Speech by the Acting Premier on Human Rights Day 2013

Toespraak Deur Die Waarnemende Premier, Me Grizelda CjiekellaMenseregtedag, 21 Maart 2013 Askham

 

Program DirekteurLede van die Uitvoerende Raad
Burgermeester en Raadslede
Agbare Gaste
Gemeenskapslede

 

Dames en HereOns is vandag hier in hierdie pragtige deel van ons Provinsie vergader om Menseregtedag, 'n baie belangrike dag op ons Nasionale kalender te herdenk.

 

Hierdie dag is so gepas want dit gee ons ‘n geleentheid om 'n ikoon van Suid-Afrika, die voormalige president Nelson Mandela se lang stryd om vryheid te vier. Hy het voorheen gese oor Menseregetdag en ek haal aan; . "21 Maart is die Suid-Afrikaanse Menseregte Dag.

 

Dit is 'n dag, wat meer as baie ander, die betekenis van die stryd van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking en die siel van ons nie-rassige demokrasie uitbeeld. 21 Maart is die dag waarop ons onthou en psalmsing tot eer van diegene wat omgekom het in die naam van demokrasie en menswaardigheid. Dit is ook 'n dag waarop ons dink en moet evalueer die vordering wat ons maak in die verskaffing van basiese menslike regte en waardes ".



Apartheid was ‘n doelbewusse stryd om swart Suid-Afrikaners van hul waardigheid en sosio-ekonomiese regte te ontneem. Die mees afskuwelike wreedhede en lyding is teen gewone Suid-Afrikaners gepleeg. Ons mense ervaar die ergste menseregte skendings soos armoede, afsetting en sosiale uitsluiting vandag nog.

Dames en Here, die nasionale bevrydingstryd was geveg om 'n Suid-Afrika te bou waarin ons mense vry is van kolonialisme, onderdrukking, rassisme, ongelykheid, segregasie en alle vorme van politieke en sosiale euwels. Dit beteken dan dat almal van ons deel dieselfde geskiedenis want ons was saam onderdruk. Belangriker nog, ons deel 'n passie van 'n verenigde, nie rassistiese, demokratiese en vooruitstrewende Suid-Afrika.

Vandag wil ek hê dat ons ons veggees in die aangesig van teenspoed moet terugkry en ook terug dink aan die oorwinning wat ons in 1994 verkry het toe ons die stryd teen Apartheid oorwin het.

Ons boodskap is duidelik dat die ANC die enigste hoop is vir 'n beter samelewing en 'n beter toekoms, vir duisende van die armes en alle vooruitdenkende mense. Ons word gelei deur die belang van die nasie, die ANC is 'n parlement van die mense, soos OR Tambo dit al beskryf het.

Hierdie jaar, Dames en Here, vier ons Menseregtedag onder die tema "Verenig in die bevordering van sosio-ekonomiese vryheid vir almal".

Dames en Here, vandag vier ons die 19de herdenking van hierdie dag en terselfde tyd is dit ook die 17de herdenking van ons Grondwet.

Human Rights Day seeks to educate all South Africans about their human rights and obligations and make citizens aware of government services and programmes which give effect to ensuring that their human rights become a lived reality.
On this day we commemorate in particular the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, in which more than 60 unarmed men, women and children were shot and killed by the apartheid police during a peaceful protest march against the oppressive and undignified pass laws that were enforced against the will of the majority of people in this country.

The massacres in Sharpeville and Langa continue to serve as a historical reminder to all of us to make effort towards protecting human rights and human dignity.
It is also befitting for us to remember the spirit of our fallen heroes and heroines such as Abraham Esau, Marcus Mbetha, Booi Mantyi, Lillian Ngoyi, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Sizakhele Mbekushe, Tau Tikane, Thabo Moorosi, Litre Monare, Patrick Mogotsi, Boitumelo Mabilo as well as Ulysis Gogi Modise.
As we face the daunting task of rebuilding our country and restoring hope, we must be mindful that a just and prosperous country can only exist where individuals have the possibility to enjoy human dignity with a respect for equality, democracy, freedom of expression and for the rule of law.

These key components are the basis for the promotion and protection of human rights with democracy being the only form of Government that allows people to fully enjoy their human rights. However in order for democracy to flourish, democracy needs an open society with, full transparency, must ensure fair treatment of its citizens, with equal access to employment opportunities and the freedom for one to express his/her opinion without fear.
Dames en Here, as ons ons land wil laat groei en ontwikkel, moet ons streef na 'n ekonomiese klimaat waar die mense van ons land in staat is om hul regte te besef en te geniet en toegelaat word om te voldoen aan hul basiese behoeftes soos voldoende behuising, openbare gesondheid, mediese sorg, onderwys en die reg om te werk met 'n regverdige en gunstige werksomstandighede.

Om dit reg te kry moet die regering verseker dat die proses van ontwikkeling volhoubaar is en behoorlik bestuur word, want as dit nie gebeur nie sal die regering nie die basiese behoeftes van mense kan bevredig nie en aan hulle 'n goeie kwaliteit van lewe kan voorsien.
Hierdie jaar tydens die Opening van die Parlement het ons Staatspresident, Mnr Jacob Zuma, ‘n groot ontwikkelingsplan vir infrastruktuur uiteengesit. Dit sal ons provinsie help om werke te skep en om sodoende armoede te beveg.
The onus is on us as ordinary people to bring about progressive change and to ensure that the fundamental freedoms for everyone enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be known, understood and enjoyed by every person in our society.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that pledge is about building a capable state, whose mandate is simply to serve in a way that enhances the quality of life of its citizens. This means that a capable state should have a positive developmental impact in the lives of its citizens. It means that we must build a state that is democratic, people driven and people centred, and must pursue a sustained development based on an inclusive growth path.
Since 1994 Government has consistently worked on improving the lives of all South Africans and advancing their socio-economic rights. Government’s Programme of Action is assisting in bringing socio- economic rights such as housing, education and healthcare to all South Africans.

We are indeed reminded that though we have made significant gains in the promotion, development and protection of human rights since the advent of democracy, we still have to do more to ensure that human dignity, equality and freedom is permanently entrenched in the lives of our people.
Economic programmes such as the New Growth Path and the Infrastructure Development Programme are creating an enabling environment for socio-economic development to flourish.
Dames en Here, vandag is ons nie net hier om van Menseregtedag te praat nie maar ook ‘n ander aspek van ons geskiedenis wat ook drasties ons lewens verander het.
This year, Ladies and Gentlemen, we reflect on the hundred years of the 1913 Native Land Act. This serves to remind the people of the Northern Cape about the Native Land Act which was passed by the colonialist Union Parliament as part of its efforts to formalise land dispossession and the enslavement of Africans.
Ons het in 1994 hierdie hoogs ongelyke verdeling van grondeienaarskap geërf. Sewe en tagtig persent van die kommersiële landbougrond is in besit van wit boere en besighede en 13 persent van die droë grond was in die hande van die swart meerderheid.

Dit is dan duidelik dat hierdie Wet was die begin van al die probleme wat ons vandag in die gesig staar, soos grondloosheid, armoede en ongelykheid. Land is weggeneem van swart Suid Afrikaners om sodoende van hulle in goedkoop arbeiders te veranders ten einde hulle te omskep in goedkoop arbeiders.

Oornag, het mense wat grond en vee gehad het skielik niks gehad het, en hulle het sodoende hulle waardigheid en onafhanklikheid verloor.

In the Ruling Party’s January 8 Statement, ANC President Jacob Zuma stated that this historical injustice must be addressed in order to complete our freedom.
Former ANC President Dr AB Xuma, outlined the importance of land in his December 1941 Presidential address.
He said;
"The fundamental basis of all wealth and power is the ownership and acquisition of freehold title to land. From land, we derive our existence.
We derive our wealth in minerals, food, and other essentials. On land we build our homes. Without land we cannot exist. To all men of whatever race or colour, land, therefore, is essential for their wealth, prosperity and health. Without land rights any race will be doomed to poverty, destitution, ill-health and lack of all life`s essentials''.
Because of the slow land restitution and redistribution programme, we have directed our government to urgently speed up the process through a variety of measures. The implementation of these measures will take into account the principles contained in the Constitution in relation to land expropriation.
We need to ensure that we correct the injustices of the past by ensuring that our people gain access to productive land to ensure that they get involved in growing our economy.
In our Strategy and Tactics document in 2007, the African National Congress placed a high premium on redistribution of land in both urban and rural areas for the benefit of those who were denied access under colonialism. In our 2009 Manifesto, we committed ourselves to put in place a comprehensive and clear rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform, improvement of the conditions of farm workers and farm dwellers and building the potential for rural sustainable livelihoods. We seek to put in place a more effective approach to land redistribution that addresses the needs of all South Africans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are revitalising rural infrastructure but much more must be done to speed up and widen the net of this programme.
We must ensure that we work together with our comrades in organised labour to ensure that we improve the living conditions of farm workers and farm-dwellers, who continue to be amongst the most exploited citizens of our country.
We will also make sure that our public representatives and government officials, who have the responsibility of rural development and agrarian reform, speed up the provision of services to these communities.
Thus, the provincial government has through the comprehensive rural development programme, worked hard to ensure that we must achieve vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities. As part of rural development, Comprehensive Rural Development Programmes (CRDP) will continue in Riemvasmaak as well as expanded CRDP sites, namely Schmidtsdrift, Renosterberg, Heuningvlei and Magareng
Accordingly, we must continue to assert the government’s leadership of this process. This means that we have an ongoing responsibility to lead the process of land redistribution to our people.

We have no choice but to speed up the land reform process to create a better South Africa and a better Africa.
Ten slotte, wil ek net weereens sê dat ons is baie trots, soos ons tereg behoort te wees, in die gebeure wat gelei het tot die vreedsame oorgang van ons samelewing - van een wat gefokus was op rassisme, ongeregtigheid en onderdrukking na 'n samelewing wat die gelyke waarde en waardigheid van elke persoon erken.

I Thank You

 

 

 

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