Item 1112 - African National Congress Dinner Country Club : Address by Nelson R. Mandela

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ZA COM MR-S-1112


African National Congress Dinner Country Club : Address by Nelson R. Mandela


  • 1992-06-01 - 1992-06-30 (Jun-92)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

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ANC Dinner

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  • English

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Esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, we, in the African National Congress, held an important national policy conference just a fortnight ago. There are two important sets of decisions, which will impact on all of South Africa, which emerged from this conference. Firstly, conference adopted a set of policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa. Secondly, conference expressed itself unambiguously on the progress towards democracy in our country.

It is on these two sets of decisions that I would like to reflect this evening.

The policy guidelines were adopted after extensive education, discussion and debate within the ANC and beyond over a period of almost two years. The product which emerged from this conference is one which is owned and respected by all the members of the ANC who, as a right of membership, participated in the formulation of policy for the ANC, which policies we are confident will guide a democratic government in South Africa. The intensity of the process to which the documents were subjected prior to adoption marks, in no uncertain terms, the unwavering commitment of the ANC to democractic participation. Of this, we are exceedingly proud. These guidelines have, both prior to and after adoption, been the subject of fairly intense discussion in the media. We have been presently surprised by the source of accolades in some instances. On some issues, there has been a measure of criticism. What remains indisputable, however, is the fact that these guidelines, when analysed in their totality, lay the basis for the sustainable transformation of the South Africa society.

The economic policy guidelines have obviously been subjected to the most thoroughgoing critique. For this reason, it is necessary to elaborate on some of the key aspects which underpin our approach to ecnomic policy formulation.

The strategy adopted comprises two principal components, namely, restructuring the economy on the basis of a sustainable growth path in all sectors of the economy, and secondly, to develop redistribution programmes to meet the basic needs of our people.

We are of the view that the coordination, planning and guiding the economy towards such a path must be a co-operative venture between the democratic state, the trade union movement, the private secotr, and other organs of civil society. This co-operation needs to happen in circumstances which facilitate clarity and consistency, prioritses needs and generalises an awareness of the constrainsts on the economy at any given point.

The extreme inequalities and poverty so prevalent in society, will only be progressively eliminated if the democratic state takes primary responsibility for ensuring both a reallocation and the allocative efficiency of available resources. The ANC is saying that the state must respond to the needs of the national economy in a flexible way to strengthen the ability of the economy to respond to national need.

In this context, guided by the balance of evidence, the state should therefore decide on whether to enlarge or reduce the size of the public sector. It is in the context of enlarging its role that nationalisation occurs as one of the instruments.

I want to emphasise that the ANC, is not wedded to the idea of nationalisation for its own sake. We cannot and should shy away from the fact that it remains an instrument for policy implementation, it is likely to be used extermely sparingly, and then only after a cost benefit analysis would indicate that this is the necessary option. Our policies cover the need to open the economy to create competition and enhance the development of a dynamic private sector by the application of anti-trust legislation, and calls for the introduction of measures to ensure that financial institutions terminate the discriminatory practices evident in their decision to red-line blacks from acquiring loans.

I am sure that you will all be please that an issue, uppermost in many of your minds, is strongly advocated in our guidelines.

Yes, the ANC supports a balanced approach to industrialisation which seeks to overcome regional inequalities and imbalances. We are saying that the voice of Natal, appealing for a creative regional development programme has been heard. We want to give the current initiative our unequivocal support.

I had earlier indicated that conference also applied its collective mind to the apparent lack of progress in moving our country speedily towards democracy. This is an issue near to the hearts of all South Africans. Many of you, either directly or through your companies, contributed handsomely to the referendum campaign. It remains our view that these contributions were made in the interests of speeding up the course to democracy, rather than as support for an individual. The results of the referendum dfnally laid to rest the warped notion that whites are not ready for change. Since the referendum a number of telling issues have come to light. These include: repeated tales of the worst kinds of corruption. The Department of Development Aid saga was only the first of these revelations. In the course of the past few days, scams in the dairy industry, in the Department of Health and in the Department of Education and Training have been exposed. Clearly, this is only still the tip of the iceberg.

Last year, at the time of the Inkathagate Scandal, President De Klerk promised an end to all covert operations by the police. Just recently, secret bases from which attacks are launched on ANC members were uncovered. Notwithstanding this exposure, these bases are still operational.

To add insult to injury, the Ministry of Law and Order has now requested permission from Parliament to tap telephones of people virtually at will. The government signed the National Peace Accord last September yet, in the past three weeks, investigative reports by the Goldstone Commission, the International Committee of Jurists and Amnesty International Point a finger at the government for continued involvement in the violence through its security forces.

We all harbour under the illusion that apartheid is dead. Yet, there remains 64 acts of apartheid legislation on the Statute Book.

CODESA II was marked by the singular refusal of the government and the National Party to move towards democracy. The debate was not about 5 percentage points. It was, and remains about the refusal of the government to accept that democracy is the antithesis of white minority rule.

These are some of the issues which were considered by delegates to our policy conference. Conference decided that we should therefore embark on a programme of mass action. The campaign will demand an end to state corruption; an end to murder; the immediate dismantling of apartheid structures and the advance to democracy. In addition this campaign will seek to build a vew nationhood of caring South Africans.

I want to emphasise that this campaign is not targeted at the private sector. There is, in fact, very little reason why business should not throw their full weight behind this campain- it will contribute far more to bringing peace and democracy to South Africa than the referendum had. Some have charged that this campaign will impact negatively on business confidence. We are of the view that the long tradition proposed by the government will be far more damaging to business confidence because investors will not be attracted by the protracted uncertainty. The choice before all of us to accept that the ripples caused by this short campaign will be far more managable than the waves of uncertainty which will result from long transition. The government cannot eat its cake and have it. Together we will force the choice, in favour of a swift transition to democracy.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 13/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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