Item 293 - Speech by president Nelson Mandela at the launch of Portfolio of South Africa

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Speech by president Nelson Mandela at the launch of Portfolio of South Africa


  • 1995-08-22 (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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Launch of Portfolio of South Africa

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  • English

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Chairman of Portfolio Business Holdings;
Honourable Ministers;
Premier of the Western Cape;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen.

Such an impressive gathering of top decision-makers and opinion-formers from government and business could only have been brought together by a most auspicious event.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation being made the Guest of Honour at the timely launch of Portfolio of South Africa.

It is being published at a moment when we have made impressive progress in consolidating our new social compact in pursuit of a better life for all South Africans. So much so, that we feel confident that all the mot powerful forces in our society are ready to respond positively to the need to put economic growth and development at the forefront of our national objectives.

We are all agreed that sustained economic growth is a necessity for achieving our goals, and in particular to address the poverty which apartheid created for millions of South Africans. In turn, growth requires more trade, and more investment, from domestic sources and from outside the country.

Government has adopted policies to create an environment for growth. It has demonstrated its commitment to these policies and its capacity to implement them. They include fiscal discipline; the rational use of resources; and steps to put our economy on a competitive basis in world markets.

Government's determination to lead the country along a path of sustained growth, within this policy framework, has led Cabinet to establish an economic task force. It is charged with devising a process to strategically focus the country's energies along such a growth path. Whatever Cabinet decides on the basis of its recommendations, we can be sure that the goals will only be achieved with active and enthusiastic participation of business and labour.

The kind of partnership which has been forged in the first year of democratic government, must now serve as the vantage point from which we can tackle the urgent challenges which face us, with renewed vigour.

These include, amongst others: bringing crime and corruption under control; enhancing the effectiveness with which programmes for social upliftment are implemented; and rising to the economic opportunities offered by reconstruction and development and our acceptance into the global market.

What these disparate challenges emphasise is the fact that all our endeavours, in all areas of life, impact on one another to determine the extent of our advance.

So it is with what South Africa has come to call "reconstruction" and "reconciliation". These objectives are two sides of the same coin of nation-building. Neither thrives without the other. And it would be a mighty error to suggest, as some media analysts do, that you can undertake reconciliation one week and reconstruction the other week. Rather, both tasks should be pursued simultaneously, with appropriate vigour, to make our country a better place for all its people.

In the light of the challenges we face, the launch of Portfolio of South Africa can be regarded as well-timed. It is a private sector initiative of a kind which should promote the growth of the economy by providing information needed by potential trade partners and investors.

The speed of our transition thus far has left gaps in the kind of information readily accessible to economic decision-makers. This publication should help fill one such gap. Its success in continuing to do so on an annual basis will, of course, depend on how well it stands the test of the market concerning the reliability and relevance of its information.

Its effectiveness as an instrument for promoting trade and investment will also depend on continued interaction and co-ordination between the publishers, government and business.

Presenting our country's government and its policies to the world, alongside its corporate leaders, is one part of what will persuade investors and potential trading partners that South Africa offers them opportunities. A co-ordinated effort is required to ensure that they can easily access the concrete, detailed information which they need to make decisions.

Ladies and gentlemen;

To have identified so important a need and to have met it so promptly, would be achievement enough. But there is more.

We should not fail this evening to take stock of the fact that the company whose publication we are launching is a first in another sense. The entrepreneurial talents of most of our people were frustrated or untapped under the apartheid system. Democracy is opening the way for the unfettered development of the business talents of those previously excluded. This publishing company is an example of what is possible despite apartheid's legacy of limited resources and experience in the field. It also highlights what past policies have denied our country.

In conclusion, therefore, may I wish the publishers success with this project.

And may government and business work together, with labour, to take advantage of such publications to enhance their efforts towards the achievement of sustained economic growth and development.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 16/11/06 by Helen Joannides




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