In 1994, 26 years ago, we celebrated our first Reconciliation Day as a hopeful nation emerging from our painful past into democracy.
Any measure of the last 26 years would demonstrate that the project of reconciliation has been abandoned by our political establishment.
We now have parties for individual race- and interest groups, who preach divisive messages of hatred and division. They have done so to their benefit, using language to foster distrust, violence and radicalism to control their constituencies.
This is not us, South Africa. We are not the radicals who hate and sow divisions. We are not the extremists or the racists. We are the good, hard-working, law-abiding, family-oriented and freedom-loving people of our beloved country, and we are in the majority.
This is why the work of ActionSA is so important. We have emerged as the only political party that is committed to uniting South Africans, of all backgrounds, with our call to Act As One. We are focussed on building a party whose leadership structures reflect the diversity of our country, and who fights for all South Africans.
ActionSA demonstrates, in its core values, that we are committed to non-racialism and the building of a future where we have healed the painful legacy of our unjust past.
For this to happen, and for Reconciliation Day to revive its meaning, the legacy of poverty and inequality have to be tackled through an aggressive programme of investing in communities still living under the pain of our past.
Through The People’s Dialogue project we have witnessed that millions of South Africans are committed to this vision for South Africa. They are the greater people of this country, the silent ones, the unseen and ignored. But not anymore, their voices – our voices – are rising and rising.
It is with these great South Africans with whom I share this Reconciliation Day.
It is with these South Africans that I share the idea that South Africa’s future is one of hope where we can believe in a day where all South Africans Act As One to build the country we were destined to be back in 1994.
We will emerge from our national depression of corruption, crime, mismanagement and unemployment to unite behind the vision for a better South Africa.