IN QUOTES | Nathi Mthethwa on apartheid, race privilege and homophobia in SA

07 February 2020 - 13:23 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, speaking at the National Convention on Nation Building, Social Cohesion and Safe Communities.
Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, speaking at the National Convention on Nation Building, Social Cohesion and Safe Communities.
Image: Nathi Mthethwa via Twitter.

Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa says despite positive strides since 1994, South African society remains separated.

Speaking at the Social Compact Convention at Saint George's Hotel in Pretoria on Thursday, Mthethwa said apartheid continues to “shape the lives and outlook of many South Africans”.

Here are five quotes from his address.

Privilege of race

“The privilege attached to race, class, space and gender has not yet been fully reversed.

“The social, psychological and geographic elements of apartheid continue to shape the lives and outlook of many South Africans.”

Building a non-racial society

“The commitment in building a non-racial, non-sexist, free and democratic society is an integral part of the preamble of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

“The National Development Plan (NDP) envisions a type of society in 2030 that would embrace its diversity rather than reify phenotypical human differences.”

A positive change in SA

“The social compact will create a common front in overcoming our nation’s challenges. It also seeks to make every South African an agent for positive change. It will contribute to our long-term development.

“The rationale for the social compact convention comes upon the realisation that no single sector, including government, can single-handedly succeed in the goal towards a socially integrated and inclusive society.

“That is, for SA to become a socially integrated and inclusive society, the different sectors in society need to make commitments and hold each other to account.”

Hardships faced by women

“Patriarchy, like racism, also continues to be part of the lived experience. Thus, gender relations are still skewed in favour of men. The results from the Baseline Survey are hardly surprising, as they corroborate this claim.

“Women constitute a majority in the population stakes, yet in many respects remain marginalised and more often fall victim to discrimination, abuse and some in the process pay with their lives.”

Getting rid of social ills

“There can be no success in the social cohesion and nation-building programme if women are violated and rendered invisible. This is particularly relevant, given the fact that women constitute a majority in the population.

“The lived experience of sexual minorities suggests that homophobia is still rife and rampant. The corrective rape phenomenon, for example, is indicative of the extent of the scourge and that a collective effort is not only necessary but urgent, if we are to rid our society of most of these social ills.


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