of pity or contempt.

The Honourable Pieter Mulder spoke for all of us when he said that "the challenges of Africa are also important to me"; when he said that to meet these challenges, we "complete a lifetime in South Africa with the same spiritual batteries" that an Australian friend has to recharge after spending a year helping us to solve our problems.

The Honourable Pieter Mulder was right when he said: "I grieve for every person that emigrates, because it is a loss to South Africa. But (as he said), people who decide to stay and then only complain, moan and groan, do not help at all. If you decide to stay, become involved. Only to ask other people 'what are you doing to improve my position', is not good enough. Do something yourself."

What the Honourable Pieter Mulder said was - vuk'uzenzele, mAfrika!

The Honourable Marthinus van Schalkwyk was correct when he said that all of us face a choice "between isolation or participation; between talking South Africa down or believing in South Africa; it is a choice between partially South Africa and proudly South African."

Of course, he was speaking of the Afrikaans community, but I dare say these choices face all of us as South Africans.

Furthermore, in the context of the new and exciting African world of hope represented by the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development, we are confronted with the choice between being partially African and proudly African.

We must support the Honourable Pieter Mulder when he says "My heart is attached to Africa. My mind sets the conditions. I want to be myself in Africa. Is that too much to ask!"

To get to the point that the Honourable Pieter Mulder correctly demands, we must respond to the call made by the Honourable Gert Oosthuizen when he said: "The time has come for many of our countrymen and women to make a choice. The choices they will have to make will be:

either to break out of isolation or stay in the 'Fight Back' kraal;
either to get on to the playing field to join us in lending a hand and to create a better life for all, or to become the martyr of their self-inflicted paranoia!"
As the Honourable Gert Oosthuozen said, "Die Jerigomure is 'a valse sekuriteit."

In this regard, nobody anywhere in our country, whoever they are, has a right to call for the killing of any South African, whatever the colour, race, ethnic origin, gender or health condition of the intended victim.

Nobody, whoever they are, has the right to call for the killing of farmers or Boers, nor the right to threaten violence to advance their particular goals.

Those farmers and Boers are as much South African and African as I am, entitled to the same rights and privileges that are enjoyed by any other South African.

They too are needed on the playing field of which the Honourable Gert Oosthuizen spoke, lending a hand to create a better life for all. I am proud that indeed many of them have come onto this playing field, not being partially African, but proudly African.

The Honourable Marthinus van Schalkwyk said "it has become common-place for South Africa and South Africans to astound the world. Where other people lose hope, we see opportunity. The whole world thought that the only logical outcome of our history of racial conflict would be a bloody revolution. But we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat..."

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Honourable Marthinus can Schalkwyk well in his new and challenging responsibilities as Premier of the Western Cape. Surely, we should all wish him success as he works to the correct observations he made that "By moving forward into the future and by making a huge effort together, we can improve our common destiny. Together, South Africa wins."

The message coming out of the whole of our Continent is that the peoples of Africa have taken the decision that it must become common-place for Africa and Africans to astound the world, as the quality of African football has astounded the world.

Where some, including people within this House, continue to see ours as a hopeless Continent, the peoples of Africa are determined to draw inspiration from their adversity to create a Continent of opportunity.

Where some pray that we should fail because something has gone wrong in one African country, those who are proudly African are resolved to fight for the renaissance of our Continent despite any setbacks, while they act together to correct whatever might be wrong.

Even others, far away from our shores, who are not African, have joined us in this struggle, understanding their obligations to the millions of ordinary people on our Continent who are struggling for freedom from poverty, freedom from underdevelopment, freedom from oppression and denial of human rights, freedom from the denial of the cultural, linguistic and religious rights.

As we meet here, 10,000 British citizens, drawn from the major non-governmental organisations in that country, are lobbying their Members of Parliament demanding that their government should take positions at the forthcoming G8 meeting in Canada that will help create the conditions, globally, especially with regard to international trade, for the realisation of the objectives of NEPAD. Because of this G8 meeting, they say that "June 2002 is a pivotal moment for the world's poor and therefore for all of us."

It is good to have such true friends, whose pre-occupation about Africa is not driven by narrow political agendas, but by a commitment to help restore the dignity of the peoples of Africa.

I am pleased that I had the opportunity this afternoon to speak to one of these friends, Tony Dykes of Christian Aid and the World Development Movement, to convey our sincere appreciation for their selfless support for the poor in the world, including the African poor.

We too are walking along this path of African renewal and the restoration of the dignity of all our people. That we will achieve our goals I have no doubt. That our mother Continent, Africa, will achieve its goals I have no doubt.

As we did in this country as we engaged in negotiations to move out of our miserable past, when we determined that we have the duty to resolve our own problems, depending on our own resources and native talents, the peoples of Africa have resolved that they must act together, depending on the own resources and native talents to the age of misery that has enveloped Africa for hundreds of years.

This is what the AU represents. This is what NEPAD represents. As we did not fail when we took the decision to take our destiny into our own hands, I am certain that our Continent will not fail, precisely because it has decided to determine its own future, without depending on the benevolence of another.

It is out of this kind of engagement with the act of creation that new worlds are born, as a new world is being born in our own country, in front of our very eyes, as a new African world is being born in front of our very eyes, with us present and active in that process of creation.

In this context, I would like to thank our Deputy President, our Ministers, Deputy Ministers, leaders of various parties and organisations of civil society, Directors General and other senior officials for the work they are doing to lead us in the process of the rebirth of South Africa and Africa.

To achieve this noble goal they are obliged to travel the world to explain what we are about, to build a global movement of friends of Africa, to help create the global conditions for the success of our efforts as a country and as a Continent. We will do everything we have to do to achieve these objectives, including talking to the leaders and citizens of all countries in the world.

We did this in the past to liberate our country from the yoke of apartheid. We will do it again to liberate our country and Continent from the dehumanising shackles of poverty and underdevelopment in our country and the rest of Africa.

Even at times of great social change, there are some who are passed by, by those processes of transformation because they can see no further than their noses. Yet others sleep through these moments, like Rip van Winkles, and wake up to demand the restoration of the old order they knew when they fell into deep slumber.

I am afraid there are some in our country and this House who are victim to such misfortunes. The train of progress will pass them by. It may be that they may not even be able to catch the last coach. Nevertheless, the train will not stop.

As we move on towards a brighter future for our country and Continent, we will also define ourselves afresh, both as South Africans and as Africans, celebrating our identity as peoples of Africa who are dignified, who have their own personality, who value and respect their diversity, who, like the Honourable Pieter Mulder, want to be themselves in Africa, who excel in creative thought and the creative arts, who are peaceful, who value liberty and respect the rights of the women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and strangers in the midst, who are determined to liberate themselves from the destructive humiliation of poverty and underdevelopment.

Shortly, we will be receiving the representatives of the peoples of Africa who will create a new organisation of these masses, the African Union. A little later, we will welcome the peoples of the world who will convene at the World Summit for Sustainable Development, to tackle the enormous challenges of which the Honourable Pallo Jordan spoke yesterday.

The message we must convey to all these leaders and representatives is the message that as South Africans and Africans we have committed ourselves to the vision of a South Africa and an Africa reborn. We must make the undertaking to them that we will do everything necessary to end a long dark night of inhuman suffering in our country and our Continent. We must ask them to join us in our exciting journey, as friends who understand the meaning of human solidarity.

We must recite to them the words of the Afrikaner, H.A. Fagan, which inspire the whole of Africa and which the Honourable Gert Oosthuizen read to us yesterday:

"Uit duisende monde word die lied gedra.
Ek sluit my oe; soos 'n serafskoor
Val daar stemme strelend op my oor:
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika."

Thank you

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