Africa Day Debate
by Melinda Hattingh MPL – DA MPL
Date: 23 May 2017
Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by DA MPL Melinda Hattingh, during an Africa Day debate in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.
Hon. Members of this House
Today, we join fellow South Africans and the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day. It’s a day that marks the struggle and triumph of people across the continent against colonial rule.
We recall how the oppressive Colonial and Apartheid systems stripped people of their dignity.
We rejoice in the courage shown by people to campaign for political rights. It was a campaign which gave momentum to the fight for independence.
We reflect on how, 54 years ago, 30 independent African states came together and founded the Organisation of African Unity which later became the African Union.
We celebrate the triumph and emergence of Africa and her people from a dark past.
Most importantly, we honour South Africa’s eventual triumph over the evil system of Apartheid. The triumph is best signified by our progressive Constitution which acts as a buffer against the evils of the past and advances the freedom of every South African.
But, in as much as Africa Day is about the past, it is also about the future. The future of all our children.
Africa Day is therefore also a day in which all South Africans should reflect on our role, as a nation, in Africa.
We need to ask ourselves the question, “How best can South Africa contribute to building a better Africa and ultimately a better world?”
The reality is that Africa may have defeated the beast of colonialism and apartheid, but it still faces many unresolved challenges like hunger, poverty, conflict, human trafficking and disease.
As the most industrialised economy on the continent, South Africa could partner with its African peers in shaping the continent to be a land of opportunity for its people. In doing so, we should not lose sight of the need to ensure that the South African economy remains on a positive growth trajectory, capable of propelling Africa forward.
Our role as a regional leader received a major self-inflicted setback when our economy was downgraded to junk status.
Seventeen million South Africans are dependent on social grants to get by. In the Northern Cape, we have an expanded unemployment rate of 43%. This is hardly a picture of a healthy economy, it is the face poverty. Ongelukkig is dit die
Ongelukkig is dit die realiteit dat ‘n handjievol die land se rykdom opslurp en uitmors, terwyl die ander swaarder as ooit kry.
South Africa finds itself in a real economic and political crisis, brought forth by President, Jacob Zuma. He has allowed the state to be captured by greedy private interests. ‘n Man wat ten alle koste aan bewind wil bly.
• President Zuma has betrayed our hard won democracy.
• President Zuma has betrayed South Africa.
• And, by extension, President Zuma has betrayed Africa.
The fate of our country is now in the hands of a Gupta-Zuma mafia that is milking the state for their own greedy and selfish benefit.
The needs and dreams of Zuma and his Gupta handlers has taken precedence over those of ordinary South Africans.
In short, Zuma has spat in the faces of people who lost everything in the fight against economic subjugation and exploitation.
The time has indeed come to prepare for a post-ANC future, Zuma has succeeded in hammering the final nail on its coffin.
We need to reclaim South Africa from individuals who are driven by greed and self-enrichment, who have no remorse for their brazen attack on our democratic institutions and who have no sympathy for fellow countrymen who suffer from unemployment and lack of opportunities.
Fellow South Africans, the dream of a prosperous rainbow nation that we all hoped for in 1994 can be realized in our lifetime. A post-ANC South Africa will give us a renewed hope for healing the divisions of the past and ensure that “Africanness” is not determined by the colour of our skin but by the strength of our diversity.
Moenie dat ons in die toekoms mekaar moet afvra hoe dit moontlik was dat soveel verkeerd na 1994 nog kon plaasvind nie.
Moenie dat ons elke dag ys vir die oomblik waarop jou kind jou gaan vra: “Maar waar was jy en hoekom het jy niks gesê of gedoen nie?”
Ek wil graag afsluit met die woorde van Martin Niemὂller, ‘n Protestantse pastoor, wat eers as ‘n Nazi-simpatiseerder, nie Hitler wou kritiseer nie, maar later self as gevange in ‘n konsentrasiekamp opgeëindig het. En ek haal sy woorde aan:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Melinda Hattingh MPL
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