Sport, Arts and Culture
Citizens who pass through the doors of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will always be reminded of the fundamental principles upon which South Africa is founded on.
This was according to President Cyril Ramaphosa who unveiled the inscriptions depicting the values of the Constitution in Parliament, Cape Town recently.
Freedom and democracy, equality and diversity, unity and reconciliation are among several values that were written in bold letters on the steps of the NCOP as the President unveiled them.
He said public representatives need to ask themselves whether they contribute, in their own way, to forging a society characterised by equality and diversity, unity and reconciliation.
“Are we building institutions that promote openness and participation, oversight and accountability?
“Are we pursuing a national programme that advances reconstruction and development?
“These are the principles for which many in our country fought and for which many lost their lives.
“The values that underwrite these inscriptions are reflected in the Freedom Charter, adopted in Kliptown in 1955,” he said.
The President said the values contained in the inscriptions have universal appeal in that they are consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and find resonance with the rest of progressive humanity.
“These principles therefore not only bind us together as a nation, but they bind us to the peoples of the world. It is significant that these principles are being inscribed on the steps of Parliament as we celebrate 25 years of a free and democratic South Africa.”
The values contained in the inscriptions were best embodied by former President Nelson Mandela and Struggle icon Mama Albertina Sisulu, and they did so with consistency and integrity, said the President.
“They were fearless champions of equality, understanding that South Africa would never be free until the rights, opportunities and material conditions of its people would no longer be determined by their race.
“They understood the other ways in which inequality was manifested.”
President Ramaphosa also called on public representatives to campaign in a responsible manner as the country gets ready to hold its national and provincial elections on 8 May.
“I call on all of us as leaders and representatives of our people – as we embark on elections work and campaign for our different parties – to continue to observe these values and do or say nothing that will cause disunity among South Africans.
“Let us all campaign responsibly and do our part to ensure free, fair and credible elections,” he said.