Item 1307 - Notes for a Speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Public Sector Rally

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ZA COM MR-S-1307

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Notes for a Speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Public Sector Rally

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  • 1996-05-27 (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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Public Sector Rally

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPT

Two days to historic elections

1. With just two days to go before the Cape Metro's first ever democratic local government elections, nothing could be more important than meeting with those who work in the public sector. So I am very glad to have this opportunity to be here with our public administrators; our municipal workers; our health workers; the teachers of our children - with all of you who dedicate your working lives to public service in the Cape Metropolitan area.

2. I would like to thank Cosatu's Western Cape leadership for organising this rally Their part in campaign for an ANC vote in Wednesday's elections recalls the historic victory of two years ago. Then, organised workers fought a campaign in unison with other democratic forces for the election of a democratic government led by the ANC.

We've made a start

1. That victory opened the way for South Africans to work together to create a better life for all. The warning I gave. We still have far to go, but we have made a start and by continuing to work together we will meet the challenges, great as they are.

2. The first steps we took have brought to millions of people such basic necessities as school feeding; free health care for pregnant women and young children; access to electricity; clean water; and sanitation. A system of free education under a single national department is being phased in, along with more adult education.

3. Our massive housing programme has taken off; access to agricultural land has opened up to those previously excluded, Since last month access to primary health care at clinics is free.

4. We have begun to transform the public service so that it represents and employs people from all sectors of the population, without retrenchments and without discrimination against any group. The salaries and conditions of public sector workers, especially the lowest paid categories such as nurses and police on whom we all depend, are being improved.

Local government empowers communities

1. With democratic local authorities established in most of the country, communities are busy working with government to implement the plans for a better life in their areas.

2. Voters in the Cape Metro were left out of the November elections. Now it's our turn to elect local councils which will be accountable to us and give ordinary people the power to decide what is best for their own communities.

The politics of fear and opportunism

1. As the elections approach, some people who have nothing positive to offer are trying to stir up all sorts of fears about the plans of the ANC and the government. For their Mil party political advantage and to stand in the way of change, they try to exploit the real anxieties and concerns which people have about some issues.

2. I am deeply aware of the concerns of teachers in this province. In order that all our children should enjoy equal rights to learning, there has to be a shifting of educational resources, inevitably this means movement of teachers. As long as there are children in the country as a whole who need. the services of teachers, we are committed, the government and myself personally, to doing everything we can to ensure that teachers are not retrenched.

3. Government has approached this complex question through consultation and negotiation with provincial governments and teachers unions and will continue to do so. Agreements have been reached on the process and on procedures to be followed. Opposition to the agreements by some of those involved in reaching them are the product of opportunism and attempts to use the teachers as political footballs.

4. We do recognise the difficulties that would be involved in redeployment to other areas. That is why I have launched a personal initiative to mobilise assistance from foreign governments to provide for retraining or upgrading of teachers,

Working together to meet challenges

1. I have no doubt that if we all join hands solutions will be found in the interests of everyone, to the problems that arise as we transform our society in order to redress the imbalances of the past Negotiation, consultation and the spirit of partnership amongst stakeholders are the key to building the new South Africa.

2. In the same way, government has a responsibility to create conditions which will allow unions to exercise their rights to the maximum level and at the same time foster an atmosphere conducive to investment and sustained economic growth; to protect the rights of employers, the employed and the unemployed.

3. Therefore, as we proceed with the government's and the ANC's policy of restructuring of state assets, including privatisation, we will discuss the issues with COSATU in order to bring them on board. We are confident that common ground will be reached.

4. The rights and interests of workers are protected as never before, under our new constitution and in law, and there will be Anther improvements occupational health and safety, employment equity and employment standards. As we proceed with the development of our new system of industrial relations, anchored in the new Labour Relations Act, Government will stick to agreements reached with stakeholders in that regard. We are committed to the position that there will no changes to those statutory rights without the fullest consultation with organised business and labour, it is important for all stakeholders who have been part of the process to honour those agreements.

Making it happen where we live

1. The start we have made towards improving the quality of life and working conditions vindicates the trust which workers placed in the African National Congress in 1994. The ANC and Cosatu, allies in the achievement of our fights as citizens and workers, will continue to be allies in working for a better life for all our people.

2. The vision of a free and just society, which has guided us through so many decades of struggle, is now becoming reality under the leadership of the ANC.

3. Even though the ANC is a minority in the Western Cape it has continued to fight for democracy, peace and development so that the people of this province are not left behind, The ANC successfully fought for boundaries which will help heal the divisions which apartheid imposed on our city-.

4. The ANC has a vision for a non-racial, integrated Cape Metro, and a plan to make it happen: a vision of a well-planned city where there are work opportunities, where transport functions efficiently for everyone; where there is affordable housing and recreation facilities near where people live; safe and secure neighbourhoods; and a place for all.

5. The ANC is putting up candidates who come from the local communities they serve, who have a history of community involvement. As members of a democratic organisation they wild be accountable to those who elect them and work to get their needs and concerns addressed.

Now it's our turn

1. The ANC unites people in order to promote harmony and bring change, We work together with young and old; workers and employers; students and teachers; professionals and people from every walk of life. With your support„ ANC councillors will get the plans moving so that we can turn the places where we live into places to be proud of, true to the ideals of the new South Africa.

2. I have waited for the Western Cape elections to cast my vote, because the Cape is close to my heart. On Wednesday I am voting for my ANC candidate in my ward. Its our turn to cast our votes for democratic local government.

A Better Life for All: Let's make it happen here in the Cape Metro!
`n Beter lewe vir alma: Kom ons laat dit gebeur ook hier in die Kaap!

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 26/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata

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