Reconciliation Day: Our differences must bring us together, not divide us

Our country’s Day of Reconciliation affords us all an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made in our journey towards a united, non-racial and prosperous nation 23 years after the dawn of democracy. As we take stock of where we are as a country, we must recommit to work together in building a society in which our differences do not tear us apart, but instead bring us together as South Africans.
The vision for a reconciled South Africa is rooted in the text of our Constitution, calling on us all to “Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”. It is the DA’s mission to do all we can to make this vision a reality.
On this Reconciliation Day, we must be resolute in our fight against racism, against injustice, and against inequality. Part of building a reconciled nation rests on ensuring that we bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, the insiders and the outsiders, and that we root out corruption which steals from our people.
We acknowledge the material inequalities still prevalent in society, which threaten to derail our reconciliation project. That is why where we are in government, the DA is committed to fixing the wrongs of the past by creating opportunities for all, levelling the playing field, rooting out corruption, and delivering quality services to all – especially the poor.
We must call out those who relentlessly point out our differences in a sinister attempt to drive our people apart. We will not stand back while a small minority seek to divide us for political and personal gain. The majority of South Africans are committed to the project of reconciliation, and we will continuously work to ensure that our country’s motto of Unity in Diversity becomes a reality, as we build a non-sexist, non-racial and united country for all people.
It is for this reason a new coalition is needed based on a set of shared values. We need political parties to build a new coalition in 2019 based on the values of constitutionalism, non racialism, the rule of law, and zero tolerance for corruption. It is in that we find our common mission and identity – that South Africa should belong to all who call it home.
On behalf of the DA, I would like wish all South Africans a reflective Day of Reconciliation, where we recommit ourselves to building unity for a better South Africa.