Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini
Zuma, at the State of the Nation Debate, The National Assembly, Parliament, Cape
Town, 8 February 2006
President Thabo Mbeki
we thank you for your accurate diagnosis of the state of health of our nation.
It is reassuring, celebratory and optimistic, yet it also captures the challenges
that lie ahead. You correctly proclaimed that today is better than yesterday and
tomorrow will be better than today. The Soweto uprisings and the reaction of the
desperate regime epitomize yesterday.
I Ningizimu Africa yonke yayigubuzelwe
ubumnyama kukhona ukukhala nokugedla kwamazinyo, kodwa kubo bonke ubunzima esasibhekene
nabo sasiloku sinalo ithemba. Ithemba lethu kwaku umbutho wesizwe uKhongolose.
the time, the apartheid regime had embarked on desperate self-destructive actions
of killing, and imprisoning children. The African National Congress was the only
hope of all South Africans, black and white.
The ANC was always able to
galvanise, inspire and strengthen the spirit of resistance which had characterized
our people everywhere through the length and breath of our country since 1652.
The ANC was able to turn the tears of sorrow, anger, humiliation and pain into
tears of joy and freedom in 1994 when Cde Nelson Mandela became the 1st President
of the democratic South Africa after 27 years in jail.
izinyembezi.zokujabula sibona uTata efungiswa ukuba uMongameli wokuqala okhethwe
intando yeningi aNingizimu Afrika ekhululekile.
The ANC had turned hope
into the reality of freedom. All South Africans proudly witnessed Nelson Mandela
take the first salute as Commander-in-Chief.
means all South Africans can proudly stand. This freedom means indeed that all
South Africans journey through Africa and the whole world without fear and shame.
South Africans can now together with the government struggle against poverty and
work for a better life for all.
Indeed life is better today than yesterday.
Yesterday we were struggling for survival. Today we are struggling to improve
the lives of all South Africans.
Today we can complain about the pace of
change. We can criticize ourselves for not eradicating illiteracy, poverty, the
bucket system, landlessness fast enough but nobody can deny that we are improving
the lives of all South Africans.
Nobody can deny that South Africa is a
totally different country than it was even 10 years ago.
Nobody can deny
that the ANC and the Government have been true to the words of that young inspiring
South African intellectual Pixley ka Seme and later one of the founding members
of the ANC when he wrote 100 years ago about "The Regeneration of Africa."
called for Africa's renewal so that "a new and unique civilization"
would be added to the world.
Recalling Africa's pre-colonial past, he argued
"The African is not a proletarian in the world of science and
art. He (sic) has precious creations of his own, of ivory, of copper, of gold,
fine, plaited willow-ware, and weapons of superior workmanship."
described civilization as resembling "an organic being in its development-
it is born, it perishes and can propagate itself. More particularly it resembles
a plant, it takes root in the teeming earth, and when the seeds fall in other
soils, new varieties sprout up."
For him and for many of his generation,
Africa was in need of a regeneration "thoroughly spiritual and humanistic
- indeed a regeneration moral and eternal."
True to its tradition,
the ANC has made a commitment to stay the course and not betray the founding leadership
of the movement.
The leadership of the ANC have sought to bring about a
better South Africa in a better continent and a better world. Thus our national
efforts for a peaceful, prosperous country and winning nation, of entrenching
a human rights culture and strengthening democracy is also what we have sought
for the rest of Africa and for the world.
said in the State of the Nation: " The Age of Hope and the People's Season
of Joy are upon us." This is also true of the rest of the continent.
regeneration is becoming a living reality for many African people.
of African people now live under democracies, which was not the case yesterday.
Organisation of African Unity of yesterday is now the African Union of today and
tomorrow who knows we might have a "United States of Africa" or a different
version of integration.
As Antonio Guerrero said in his book, My Altitude:
You will see the wonder of the world when you give it more love and the most profound
of its splendour when we live in peace."
We are not completely there
yet but we are slowly making progress.
- The African
Union continues to make progress. Congo-Brazzaville has been given the Chair for
2006 and we look forward to working under their leadership in this regard.
is ongoing discussion and action on the political and economic integration of
the continent. In our region, this finds expression in the timetable we have adopted
for the integration of SADC.
- In the area of peacekeeping and conflict
resolution, progress has been made notably in Burundi, Liberia and Sudan, North
and South, all of which are now engaged in the processes of post conflict reconstruction.
- Burundi has a new democratic government.
- Liberian people have
entrusted their hard earned peace to a woman who is the 1st female elected President
on our continent - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
- In Guinea Bissau, a progressive
government is now in place and constitutional order restored.
are to take place in April in the Comores, which will constitute a transfer of
power in terms of the Fomboni agreement,
- Elections are planned for both
the DRC and Cote d'Ivoire in 2006. South Africa continues to support peace processes
in the Ivory Coast.
Patrice Lumumba's "profound trust in the
destiny of his country" was not misplaced. "History" he said "will
have its say."
But much as we celebrate these advances, those of us
involved in the daily struggles to make our continent a better place know that
it will not be easy to attain our objectives. This is why we will not shy away
from acknowledging and confronting the challenges still facing our continent.
- the Ethiopian - Eritrean border dispute
- the situation
in Darfur, Sudan.
- the situation in Somalia.
These will continue
to preoccupy the African continent and SA will continue to play its role within
Indeed today is better than yesterday.
average African economic growth rate of 5.1% was registered in 2004 and similar
levels in 2005.
Whilst SA is going to implement the Accelerated Shared Growth
Initiative (ASGISA) to achieve 6% growth, Africa as a whole is implementing the
New Partnership for Africa's Development.
Africa is on the steady but sure
path to its regeneration. Its women are on the move. There are no positions that
are taboo for them. Presidents, Deputy Presidents, Premiers, Speakers, Judges,
Academics, Engineers, Doctors and Entrepreneurs.
has also continued to contribute to a world of hope and peace, free of racism,
sexism and poverty. A world free of weapons of mass destruction.
in a nuclear free world.
South Africa as a member of the IAEA board of Governors,
has been pre-occupied with the question of the implementation of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran for about three
years. We have engaged with concerned parties to find a peaceful and long-term
sustainable solution within the IAEA.
The IAEA has been working to correct
the past failures of Iran and clarify various outstanding issues. The Director
General of the Agency, Dr El Baradhei, is due to present an updated assessment
of the progress to date to the scheduled meeting of the Board in March.
have recently experienced a regrettable turn of events: Iran's decision to withdraw
two of its voluntary, non-legally binding confidence measures has resulted in
the EU3/EU initiating decisions by a vote of Board members in September 2005,
and again last week to report the matter to the UN Security Council.
Africa has always worked for consensus decisions by the Board (and since 1995,
we joined the Board, these are the only two decisions adopted by vote).
last week's meeting, members of the NAM and several others agreed that a report
could be sent to the Security Council in March after consideration by the Board
of Governors. Consensus was within our grasp but the sponsors of the resolution
insisted on sending "
all IAEA reports and resolutions: to the Security
Council now. This decision has in turn led Iran to withdraw all its voluntary
confidence building measures including the Additional Protocol (which it was implementing
as if it had been ratified).
This decision also means that Iran may resume
its enrichment programme though it remains committed to the Safeguards Agreement
and retains its membership of the NPT.
South Africa believes that the matter
can be resolved through negotiations and dialogue within the IAEA, which has the
necessary competence and expertise to address this issue. We therefore appeal
to all parties not act in a hasty manner that can increase tension and confrontation
but to await the DG's report next month.
The Board should be allowed to
consider the DG's Report and thereafter convey to the UN Security Council and
General Assembly the Report together with its own conclusions.
we celebrate this Age of Hope and the People's Season of Joy, let us not forget
the people of Palestine and Western Sahara struggling for self-determination.
Let us hope that the Quartet, the people of Israel and Palestine, will get to
the two stage solution as spelt out in the Road Map.
We shall spare no effort
in making sure that the UN of tomorrow should be better than the UN of today.
Through the G77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement we shall use our collective
strength to achieve a reformed United Nations.
In conclusion (in the words
of Ben Okri in The Famished Road):
"The road will never swallow you.
The river of your destiny will always overcome evil. May you understand your fate.
Suffering will never destroy you, but will make you stronger. Success will never
confuse you or scatter your spirit, but will make you fly higher into the good
sunlight. Your life will always surprise you."
If we remember that
the ANC has always been the hope of this country and the agent of progressive
change, indeed the road will never swallow us and we will see the most profound
of its splendour as we live in peace.
I thank you.
Issued by Ronnie
Mamoepa at 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
8 February 2006