Address by Mr Ntopile Kganyago, MP (UDM Deputy-President) in the Parliamentary Debate: Africa Day (6 June 2013)

Mister Speaker and Honourable Members,

We owe a big debt of gratitude for the freedoms we now enjoy to the leaders and African Heads of States, who met in Addis Ababa in May 1963 to develop a Master Plan to liberate the peoples of Africa from the brutal rule of the colonial regime.

This 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU) provides us an opportunity to reflect on the progress made thus far.

There are today a growing number of stable democracies in Africa. African people in many parts of the Continent are able to elect governments of their choice.

Economic performance and regional integration in many parts of the Continent are progressing, albeit at a slow space. These two are important if we are to untangle the peoples of Africa from the yoke of poverty and underdevelopment.

Despite these achievements, more than a quarter of the African population is poor, uneducated, while thousands die every day from curable diseases. After many years of independence Africa remains plagued with civil wars, coups and countercoups.

Africa has more dictators than any Continent in the world.

We need bold leadership to rid the Continent of these problems, as they make the task of renewing Africa impossible to accomplish.

Mister Speaker,

South Africa has lost the influence it once had on the African continent and its leaders. Nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that the South African government no longer plays a leading role on continental issues.

The Central African Republic (CAR) fiasco and South Africa’s embarrassing retreat from that country recently have made matters worse.

This leadership void has created a breeding ground for the re-colonisation of Africa.

The time has come for South Africa to recapture the lost ground as the continental leader.

I thank you.