Response on the Occasion of the Budget
Vote of the Presidency
19 June 2002
Honourable Deputy President,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
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
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
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
What the Honourable Pieter Mulder said was - vuk'uzenzele,
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
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
either to break out of isolation or stay in the 'Fight
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
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
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
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."