KwaZulu-Natal Premier Mr Sihle Zikalala Welcomes The United Nations Delegation To KZN

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Mr Sihle Zikalala Welcomes The United Nations Delegation To KZN

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Mr Sihle Zikalala Welcomes The United Nations Delegation To KZN

REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL MR SIHLE ZIKALALA WELCOMING THE UNITED NATIONS DELEGATION TO KZN 29 JULY 2021

Your Excellency, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Madame Nardos Bekele-Thomas

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen

INTRODUCTION

It gives us great pleasure to welcome the United Nations delegation, led by your Excellency, whose mission is to help us restore calm, peace and prosperity in our province.

As the Province of KwaZulu-Natal we have always enjoyed very good and strategic relations with the United Nations.

A few years ago our province and the UN, signed what was termed as a United Nations Strategic Framework, which was intended to assist the province in achieving the millennium development goals.

Under this arrangement we were successful in turning the tide in a number of challenges, most notable the HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted diseases and TB.

We are once again confident that your presence here, your Excellency, will once again reenergise our efforts as we rebuild and transform our province for the better.

Your interventions will help us lift the millions out of poverty. We regard the UN as our key ally in job creation and stimulating economic growth.

REFLECTIONS ON RECENT UNREST IN KZN

▪ Our province has recently been engulfed by unprecedented mayhem, destruction and devastation of lives, livelihood and property.

▪ The devastation and mayhem resulted from the widespread looting and destruction of retail shops and warehouses.

▪ This untold desolation hit a very raw nerve as it gripped us while we were battling the crippling effects of COVID-19, which is devouring our economy in a large scale.

▪ The civil unrests which cast doom and gloom in our province in the past weeks, have reminded us that we are a province of passionate and resilient people. Eve in the most difficult of moments we are able to overcomes and conquer difficulty even when odds are stacked against our people.

▪ During the mid-80s and early 90s, just before the dawn of democracy in our country, our province was engulfed by violence that undermined kinships and relationships as it tore families apart.

▪ Scores of people lost their lives, livestock and livelihoods, leading to our province being referred to as the killing fields of KwaZulu-Natal.

▪ Despair lingered and hovered in the air as many people lost hope of returning to normal life.

LIKE A PHOENIX WE WILL RISE

▪ Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, our province produced leaders who came to the fore and condemned the violence, thus forging peace and unity among people who were once sworn enemies.

▪ The leaders who emerged during that violent era preached the message of peace, racial and religious unity.

▪ These peace ambassadors turned our killing fields into healing fields that produced fruits of unity, political tolerance and tranquillity.

▪ For their tireless efforts in achieving political peace and unity in the province, our peace ambassadors were honoured with peace awards.

▪ Our province is always a beacon of hope which always attract the attention of the world leaders who came to our shores to learn about peace and reconciliation.

▪ We are hopeful that we are going to weather the current storms of racial tension which emerged during the protests which were marked by the plundering of retail shops and warehouses.

▪ We are full of hope that our province will turn these stumbling blocks into stepping stones that will lead us to economic recovery and racial reconciliation.

▪ KwaZulu-Natal is home of resilient people who are passionate and hardworking. We have worked hard for the economic prosperity and political unity of our province and we will not allow it to go up in smoke in one fell swoop.

▪ Like our forebears, we are determined to turn the current challenges into opportunities which will lead to economic recovery and turnaround of our province.

▪ Ladies and gentlemen, we applaud and appreciate the help the United Nations delegation is offering to our province so that it rises from the ashes of turmoil and turbulence.

▪ Your help come as we are busy engaging with various communities in an effort to restore calm and economic recovery in our province.

▪ It is a mammoth task to embark on it alone, hence we commend and welcome your helping hand.

EFFORTS CONTINUE TO BUILD PEACE

▪ As a province, we have worked hard to bring about peace, stability and keep the economy of the province growing in order to create jobs.

▪ Working with our international economic partners, we have combined to unveil projects and programmes that provide much needed economic and employment opportunities to the citizens of the province.

▪ We are a province of investments and innovation and boosting of exports demanded globally.

▪ We have a vision where KwaZulu-Natal is a gateway to Africa and the world. We are a vital economic link that unites different countries through our vibrant ports as well as the N2 and N3 highways.

▪ We are working hard in creating KwaZulu-Natal to be a province of choice to live, work and do business in. That is why we always encourage the citizens of the province to join us in growing KwaZulu-Natal together to make it an economic force to be reckoned with globally.

▪ We are positive that our interventions and engagements with our people will yield fruitful results which will lead to the development and prosperity of our province.

▪ Our province is alive with endless tourism and cultural opportunities. We are province of diverse religions and we do our best to forge religious tolerance and understanding among different faith groups by continuously hosting inter-faith symposiums.

▪ We will overcome the current challenges and look to the future with positivity.

▪ Like the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan which were razed to the ground by atomic bombs, we are positive that we are going to rise from the current mayhem and pandemonium engulfing our province.

▪ Like Rwanda which rose from the devastating effects of ethnic massacre, to become an African economic powerhouse, we are positive that we will transcend and overcome the current problems.

▪ Through unity and resilience, we conquered and overcame the political bloodbath of the 80s and 90s; nothing will stop us from rising above the current crisis.

▪ KwaZulu-Natal will always be home for all – irrespective of race, colour, creed or religion - even in these challenging times.

▪ In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, we once again welcome the Unite Nation’s delegation to our province when we needed them most. True friends are those who lend their helping hands in times of trouble and turbulence.

▪ We are very positive that our contribution and interventions – coupled with yours – will lead to much needed economic recovery and revival in our beloved province.

We are hopeful that it is going to iron out differences, heal divisions and forge unity as well as racial tolerance.

I thank you!

 

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