Future can't be dictated by politicians - Motsepe

2017-04-01 06:54
Patrice Motsepe. (File)

Patrice Motsepe. (File)

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Johannesburg - Business magnate Patrice Motsepe said despite politicians' overpowering influence in the status quo, the future of the country is in the hands of its ordinary people.

"Donald Trump represents a challenge on his own in America, but it doesn't matter who the president is, America will continue to succeed and do well.

"As much as the politicians have a profound impact, the future of this country is in our hands. There has to be an honest and frank assessment of the problems we face as a country and as a people.

"All of us have the capacity to make this the very best country in the world," said Motsepe.

Motsepe was speaking at a graduation ceremony at Wits University on Friday, where he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree "for his achievements and contribution to society", the university said.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Motsepe said that the country had come back from many setbacks before, referring to the Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma in the early hours of Friday morning.

"South Africa has had many serious challenges in the past and what is special and, in many respects, unique about the people of this country is that we always overcome whatever problems and challenges we may have at any given time.

"If you look at the history of South Africa, there have been much, much bigger challenges. In fact, when I was a student at this university, there were perceptions that this great democracy that we have built today might not happen," he said.

'Never give up'

Motsepe received the degree saying, there were many people, both black and white, who were more deserving of getting the honour than him. He wished graduates luck, encouraging them to take the opportunities available to them.

"If you give all our people opportunities, if you give a young child from Soweto, from Limpopo or Kwa-Zulu Natal or from the Eastern Cape, they will succeed and do better than the very best of us.

"We should never give up on the people of this country. There is so much about the people of this country that gives me and so many of us inspiration," he said.

Motsepe was addressing a congregation of dignitaries and graduates and their families in a packed Great Hall. Wits Chancellor Justice Dikgang Moseneke said the honour given to Motsepe was "richly deserved".

Motsepe, who is Soweto-born, is the founder of the Motsepe Foundation, which, among other things, provides 100 Wits University students with bursaries.

He is the first African dignitary of the Giving Pledge (a commitment by the world's wealthiest to pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropy during their lifetime).

Wits University said the Motsepe Foundation had donated more than R18m to assist students since 2014, as well as assisting students in other universities across the country.

Read more on:    wits  |  patrice motsepe  |  johannesburg  |  education

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