IN QUOTES | Even though we are diverse, we can be united: Ramaphosa on reconciliation

17 December 2019 - 09:46 By Unathi Nkanjeni

“Reconciliation is about acknowledging that even though we are diverse, with different histories and experiences, languages and cultures, we can be united.”

These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa when he delivered a keynote address at the commemoration of the National Day of Reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

The theme of this year's event, at the Bergville Municipal Sports Complex in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality, was The Year of Indigenous Languages.

Here is Ramaphosa's address in six quotes.

Indigenous African

“It is important that we recall how the indigenous African people were forced off their land, denied even the most basic of rights; how families were torn apart by the migrant labour system.”

Dispossession, racism and poverty

“We should recall how, enduring dispossession, racism and poverty, African people actively resisted attempts to turn them into aliens in the land of their birth, keeping up sustained, active and organised resistance.”

Equal claim to being South African

“Reconciliation is about acknowledging that SA belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. It makes us all equal citizens of this country, with an equal claim to being South African.”

SA for all people

“This country belongs to the descendants of those who come to these shores just a few generations ago in the same measure as it belongs to those whose ancestors have lived here for centuries.”

Opportunities in SA

“If all the people in this country, black and white, can call this place home, then it is essential that all its people must share equally in the land, the resources, the wealth and the opportunity in SA.”

End inequality

“Reconciliation requires that we end inequality in all its forms, not only in access to land, but in access to water, education and skills, to employment, to housing, to health care and to basic services.”