SUBJECT FOR DISCUSSION:ENTRENCHING FORMER PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA’S LEGACY OF DEDICATED AND SELFLESS SERVICE TO BUILDING A SOCIALLY INCLUSIVE SOCIETY
ADDRESS BY Mr BH Holomisa MP in the National Assembly
Hon Speaker and members
This debate reminds me of a haunting question that Tata Mandela asked me in the early nineties and the question was … “Bantu what happened to all the birds that used to inhabit this place?”.
This question would have been occasioned by an acknowledgement that even in the most remote rural areas, the morning enjoyment of the tranquillity of nature, the harmonious sounds of the birds, their beautiful singing has long gone.
Poverty, against which Mandela dedicated the entirety of his life fighting to defeat, has forced people to continue resorting to trees, as wood to make fire to cook and keep warm, resulting to the destruction of the natural forests.
Today we are confronted by a life threatening global warming, the lack of production of food through home based gardening, which cause hunger, unhealthy environment and unsustainable livelihood.
Indeed with Nelson Mandela having fought and served to build a socially inclusive and sustainable global society, the 67 minutes we contribute to this good cause would seem appropriate way to honour the legacy of this icon of our time, but more can still be done for 365 days.
In this regard, I propose that we consider an International Project to restore the tranquillity of the nature. This means launching global re-afforestation programmes together with food production gardens in every household in the world. To be conclusive on this proposal, it may be termed a Nelson Mandela Forests and Gardens in which case, the nation that gave birth to this great patriot, South Africa, may lead the international community by starting with its own chapter.
In our country, this initiative will go a long way to address historical consequences of an environment that was deliberately designed along the racial lines whilst creating more opportunities for jobs.
Equally important, is that such an approach will also instil a culture of participation and ownership which our Constitutional Democracy requires.
I thank you.