17 July 2019

Speaker,

Mr President,

Deputy President,

Among the many other expectations South Africans have piled on the President’s plate – besides fixing governance and fixing the economy – are the re-prioritisation of nation building and social cohesion. The resurrection of collective hope…

There are good women and men to be found in every city, town and village across our land who want to contribute to fixing South Africa. But their words and deeds – and reasonable aspirations – are often drowned out by the tide of negativity that has stained the fabric of our nation.

Some people in this house thrive on behaving like self-appointed classroom monitors, whose primary role is to whip up fear and uncertainty. They, too, should accept the responsibility of putting their shoulders to the wheel on behalf of us all.

When we established GOOD a few months before the election, we included Edward Burke’s 18th Century truism in our founding documents: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

The Presidency’s budget vote includes an allocation for nation-building and social cohesion. 

My plea to the Presidency is to use this allocation optimally, to develop practical programmes led by people of the highest integrity aimed to rebuild self-esteem and mutual respect… to create the space for good people to do something.

Let’s do this in honour of our fallen legend Johnny Clegg, a nation-building pathfinder, and all other South African heroes and heroines who contributed to the democracy we dare not take for granted today.

I thank you.



Cameron Arendse