Let's unite on Mandela Day – John Steenhuisen

DA leader says we must work together to feed, comfort and protect our fellow citizens

Let's unite on Mandela Day to feed, comfort and protect our fellow citizens

16 July 2021

In the wake of the devastation unleashed upon our country over the past week, millions of South Africans have been left fearful, hungry, and stranded in various parts of the country.

While our cities and towns have been left in tatters, and our food, fuel, and medical supplies have been severely disrupted, it is time for our country to unite and join hands to bring relief where it is needed.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on each and every South African to breathe life back into the dream of the late Nelson Mandela as we commemorate his birthday on Sunday 18 July. There is no better occasion for us to show the world who we as South Africans truly are: a nation forged from the strength, resilience, and kindness of her people.

If there is one lesson we can take from Nelson Mandela during this difficult time, it is that we remain a country and a people more united in our diversity than divided by our difference. Now is the time for us to feed and comfort each other as we rebuild the country we so love and the land we are so lucky to call home.

I will be returning to KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg to continue my relief efforts in affected communities and meet with residents to help them piece back their lives. I call on every other party leader to do the same and provide assistance wherever possible to show united leadership and set the example for those who look to us for direction.

There will be a time to hold those responsible to account, but for now our primary concern must be keeping our communities safe, feeding our children, and sowing the seeds for recovery and growth. Each and every resource must be directed to this initiative in the coming days and weeks as we rebuild our lives and communities. We can then embark on the process of addressing the root cause of this problem to ensure that this violence, unrest, and looting never takes root in our country ever again.

Mandela Day represents everything that is good and strong about South Africa.

Let us use it to remind ourselves who we truly are and show the world how far we have come and how much farther we intend to go as a nation built in the image of our beloved Madiba. We owe it to him, but more importantly, we owe it to ourselves.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 16 July 2021