Item 1259 - Address by President Mandela at a Rally at Embalenhle Stadium

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ZA COM MR-S-1259

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Address by President Mandela at a Rally at Embalenhle Stadium

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  • 1995-10-07 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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

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Rally

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPT

1. Introduction

1.1 With less than a month to go before the local government elections, I stand before you filled with hope and optimism. This period of local government elections is a time of great hope for the people of South Africa. It is a time to reflect upon the one and a half years since the historic national elections, and to view the challenges that lie ahead. It is in this spirit that I address you today.

1.2 It is also with a great sense of pride that I stand before you. Last year by voting for the ANC in the National Elections you voted for freedom and democracy in South Africa.

1.3 The majority of people in this province chose the ANC to lead the country and Mpumalanga. In doing so, the people of this province laid a strong foundation for equality and human rights for all citizens. You started the process of reconciliation, nation-building and creating a better life for all.

2. A Start Has Been Made

2.1 Since the elections of April 1994 the ANC has been working hard to introduce the changes that people voted for. The ANC-led Mpumalanga Government too, has made a start towards alleviating much of the poverty and unemployment, that are of such concern here. Only three days ago you witnessed the launch of a R4.3 million Community-Based Public Works Programme intended for the building of schools, crèches, water piping, street
upgrading, and brick-making projects in twenty localities of Mpumalanga. With democratic local councils in place, more similar projects will unfold.

2.2 But this is only a start. The ANC-led democratic local councils will ensure that the process of building a better life where you live, will happen.

2.3 Through local government, communities will have the power to work with the ANC-led national government to make the RDP work for them. Our candidates in the ANC are working closely with the people in their areas to put power where it works best - in the communities.

3. You Can Rely on the ANC

3.1 The councillors that you elect in the local government elections will become the main agents of change in your communities. When you choose your candidates, they should be people you can rely on. They must be people who understand your problems, care about your future, and know how to listen.

3.2 The ANC is presenting you with candidates who are known to you not only as neighbours, but as people with a track record of serving their communities. ANC candidates are people from your area, who have always worked for a better life for the people in your community. As ANC councillors, they will make sure that the resources of local government are used for the benefit of all in Mpumalanga. They will report back to you and be answerable to you.

3.3 We in the ANC recognise that as members of your communities, you are capable of taking control of your lives, and sharing with government, the challenge of improving conditions where you live. ANC councillors will be your partners in change. They will work with you, and together you will make important decisions.

3.4 ANC candidates, and the ANC as an organisation stand apart from other candidates and political parties, as the only party who knows how to listen. In the ANC we understand that democracy means community empowerment, and involving communities in making decisions around issues that affect them. It is no accident that we were the first to organise people's forums.

4. Challenges Facing Mpumalanga Province

4.1 Mpumalanga Province is the fourth largest contributor towards South Africa's wealth, yet in many parts of it extreme levels of poverty are evident. There is an urgent need for the enormous gap between rich and poor in this province to be bridged.

4.2 Through local government, communities will have the power to work with the ANC-led national government to make the RDP work for all the people of Mpumalanga.

4.3 Through working together with all sectors of Mpumalanga, both rural and urban, development can occur. It is only right that rural development claims its fair share of attention.

4.4 Payment for services is the cornerstone of the RDP. Without paying for services, the RDP will collapse and our localities will not develop. I am encouraged by the response of the people of Highveld Ridge to the Masakhane call. This weekend the Office of the MEC for Local Government in Mpumalanga is launching a Masakhane Campaign Trail which will last until the end of November. I urge all those who are still behind in their payments to start paying. Failure to pay is holding back the development of the entire community and may subsequently prove to be a lethal blow to all developmental efforts in the Province.

4.5 On the issue of crime in this area, I want to state very clearly, that the ANC has had enough of criminal elements who wish to destabilise the process of democratic nation-building. We are determined to weed criminals out. We in the ANC are not afraid to get tough on crime. The majority of us living in this country are peace loving citizens who have a right to a safe and secure environment.

4.6 The crime wave of car hijackings, drug dealings and senseless killings must come to an end. The ANC is deeply committed to eradicating this crime. I condemn the recent murders in Embalenhle. The ANC is assisting in investigating this gangsterism so that all of our homes may be safe to live in. Our history has shown that there is no conflict that cannot be peacefully resolved, as long as there is a will to do so.

4.7 The ANC has the commitment to deal firmly with crime. It is clear to me that you, the people of Embalenhle have the commitment to join with the ANC in rooting out crime. Together, we can be a powerful force against crime. To effectively fight this crime wave we must speed up the establishment of Community Policing Forums in all localities. The police need your co-operation in tracking down and arresting criminals. Without communities and police joining hands, crime will continue to thrive.

4.8 We have already declared war on crime. Today, I stand before you and reiterate his declaration.

5. Let's Make it Happen

5.1 Last year you voted for a better life for all South Africans. The ANC now comes to you in these local government elections, knowing that we must continue to work with you and carry out your wishes.

5.2 The plans that we have started to implement come from the people. Together we have started to change South Africa for the better.

5.3 In less than one month you will be voting again. You will have the chance to vote for democratic local government. The ANC has a long and proud history of democracy and freedom. That X which you mark on your ballot paper indicates the commitment and responsibilities that come with democracy.

5.4 Don't listen to those who promise you a future of milk and honey. Your future is in your hands. You drew up and approved the RDP. I call on all the people of Mpumalanga to join with the ANC, vote on 1 November, and make it happen where you live.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 22/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata

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