Hundreds attend Save SA's 'real SONA'

2017-02-08 12:42
People speaking at Save South Africa's 'real State of the Nation Address' say citizens are fed up with the state of the country under the current administration. (Paul Herman, News24)

People speaking at Save South Africa's 'real State of the Nation Address' say citizens are fed up with the state of the country under the current administration. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Young people speaking at Save South Africa's "real State of the Nation Address" say citizens are fed up with the state of the country under the current administration.

Hundreds of people filled St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Wednesday to attend the Save SA campaign's event, a day before President Jacob Zuma addresses Parliament.

Speakers from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Sonke Gender Justice and Young African Innovators spoke of a country that had failed to protect young women, and failed to give young people promised opportunities.

"We need to empower women in South Africa," said Sonke Gender Justice representative Nthabi Pooe.

"Violence and HIV are exacerbated when manhood is equated with dominance over women, the abuse of alcohol and when the belief that men must be independent and not seek help exists.

"We demand an action plan to address violence, and call on men, church and traditional leaders to take a stand against violence against women.

"None of this can happen while corruption thrives, because legitimate programmes suffer."

LIVE: Zuma 'a wounded tiger, unleashed by its handlers' - Save SA

'We cannot be silent'

Neliswa Nkwali of the TAC said South Africans could not be silent when the health system was in crisis.

"It's in crisis because of corruption, because Zuma wants to build more Nkandlas in South Africa. We can't be silent when four rape cases are reported each and every day in our country," Nkwali said.

"Because of corruption, there is no staff to deal with it at our centres. We are saying, down with Zuma, down."

Two young business partners from the Young African Innovators told the audience that South Africans from all income levels were "fed up".

They said they were still waiting, as young entrepreneurs, for the opportunities promised to them by the government.

A rendition of the national anthem was sung by Freshlyground's Zolani Mahola, as well as sketches from actor Daniel Richards from the acclaimed play "Pay Back The Curry".

MPs Willie Madisha and Mosiuoa Lekota were in attendance, as well as Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Narend Singh. Archbishop Thabo Mokoba was not able to attend.

Corruption

There was also a minute's silence for the tragic death of 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng.

Nomatter Ndebele spoke on the tragedy.

"Corruption does not happen in a vacuum. There are no treatments for corruption in this country," she said.

"It was ordinary people who looked away when naked people were housed in garages. It was ordinary people who strapped mentally ill people in a car, using their bed linen.

"It is people on the ground who ultimately get affected by the decisions."

She challenged South Africans not to be enablers of corruption, and to "choose the people who choose you".

Save SA MC Lawson Naidoo also read out a message from ANC struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, who said the current leaders needed to make way for a new group of leaders in the country.

Read more on:    save sa  |  politics  |  sona 2017

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