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Mbeki`s call to all South Africans

8 March 2004

ANC President Thabo Mbeki today (8 March 2004) personally delivered a letter he has written to residents in areas of Pretoria. In the letter, Mbeki calls on all South Africans, regardless of race or background, to join the ANC in building a people`s contract to create work and fight poverty.

Starting in the suburb of Eersterus, Mbeki went from door-to-door in parts of Pretoria delivering the letter. Copies of the letter, which are printed in Afrikaans and English, will be distributed in suburbs across the country.

The letter notes that all South Africans have reason to celebrate the first decade of democracy, and all have a stake in working together to overcome the challenges facing the country.

Below is the full text of the letter:


Our next general elections will take place in April. The ANC, will contest both the national and all the provincial elections. These elections will take place two weeks before our country and the rest of the world celebrates our First Decade of Democracy.

It is therefore inevitable that the forthcoming elections will focus on two questions. The first is - what has our country achieved over the last ten years? The second is - what should we accomplish during the Second Decade of Democracy?

Our individual experiences make it easier to answer the first question. We know that while some expected that our country would experience deadly racial conflict, this has not happened. Instead, black and white South Africans are working together to build the new South Africa.

Today South Africa is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, free from the terrorism and violence that have unfortunately affected many other countries.

Those who expected that our economy would decline and sink into crisis have been proved wrong. Today, our economy is one of the best managed in the world. Business people tell us that they have never done better than in the last ten years.

Not very long ago, it was difficult for many South Africans to travel outside our country.

Our passport was not very welcome in many countries. Today, all our people travel everywhere and are warmly received in all countries.

The ANC is proud of the role it played to bring about these achievements, in the interests of all our people. Indeed, there is no other political party in our country that can honestly claim to have made any significant contribution to these positive outcomes.

Nevertheless, we are aware that we face many challenges as we progress into our Second Decade of Democracy. Many of our people are still unemployed and poor. Too many still live in shacks. The levels of criminal violence remain too high. More work has to be done to improve the health of all our people. This includes AIDS sufferers.

We must ensure that no South African experiences a reduction in their standard of living. We must achieve a winning position in an increasingly competitive world.

The ANC has dedicated the Second Decade of Democracy to solving these and other problems. We have demonstrated our ability to improve the lives of all South Africans. Together we must build on our achievements to create a winning nation.

For this reason, we have urged that all South Africans should voluntarily enter into A People`s Contract to Create Work and Fight Poverty. I am confident that you will accept this challenge for all of us to work together to provide a better life for all.

Yours sincerely,
Thabo Mbeki

More information:
Smuts Ngonyama 082 569 2061

Issued by:
African National Congress