Reconciliation must remain our priority, in honour of Molly Blackburn

By Athol Trollip, DA Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay:

This extract is from a speech delivered by DA NMB Mayoral Candidate, Athol Trollip, at the Lillian Ngoyi Hall, Kwazakhele, in memory of Molly Blackburn on the Day of Reconciliation.

On this Day of Reconciliation, we are gathered here to remember the heroes of our fight against apartheid and to reaffirm the DA’s commitment to social cohesion.

Molly Blackburn spent her life fighting the cruel system of apartheid and as a representative of the DA’s founding movement, the Progressive Federal Party, we thank Mama Blackburn for her tireless struggle.

South Africa can never become a truly reconciled nation without a deliberate focus on social cohesion, where all of us observe our painful past while embracing a new vision for the future. This also requires that each one of us must be seen to be building bridges and reaching out to our brothers and sisters.

We need unwavering commitment to redress from every South African; a deliberate and conscious effort to work together to right the wrongs of our past. We have to do this together, without exception, otherwise we will struggle to shake off the shackles of our dark history.

This is a commitment that is not easily realised while individuals and political organisations seek to divide us. It is easy to sow division. It is much harder to unite. I choose unity, because it is only through unity that we can realise our full potential as a reconciled nation.

Jacob Zuma and the ANC have become an insult to social cohesion and democracy. Under Zuma, the ANC has taken this country backwards with more corruption, more scandals and less service delivery than ever before.

While the President turns his back on the economy through reckless and misguided cabinet reshuffles, millions of South Africans remain out of work.

Here at home in Nelson Mandela Bay, we have come last for far too long. The ANC continues to put itself first, before the people, by protecting corrupt officials and breaking service delivery promises.

President Zuma’s assertion that the ANC comes before South Africa is playing out perfectly to plan in this Metro and the most vulnerable residents continue to suffer as a result.

When I sit back and observe our political landscape, it becomes more and more clear to me that the party I represent is the only party truly interested in respecting the legacy left behind by Nelson Mandela.

Like Mandela’s, Molly Blackburn’s commitment to reconciliation guides me in the face of these ongoing divisive tactics. I will remain committed to true freedom, fairness and opportunity for all, just as Molly Blackburn was.

I will honour the legacy of a great woman by working to encourage reconciliation, improve service delivery, fight corruption and create jobs