FW calls for transformation

2004-05-10 13:00
Cape Town - Former President F W de Klerk on Monday called on all South Africans to help bring about economic and social transformation.

Addressing a special joint sitting of parliament's two houses to commemorate 10 years of a democratic parliament, De Klerk said he had no doubt the second decade of the new South Africa would be dominated by economic and social transformation.

"The manner in which we deal with this challenge will determine the long-term success and viability of our new society.

"All South Africans must now join hands to tackle economic and social transformation - just as we joined hands 14 years ago to tackle the constitutional transformation of our country," he said.

Transformation had to be approached within the framework of three imperatives.

Firstly, South Africa needed real transformation that would, within the next ten years, substantially address the poverty and deprivation of the most disadvantaged citizens.

"We must all work for programmes that will substantially increase employment, that will reduce poverty, and that will effectively combat Aids and TB.

"We need to develop the skills required to make our country ever more relevant to the global economy. During this period, we need to move, preferably naturally and organically, towards far more representative institutions," De Klerk said.

Reaching for first world

Secondly, transformation had to take place within the framework of the basic rules of the globalised economy.

"We need to ensure that South Africa becomes a winning nation in highly competitive markets, so that we can become the first African nation to join the ranks of the first world."

Finally, South Africa needed a transformation process that would enjoy the active and enthusiastic support of all communities, and all sectors of the economy.

This process had to be led by government, but required the support of all South Africans working in unison, he said.

"Our challenge now is to continue to bring real justice and equity to all our people - to those who are suffering and to those who are already contributing to a better South Africa.

"I call on all our people now to continue to work together, to take hands and to make our wonderful country a shining example to the rest of the world," De Klerk said.

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