Item 1445 - Mandela's Speech at Banquet Hosted by Ong Teng Cheong : Speech by President Mandela at the State Banquet Hosted by President Ong Teng Cheong of Singapore

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ZA COM MR-S-1445


Mandela's Speech at Banquet Hosted by Ong Teng Cheong : Speech by President Mandela at the State Banquet Hosted by President Ong Teng Cheong of Singapore


  • 1997-03-05 (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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  • English

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It is a great privilege and pleasure to visit the beautiful city of Singapore again. It is not only pleasant because of its physical attractiveness and dynamic but pleasant environment, but above all, because to me it is a symbol of what human endeavour is capable of achieving. Singapore's economic successes since it gained independence just over 30 years ago, remain truly inspirational to all emerging developing countries.
Your multi-faceted approach encompassing good governance, sound economic policies and investment in people have placed Singapore firmly amongst the leading nations of the late 20th century.

It is this holistic approach that we in South Africa want to emulate and implement in order to improve the lives of our people.

So much has already changed in the last two years since I have been to your country. South Africa has achieved remarkable progress in the building of national reconciliation, peace and stability. Our constitution was completed, certified and has come into effect recently.

Obstacles to the delivery of social and economic services are being eliminated. The local government elections have seen democratic local government structures being put firmly in place. Already thousands have access to water, electricity, education and health services that they never had before.

While this has amounted to only one small step towards raising the living standards of all South Africans, we can safely say that we are on that path.

South Africa is blessed with a vast territory and an abundance of raw materials. We are, like Singapore, strategically placed. We are part of a region and a continent whose potential has hardly been touched. And we have a rich tapestry of people - a wide variety of talents and cultures.

Last year we adopted a new macro-economic strategy, which is investor-friendly with a wide range o incentives including tax holidays in designated areas. Our adherence to GATT recommendations on tariff reduction, our newly developing information and infrastructural organisations and the large trade delegation accompanying me are all signs of our serious intend to do business with the Singaporean investors.

This strategy includes fiscal discipline, human resource development and massive infrastructural programmes.

For us Singapore is an excellent potential partner in these endeavours. We hope to see more and more Singaporean companies in South Africa, independently or in joint ventures with local companies - not only for the inflow of their capital, but for the sharing of their management and technical skills with our own people.

I would like to thank your government for the technical assistance programme, which Prime Minister Goh and I first discussed during my stopover visit to Singapore in 1995, and which is already benefitting young South Africans.

I am certain that the recent visit of Prime Minister Goh to South Africa and our Presence in Singapore will give further impetus to the strengthening of relations between our countries.

We were very pleased that Prime Minister Goh's visit to our country was part of a tour of the region. South Africa, like Singapore, is an active proponent of regional development through cooperation. Already projects are underway in Southern Africa which will enhance the infrastructural capabilities of the region, like roads, telecommunication and power supplies.

Let me conclude with a very simple analogy from nature: Singapore is often called the "garden city". We in South Africa are known as "the rainbow nation". Rainbows and gardens make a good combination for growth and beauty.

It is in this spirit that I would like you all to join me in a toast to the health and happiness of your esteemed President, and the continued growth of the friendship between our peoples.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation. Accessioned on 08/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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