Item 242 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Neethlingshof Estate

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Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Neethlingshof Estate


  • 1995-04-21 (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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ANC Website

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10th Anniversary celebration of the Neethlingshof Estate

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  • English

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Master of Ceremonies;
Chairman and Directors of Neethlingshof Estate;
Dr Chris Stals;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen.

We are gathered here tonight to celebrate an industry whose product lends an especially convivial aspect to our proceedings.

Though I personally do not partake in the sampling of your products; and though I would even warn against the kind of indulgence that breeds social problems - it is a great pleasure for me to be here, for more reasons than one.

I am deeply honoured to share this auspicious evening with such distinguished company. In this new dawn for our country, to be in the company of bankers and industrialists, both from South Africa and abroad, is itself a glorious moment. For you are among the central pillars of the economic recovery South Africa is now experiencing, and therefore, the social programmes that are the common objective of our nation.

Coming less than seven days before South Africa Freedom Day, this occasion itself forms part of the celebration of the rebirth of our nation and its full acceptance into the international community.

In this estate and in the South African wine industry generally, is expressed much of our country's history, and a good measure of its promise for the future.

An ancient art was brought here by people, many of whom were seeking refuge from persecution. Transplanted here, the skill has become our own and its product distinctively South African. Those who brought it, were ironically, but inevitably, caught up in our own tortured history of dispossession, oppression and exploitation.

Today, having achieved democracy, we have reached a point at which we can at least address the evil consequences of that history. We can now also exploit, in an equitable manner, the accumulated value invested in the vineyards of our country through the skill and labour of so many people over such a long period.

The wine industry has the potential to play an increasingly significant role in the economy, not only of the Western Cape, but of the country as a whole. This is evident in particular in the contribution it could make to exports and the related field of tourism.

The industry is to be commended for its readiness to seize the opportunities created by South Africa's acceptance into the world. Having doubled exports in a year from 1993 to 1994, and with plans to double them again by the year 2000, the industry is clearly rising to the challenge of entering into the international competitive market-place.

The fact that half a million tourists visited the winelands in 1994, shows how well-placed the industry is to contribute to tourism. And it is destined to play a very important role in generating economic growth in this Province and the rest of the country.

By evoking the interest of foreign investors, the wine industry is adding to its contribution to our future.

If we celebrate potential growth in exports and foreign investment, it is not out of a belief that they will solve our problems. But they do help to promote sustained economic growth, and thereby assist in Reconstruction and Development.

We are keenly aware that decisions to invest are of necessity based on confidence that the investor will benefit. Our government is therefore committed to policies which are favourable to the prospering of business. We are also determined to maintain the success we have so far had in combining a shift of government priorities towards social spending with efficient and disciplined use of public resources.

We are confident that we will succeed in doing so because South Africans are united in purpose, across all social sectors. The success of that grand enterprise depends on all of us joining in partnership and taking joint responsibility for bringing about the changes that are needed.

The partnership at national level of government, organised business and labour, formalised in the National Economic, Development and Labour Council, should extend into each industry and workplace.

Master of Ceremonies;

To recall the legacy of poverty, poor health and education which has been the lot of too many workers in the wine industry, and a product of its history of labour relations, is not to ignore what is being done to begin to address them. Rather it is to acknowledge that the commendable, and often innovative, steps which have been taken are only a beginning of what has to be done.

Within the government's plans for reconstruction and development are specific projects for improving the living standards of rural communities, and for broadening access to agriculture. Articulated in the Labour Relations Bill is a vision for a new relationship between employers and workers. These vital elements in the building of our new society can come to fruition only with the active involvement of all - employers, investors and workers - along with government.

Ladies and gentlemen;

One of the more shameful chapters of our past has been the devastation of the lives of children. Agriculture, perhaps more than other sectors, has left its own particular mark on our children. It does therefore seem appropriate that this evening has been marked by such a generous contribution to the President's Fund, which focuses on the plight of youth in need. I am honoured to be able to accept it in person.

It is a most timely contribution. Having completed all the preparatory work required to establish the fund and with an administrative capacity in place, a formal launch is planned for 8 May. This will create better conditions for us to intensify the fund-raising drive. Above all, we shall then be able to start in earnest to allocate the funds, working hand-in-hand with the institutions dealing with street children and child detainees.

Your contribution sets an example to be emulated by others.

I thank you

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 15/11/06 by Helen Joannides




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