Storytelling is increasingly relevant to the strategic communication and awareness-raising activities of nonprofit organisations (NPOs) in Africa.
Stories help people to better remember specific experiences. Stories shape our identities. With a great story, you can ensure that donors and supporters understand your work.
But how does your nonprofit tell its story? When you upload a video, a photo, or a blog post about your work, whom are you trying to reach with it? What do you expect the audience to do after they see or read the story?
NPOs are often so caught up in implementing their programmes that they forget the need to communicate the impact to the rest of the world.
That's why TechSoup organises the annual Storymakers digital storytelling campaign to assist NPOs create stories that will generate the necessary public interest and attention.
One of the main events of Storymakers 2016 will be a global tweet-chat which will be held on Wednesday, 4 May 2016.
Unfamiliar with tweet-chats? It's a live Twitter event, moderated and focused around a specific topic, using a shared hashtag – in our case #Storymakers2016 - to filter all the chatter into a single conversation.
Our global tweet-chat on 4 May 2016 will be a 12-hour global conversation - from New Zealand in the East to the United States in the West - consisting of a series of one-hour tweet-chats on the theme of digital storytelling. Each of the chats will be hosted and facilitated, and cover a different topic associated with digital storytelling.
To ensure the success of the tweet-chat, we need your participation and support to keep the conversation relevant and informative, and encourage you to invite your colleagues, partners and other NPOs to do the same. Please use your e-mail lists and social media channels to spread the word about this initiative.
The Africa component of the #Storymakers2016 tweet-chat will cover the following three topics during three one-hour conversations:
# East Africa (2 p.m. Eastern Africa Time / 8 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time)
Topic: Creating an Elevator Pitch - Telling your story in 10 seconds
Convener: @TechSoupKenya & @KCDF
# Southern Africa (2 p.m. South Africa Standard Time / 9 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time)
Topic: How do you make storytelling a part of your organisation's culture?
Convener: @techsoupafrica & @david_barnard
# West Africa (2 p.m. Ghana / 3 p.m. West Africa Time)
Topic: "What sort of stories should nonprofits tell?"
Convener: @penplusbytes & @AfricaJerry
You are welcome to participate in all these chats, but we encourage you to participate specifically in the time zone where you are based. Remember to use #Storymakers2016 in all your tweets, in conjunction with the country where you are based (e.g. #Kenya or #Ghana, etc.).
The global tweet-chat will be summarised in Storify at the end of the day.
We look forward to your participation in this exciting initiative on 4 May 2016.
For more about TechSoup, refer to www.techsoup.org.
Storytelling is increasingly relevant to the strategic communication and awareness-raising activities of nonprofit organisations (NPOs) in Africa.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,
His Majesty King Mphephu Ramabulana,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premier of Limpopo and his provincial executive council,
Members of the national and provincial legislatures,
Members of the National and the Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders,
Executive Mayor of Mopani District Municipality,
Executive Mayor of the Greater Giyani Local Municipality,
Heads of Chapter 9 institutions,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Fellow South Africans,
We greet you all on this important day in our history.
Today marks exactly 22 years since our people of all national groups went out in their millions to vote for the very first time in free and fair democratic elections.
This day, in 1994 not only marked the end of the tyranny of apartheid, it also symbolised the triumph of good over evil.
Today, we are celebrating the heroic struggles waged by gallant men and women who understood that freedom could not be given to them as a gift. They knew that it had to be relentlessly fought for and achieved.
Today, we also pay tribute to our heroes who passed away during this month of April such as former African National Congress (ANC) president, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani and Solomon Mahlangu. Their lives and untold sacrifices remind us that our freedom was not free and that it came at a great cost, including life itself.
On this day, we also think of all the people of South Africa who suffered in various ways during the apartheid era and before. Many were brutally murdered, imprisoned or tortured.
Millions of our people suffered immense poverty and deprivation through the system of institutionalised racism which rendered black people to be trespassers in the land of their birth, and not worthy of any rights.
Thousands were dehumanised in various ways. It was a painful, cruel system which was correctly described as a crime against humanity by the United Nations.
The victory of our people in 1994, through selfless struggle, assisted by freedom loving peoples across the world, ended the centuries long repression.
It set our nation on a path towards reconciliation, freedom, justice, peace, democracy, equality and indeed an entrenched strong culture of fundamental human rights and liberties.
In 1994, led by President Nelson Mandela, we began building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa. All policy instruments that have been introduced since 1994, are designed to achieve that vision of a better life for all, especially the poor and the working class.
Work has continued since 1994 to improve the living conditions of the people, to undo the legacy of exclusion and neglect.
Many communities and households were without electricity, water, roads, clinics providing quality health care or state of the art schools. The democratic government has since 1994 spent each year delivering such services.
Millions of our people now have access to these services.
The community of Giyani, our hosts today, know too well the hardship of not having water, like many communities around the country where the democratic government is busy making a difference.
In 2009, we declared the Giyani area a disaster zone, and subsequently adopted it into the Presidential Siyahlola Programme. To redress the critical shortage of water, government, through the Department Water and Sanitation issued an emergency directive in August 2014 to Lepelle Northern Water to regularise water and sanitation provision in the Mopani District.
I am very happy to report today, the completion of a number of projects. These are the completion of groundwater augmentation of 16 priority villages and that of Nkhensani Hospital. Also completed is the building of the Giyani Wastewater Treatment Works and the refurbishment of the Giyani Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Some of the milestones in the project to date include the revitalising of 154 boreholes with package plants to ensure the water becomes fit for human consumption.
Furthermore, there is the construction of a thirty five megalitres’ reservoir that will be completed in June 2017.
Operations and maintenance support has also taken place to repair about 270 kilometres of existing lines, nine pump stations and 14 reservoirs.
At the moment, all 55 villages here in Giyani have access to bulk water supply due to the interventions.
To further promote water supply in Limpopo province, we have the Mogalakwena Bulk Water Supply projects within the Waterberg District Municipality that will be implemented in the current financial year.
The project aims to deliver water to Mokopane Town, and villages to the immediate north of Mokopane Town.
Ninety-four thousand people and mines in the surrounding area will benefit from the project.
As you are aware the country is gripped by the negative effects of the current drought. As government, we continue to look for new sources of water.
With some of our provinces having been declared disaster areas, we have to take extra-ordinary efforts to bring relief to our people.
Water tankering, water restrictions, and finding new sources of water, especially by exploiting underground sources, are some of the efforts employed to reduce communities’ water challenges.
The current low dam levels, with an expected dry winter season, demand of everyone to be part of the national water conservation and demand efforts.
We must continue to save water. We have no choice, the situation is serious and is affecting both households and our farming communities who are supposed to ensure food security in our country.
While services are extended to some communities, many others are still waiting, because the backlog resulting from apartheid exclusion is extensive.
We assure you that we shall not rest as the democratic government, until all households in our country live in dignity and obtain basic services.
We will continue to work with all communities towards this end, together building better communities and improving the functioning of municipalities so that they can better provide these services. Remember that local government is everybody’s business. So we have to work together to bring about a better life for all.
As we celebrate our freedom, we also celebrate the improvement in the health care of our people. We are very happy that the life expectancy of South Africans has improved. People used to die at the average age of 53 years in this country. Now they live up to the average of 62 years of age and beyond.
This means South Africans are now living longer and are much healthier. Those living with HIV and AIDS now receive free medical care, and are living healthier lives.
Improved treatment is also provided for all other common ailments that are troubling our people such as diabetes, tuberculosis or hypertension.
We have identified education as an apex priority as well in addition to health care. Education is a powerful instrument against poverty.
It is for this reason that the democratic ANC government has established three new universities in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and a medical university in Gauteng.
We are also building 12 new Further Education and Training Colleges and refurbishing others, so that more of our youth can have access to education.
We have appointed a Commission of Inquiry to look into the question of funding for higher education. This follows the cry for help by our students as many want to study but their parents are poor.
We continue to invest in basic education. More than nine million children attend no-fee schools. The circumstances of the parents should not handicap a child’s future.
Nine million children are also provided with free meals at school so that hunger does not impair their concentration in class. For some, this is the only decent meal of the day given the circumstances at home.
Investing in education will help us to build better communities.
For freedom to be complete, the economy of our country must not be skewed along racial lines. We must give practical meaning to the demand of the Freedom Charter that "all shall share in the country's wealth."
Government will continue to implement black economic empowerment programmes as well as affirmative action programmes. We have introduced new programmes such as the promotion of black participation in the manufacturing sector actively as industrialists.
In partnership with the private sector, government will continue to work towards economic transformation so that we can expand our economy and create much needed jobs.
Let me also take this opportunity to welcome the continuing cooperation between government and the private sector.
Consultations with business are ongoing to find ways of igniting economic growth and create jobs, to mitigate the punishing global economic climate.
We also continue to engage labour. Together we recently resolved a critical matter relating to worker pensions, which was of concern to the labour movement, especially Congress of the South African Trade Unions.
Let me reiterate that our freedom was not free.
It was fought for and many lives were lost for its attainment. We therefore have the collective responsibility to defend it as South Africans with the same vigour as when we fought for it. We must unite and not allow anything to threaten the freedom and democracy we fought so hard for.
This means we must stop actions that take undermine our hard won freedom such as engaging in violence.
For example, when people are angry, there is no reason for them to burn factories as it happened in kwaSithebe in KwaZulu-Natal recently. How do we call for job creation and then burn the very factories that are supposed to provide jobs?
Schools, trains, libraries, clinics are all built to provide services and a better life. We must guard and protect these facilities in our communities. It is shocking that some people destroy these facilities so easily.
We should report such destructive elements to the police and work together to build better communities where all guard jealously all facilities that are built to make our lives better.
People should protest peacefully and with dignity, in the democratic South Africa. We should isolate all those who promote violence and anarchy.
We know that some within our communities believe such violence will make them popular and try to use anarchy to build their political careers. Let us not allow this to happen in our name. We worked hard to build this country as millions of South Africans. It must not be destroyed by anarchists who have no interest in our well-being.
Let me also use this opportunity to urge all of us to unite in promoting our country.
While South Africa faces several challenges as a new democracy and a developing country, our country’s positive attributes far outweigh the challenges.
It should be possible for us to identify issues on which we shall unite no matter what, and not allow party political competition to divide the nation.
For example we should unite on celebrating the achievements that South Africa has scored in 23 years socially, economically and politically.
It is a fact that the country is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994.
Our country is still receiving accolades for the successful transition to democracy and for the solid and well-functioning institutions of governance.
We receive compliments abroad for the excellent economic and financial institutions which continue to be an attraction for foreign investors.
South Africa is complimented for its social assistance programme which very few developing countries are able to manage, providing support to more than 16 million people especially orphans and vulnerable children.
This support has rescued many families who would otherwise not be able to put food on the table.
We are complimented for our housing support programme for the poor, for free education for children of the poor and for many other pro-poor programmes.
Indeed this country is trying its best to be the best home for all its citizens especially the poor.
We are happy as government that we have the support of the community as we deliver all these programmes. Together we will continue building better communities.
There are those who have decided to make it their full-time job to deny these achievements of our country, and to rubbish our country locally and abroad. We must not allow them to succeed.
South Africa is a great country. It is a beautiful country and it has wonderful, remarkable and hardworking people. We should all celebrate our collective achievements, and work to correct whatever needs to be corrected as we move towards a more prosperous society.
Let us work together to build our country and move South Africa forward, together.
We will be going to local government elections on 3 August. Our message to you is local government is everybody’s business. Let us work together to build our communities.
On the 5th of December 2015 we marked the 15th anniversary of democratic local government.
Government has established the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Elections to ensure a smooth run-up in preparation for the coming local government elections.
Our citizens’ faith in our constitutional democracy has never been stronger.
Over the two voter registration weekends hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission, over 6.6 million citizens visited voting stations, with 1.3 million of them being new registrations. Almost eighty percent of these were young people under the age of 30.
We congratulate our youth for their interest in participating in how their country is governed.
Local government is everybody’s business. We urge all South Africans to come out in their numbers to vote on the 3rd of August 2016.
While we celebrate our achievements in the local government sphere over the last 15 years, we also have a firm eye on the future.
The United Nations estimates that over 70 percent of the South African population will live in urban areas by 2030, with this figure increasing to almost 80 percent by 2050. The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), approved by Cabinet yesterday offers a New Deal for South Africa’s towns and cities.
The IUDF espouses the vision of creating ‘liveable, safe, resource-efficient cities and towns that are socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life.’
We cannot afford to have people spending hours each day transporting themselves to and from work.
We cannot afford to have urban areas that are unsafe and hostile to our citizens. We cannot afford to live in urban spaces that are not economically inclusive.
The IUDF has four overall strategic goals aimed at transforming apartheid’s spatial legacy to an urban future, which is “inclusive, resilient and liveable.”
Spatial integration: To forge new spatial forms in settlement, transport, social and economic areas.
Inclusion and access: To ensure people have access to social and economic services, opportunities and choices.
Growth: To harness urban dynamism for inclusive, sustainable economic growth, and
Governance: To enhance the capacity of the state and its citizens to work together to achieve spatial and social integration.
Since cities are now the engines of economic growth, the IUDF is our blueprint for a better future for all South Africans.
The winter initiation season is upon us.
The Department of Traditional Affairs has mobilised all stakeholders including the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, Department of Health, traditional leaders and communities to ensure that we carry out our policy of zero tolerance for initiation deaths.
We congratulate the Limpopo province on their achievement of ensuring no deaths during the initiation season.
We urge all provinces to intensify their efforts in this regard.
Fellow South Africans,
Let me reiterate that South Africa is a great success story. We have our challenges, however, the positive attributes of our country far outweigh those challenges.
Let us point out the challenges so that we can be able to fix them. But in doing so, let us not lose sight of the achievements that we have all scored, working together, under difficult conditions.
Let us not allow those who have decided to ignore the achievements of our beautiful country, to make us think we are a failure as a nation, a country and a people.
We have done well, and we will continue to do well, until we reach our destination, a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous South Africa, which is accurately described in the National Development plan.
We wish you all a happy freedom day today.
Let us continue working together, to move South Africa forward.
I thank you.
For more about The Presidency, refer to www.thepresidency.gov.za.
Dear potential Funders and Sponsors,
Did you know… eight out of 100 babies are born prematurely in South Africa?
The South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) is a registered nonprofit dedicated to bringing down South Africa’s soaring infant mortality rate by supplying donated breastmilk (DBM) to vulnerable, premature infants in their precarious first weeks of life. The recipients of the milk are vulnerable pre-term infants, babies orphaned by HIV/AIDS and in some cases babies whose mothers are unable to provide them with milk. Our target population is babies born under 30 weeks, under 1.8kg and younger than 14 days.
The SABR collects, pasteurises, supplies and re-distributes DBM among hospital facilities in the Gauteng, Free-State, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and North West. The SABR is geared to deliver donated breastmilk into each and every part of South Africa within 24-48 hours while ensuring that DBM is of the highest quality and meets the regulatory standards. SABR provides this essential service in both public (80 percent) and private hospitals (20 percent), providing 87 hospitals with DBM on a regular basis. We have also setup and strive to maintain 44 human milkbanks in hospitals around South Africa and we are currently the largest human milk banking partner to the South African Department of Health and Netcare. SABR’s impact is evident in the number of premature babies that it has assisted: in one calendar year, between March 2014 and February 2015, SABR provided donated breastmilk to 2 834 critically-ill babies. This is a 67.8 percent increase on the previous year where SABR supported 1689 babies.
The organisation has grown rapidly since inception and we continue to strive towards becoming leaders in advocating and managing the quality and ethics of human milk banking in South Africa. As it continues to grow, the demands and responsibility of sustaining and growing human milk banking is large. The SABR appeals for assistance in any capacity within the following divisions of SABR:
- Set-up and installation of human milk banks (pasteurising machine, freezers, fridge, laminar flow bench, remote monitoring, branding and painting);
- Microbiology and Serology (testing of donors and DBM on a regular basis);
- Setup and management of breastfeeding rooms at the Mamamagic Baby Expo shows in South Africa (X4 shows in 2016);
- Operations of the SABR Head Office (Laptops, travel costs, office equipment);
- Operations of human milkbanks (quality assurance and salaries of community-based workers and/ nurses who run the milkbanks);
- Training of Human milkbank operators;
- Breastfeeding awareness across South Africa; and
- Pasteurising machines.
If you would like to assist or you need more information, contact Chelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more about the South African Breastmilk Reserve, refer to www.sabr.org.za.
A report published by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) today notes that very few South Africans benefit from current empowerment polices. Since these policies have failed to benefit the poor and disadvantaged, few people support them either. The IRR report calls on lawmakers to take their responsibility to empower the poor more seriously and to adopt new empowerment policies that will be far more effective.
The report is based on a field survey on transformation and empowerment commissioned the IRR and released today in @Liberty, the IRR’s policy bulletin. The field survey canvassed the views of a carefully balanced sample of 2 245 people, all of whom were interviewed in their languages of choice by experienced field teams.
According to IRR policy head, Dr Anthea Jeffery, “current empowerment policies benefit only a relatively small elite. They offer nothing to poor people.”
She added: “Field survey results show, for example, that only 16.6 percent of black respondents agree that affirmative action in employment has helped them personally. By contrast, 83.3 percent of blacks disagree. Only approximately one in ten people has benefited from BEE [Black Economic Empowerment].”
South Africa cannot hope to expand opportunities for the disadvantaged without much faster economic growth, millions of new jobs, and schools that are effective in imparting essential knowledge and skills.
According to the IRR, current policies need to be replaced with ‘Economic Empowerment for the Disadvantaged’ or ‘EED’. EED is a solution to the empowerment challenge that has been developed within the IRR to address the failure of current policies.
EED is specifically focused on ensuring that empowerment policy attracts new investment, ensures job creation, and reaches large numbers of poor and disadvantaged people. By contrast, if current policies are retained, this will further reduce investment, growth, and jobs and bring about even more harmful political, social, and economic consequences.
Says Dr Jeffery: “Current empowerment policies have so little popular support and have had such limited success that the Government has very little to fear - and very much to gain - from shifting to the EED alternative.”
Further details of the field survey results are set out in the latest issue of @Liberty, available on the IRR website by clicking here.
For more about the Institute of Race Relations, refer to www.irr.org.za.
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu,
The Ministers of Arts and Culture, Justice and Correctional Services, Basic Education and all Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Former KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize,
MECs, MPs and MPLs,
The Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, James Nxumalo and all Councillors,
The leadership of the governing party and all other political parties present,
Religious, traditional and business leaders present,
Fellow South Africans,
Sanibonani, good day, dumelang, thobela, molweni!
We extend warm greetings to all South Africans and all freedom loving people in our country, on this 2016 Human Rights Day.
Siyanibingelela nonke ngalosuku olubalulekile ezweni lakithi, lokukhumbula nokugcizelela amalungelo abantu.
Usuku lolu esikhumbula ngalo indlela ayecindezelwe ngalo lamalungelo ngeminyaka yobandlululo, kwaze kwabulawa abantu, abanye baboshwa, kanti abanye bayohlala iminyaka eminingi ekudingisweni.
Sikhumbula nendlela abantu abamnyama ababephethwe ngayo njengezinto nje, bengathathwa njengabantu abaphilayo nabanemizwa, abacabangayo nabanelungelo lokuba la ezweni labo.
On this solemn occasion, we acknowledge all South Africans who suffered gross human rights violations during the period of apartheid colonialism, including murder, torture or imprisonment.
In particular, we remember the victims of the Sharpeville massacre, where 69 people were mercilessly killed and scores injured when police opened fire on demonstrators who were protesting against the hated pass laws, in Sharpeville.
On the same day, police also shot and killed three protesters in KwaLanga in Cape Town and injured many others.
We will never forget incidents such as Sharpeville which demonstrated the heroism of our people who stood up for their rights.
We thank the United Nations for declaring the 21st of March as International Human Rights Day.
This was a powerful recognition of the correctness and just nature of our struggle for liberation.
This year, we have chosen the theme ‘South Africans United Against Racism’ for Human Rights Day. We have done so due to the need to continue working together to eliminate racism and its manifestations in our country.
Our mission since 1994 is to create a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. This is the task of every South African.
Earlier this year, our country experienced explosions of anger due to racist utterances and writings which reminded South Africans that the vestiges of white supremacy and racism still exist in some sections of society.
It became clear that there are people who still yearn for the past, where black people were treated like second class citizens because of their skin colour.
We know that the majority of South Africans abhor racism and racial discrimination. That is why our theme correctly says that we are united against racism.
The struggle against apartheid was in the main a struggle against racism, which is the notion that one group of people is better than others, and is superior to others simply because of their skin colour.
Successive white governments entrenched racial oppression and segregation which was enforced brutally by force. The apartheid regime systematically divided South Africans and caused untold damage to our country, which will take decades to reverse.
Race determined where people would live or work, which buses and trains they could board, which schools their children could attend and even which pavements they could walk on in some cities such as Pretoria.
The best land was taken away while black people were shuffled into reserves and had to seek permission to live and work in urban areas. This gave rise to the pass laws and the Sharpeville massacre.
Racist South Africa was described eloquently by former African National Congress (ANC) President, Chief Albert Luthuli, in his December 1961 Nobel Peace Prize lecture entitled Africa and Freedom.
“Here the cult of race superiority and of white supremacy is worshipped like a god. Few white people escape corruption and many of their children learn to believe that white men are unquestionably superior, efficient clever, industrious and capable; that black men are, equally unquestionably, inferior, slothful, stupid, evil and clumsy’’.
President Nelson Mandela also described how white supremacy manifested itself in apartheid South Africa in his famous statement from the dock during the Rivonia Trial.
He said; “The lack of human dignity experienced by Africans is the direct result of the policy of white supremacy. White supremacy implies black inferiority.
“Legislation designed to preserve white supremacy entrenches this notion. Menial tasks in South Africa are invariably performed by Africans. When anything has to be carried or cleaned the white man will look around for an African to do it for him, whether the African is employed by him or not. Because of this sort of attitude, whites tend to regard Africans as a separate breed.
They do not look upon them as people with families of their own; they do not realise that they have emotions - that they fall in love like white people do; that they want to be with their wives and children like white people want to be with theirs; that they want to earn enough money to support their families properly, to feed and clothe them and send them to school.”
Madiba, Luthuli, Tambo [Oliver], Helen Joseph, Ahmed Kathrada and many others dedicated their lives to fighting racism and racial discrimination in order to end the type of society painted by our two illustrious leaders.
They fought for the society described in the Constitution of the Republic.
Madiba signed the Constitution into law in December 1996 in Sharpeville, and this year we mark 20 years of this historic act.
The Preamble of the Constitution calls upon all of us to heal the divisions of the past and to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
A lot has been done since 1994 to promote nonracialism, reconciliation, inclusion and unity.
In this regard, we would like to extend a special message to the black majority in our country.
They were treated as lesser human beings.
They were denied all the rights that human beings in modern civilised societies are entitled to including equal citizenship in their own country and land.
Despite all this, they extended a hand of friendship and agreed on the need to build a united, reconciled and non-racial society.
This was important for the transition to a new society and was an enormous contribution to building a new South Africa.
Namhlanje, sizwakalisa ukuyibonga kakhulu indlu emnyama ngokuvuma kwayo ngo 1994 ukuthi ubuhlungu bengcindezelo nenhlupheko, ikubeke eceleni, ivume ukuxolela abamhlophe ukuze sakhe iNingizimu entsha.
Siyazi lokhu kwakungelula neze, Futhi namanje kusenzima ngoba abaningi bathi isandla esibuyayo esiza nokubuyisana kwabaningi abamhlophe asibonakali. Kuba sengathi umsebenzi wabamnyama kuphela ukusebenzela ukubuyisana. Udaba okumele ludingidwe lolu sibhekane nalo ngqo njengesizwe.
Today, we also salute white compatriots who did not allow their position of having been born into privilege, to make them close their eyes to violations of human dignity and crimes against humanity. There are many white freedom fighters who joined the struggle for liberation and contributed to the attainment of freedom and democracy in our country.
We must work harder to eliminate that the view that reconciliation is a one way process where the black majority extends a hand of friendship, but with little reciprocation from their white compatriots.
Indeed, we have done a lot to build a non-racial society.
However, the apartheid damage was deep. There is still a long way to go before we can say we have successfully reversed the impact of institutionalised racism in our country or to remove prejudice among those who subscribe to the notion of white supremacy.
We urge all South Africans black and white, to become part of this journey to a new society.
Government has since 1994, worked systematically to reverse the legacy of apartheid and racial discrimination.
We wish to emphasise and reiterate our determination as government to put an end to racial discrimination in all its forms and wherever it occurs.
We must remove vestiges of racism in the workplace, in the education system, the health sector, in the administration of justice and generally in access to government services and in the private sector.
There is continuous provision of basic services such as water, housing and infrastructure, electricity, quality education and health care and basically to ensure that black people live in dignity.
The ending of economic marginalisation is key to the reversal of racism and its manifestation in the economy.
The economy is still primarily in the hands of the white minority in terms of control, ownership and management.
Transformative laws aimed at de-racialising the economy or the workplace have been introduced by the democratic governments since 1994. These include employment equity laws and broad-based black economic empowerment.
Examples of new transformation programmes also include the targeted creation of black industrialists which is aimed at opening up the manufacturing sector to the black community. The business community has responded warmly to this programme.
The land restitution and redistribution programme is also one of the key programmes aimed at reversing the legacy of the country’s racist past.
In memory of those who died in Sharpeville, Uitenhage and Cape Town, and also in memory of millions who have suffered racial oppression and racism in our country, we say today that let us unite to build a South Africa that is free of racism and prejudice.
To achieve this goal, we need to do a few things as South Africans.
We must openly and consciously discuss notions of white supremacy and how it manifests itself. When such views are held by people in positions of power, they undermine the nation’s efforts to achieve an equal and non-racial society.
People must be vigilant and point out instances of racial discrimination in the provision of services in both the private and public sectors, should this exist.
Private companies, religious institutions, non-governmental organisations and state institutions must run campaigns and awareness programmes on the manifestations of racism so that we can eliminate denial and claims of ignorance about how this scourge manifests itself.
It is of critical importance to end the denial and the tendency to downplay accusations of racism and undertake defensive stances. We should also be aware of the fact that some racists use art as a form of expression. We should thus be alert to subtle and disguised racism perpetuated through the stereotyping of individuals or groups of people in the media, through cartoons and satire.
The acceptance of the problem will lead to unity in finding solutions. And solutions must come from all sectors and individuals, and not government only.
There is also a tendency to ridicule those who seek to expose racism or racial discrimination, as a form of defence by those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of racism, or who are racists themselves and want the status quo to remain.
Bakwethu, sithi kuyacaca ukuthi ubandlululo lusekhona ezinhliziyweni zabaningi.
Lokhu kudinga ukubhekwa impela ngoba yikho okwenza ukuthi abantu banganikwa imisebenzi ephakeme ngoba kucatshangwa ukuthi abazi lutho ngoba nje bemnyama.
Sithi ke kumele sibambisane sonke silwe nobandlululo nokucwasana ngebala emisebenzini, kwezemidlalo nezokungcebeleka, ezikoleni nakweziningi ezinye izindawo.
There were calls earlier this year for Government to introduce laws or institutional mechanisms to deal with hate speech and hate crimes.
Government, through the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, has drafted A National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
This Plan emanates from the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action which was adopted at the 3rd World Conference Against Racism that was hosted by South Africa and was held here in Durban in 2001.
The Plan is designed to raise awareness of anti-racism, equality and anti-discrimination issues among public officials, civil society and the general public, mobilizing support from a wide range of people.
This policy framework will encourage the collection of information regarding racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
It will help us ensure that the concerns of individuals and groups encountering racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are not brushed aside or underplayed, and that they are more effectively addressed.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is tasked with coordinating the development and finalisation of this Plan.
A National Action Plan Steering Committee which comprises government departments, Chapter 9 institutions, international human rights agencies, faith based organisations as well as civil society organisations has been established to enable wide consultations on the Plan.
Once final, the Plan will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights. It will form the basis for the development of a comprehensive policy framework against the scourges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
To complement the National Action Plan, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is finalising the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which is expected to be tabled in parliament by September this year.
The law is intended to make hate crimes and hate speech a statutory offence.
We urge all to participate in the shaping of this important legislation.
We are aware of the fact that government cannot legislate against racist beliefs and prejudice. Solutions will require the consciousness and willingness of those who harbour such harmful beliefs to educate themselves about human rights and equality.
They need to assist themselves to understand that those who look different from them, are not inferior.
It also requires that we educate our schoolchildren and the youth about the non-racial society we are building. Government has begun programmes of promoting patriotism and a national identity already amongst our children.
Symbols such as the national anthem, the national flag and the preamble to the Constitution are being promoted in schools.
Government, through the Department of Arts and Culture, is developing a non-racial heritage architecture in the country. A major new project, the Liberation Heritage Route is also to be implemented, and will feature sites of significance in all nine provinces.
Statues of our liberation heroes are being erected while their graves and other important sites are being declared national heritage sites.
We are pleased to announce here that government will build a statue of the late Co-President of the United Democratic Front, and one of the leading stalwarts of our liberation movement, Mr Archie Gumede, in Durban.
This will be a fitting tribute to a patriot who dedicated his life to the attainment of liberation in this country.
The country experienced horrific attacks on foreign nationals in April last year in parts of Durban and parts of Johannesburg. The majority of South Africans spoke out strongly against the attacks.
They reaffirmed our country’s support of human rights and dignity for all.
We hosted the inaugural Africa Month programme in May last year and are planning for the second Africa Month celebrations this year to promote peace and friendship amongst South Africans and fellow Africans. Xenophobia has no place in South Africa and will not be tolerated.
When we speak of human rights we include the rights of all including compatriots with disabilities. The United Nations in 2011 declared the 21st of March as World Down Syndrome Day.
We call on all South Africans to pledge solidarity with South Africans with Down syndrome and their families and accord them the respect and understanding they deserve.
We wish all South Africans with Down Syndrome well on this special day.
We have set ourselves on a mission to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
We are building a South Africa in which nobody will be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, in the provision of services and opportunities by both the public and private sectors.
As we proceed with this mission, we are guided by the words of our beloved Former President Nelson Mandela who said:
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.
“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
As South Africans, we say no to racism and racial discrimination.
We say no to xenophobia
We say no to prejudice and intolerance.
I wish you all a meaningful Human Rights Day!
I thank you.