Remarks by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Aryan Benevolent Home Fundraising Gala Dinner, Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC, Durban

Programme Director,

Council and Leadership of the Aryan Benevolent Home,

Esteemed Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to address this Aryan Benevolent Home fundraising gala dinner.

The Aryan Benevolent Home is a home of hope and compassion.

It is a warm home that connects South Africans through caring and selflessness.

It is a generous home, where the welfare of one is the welfare of all.

Through the work you are doing, you are helping to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.

Government cannot provide social goods and public services without the helping hand of organisations such as ABH.

We cannot do without the skills, experience and institutional capacity you have built in your 95 years of existence.

Non-governmental organisations such as yours are an integral part of the vision of the National Development Plan to build an activist and people-driven democracy.

No government can adequately and genuinely serve the needs of the people without collaborating with organisations that are closest to them.

You are an indispensable instrument for extending the reach of the state.

You are an integral part of ensuring that care and services reach all our people.

We cannot make good laws or develop effective plans if we do not interact with those who have an intimate understanding of what our people need.

We rely on you to help us bring together the skills and goodwill that you can.

If we are to effectively address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, then we need to mobilise all sections of society, all communities and all institutions.

We therefore encourage civil society to participate in the process of governance and to hold government accountable to its commitments.

Those who are true leaders ought to know that none can govern without the goodwill and support of institutions that represent the people.

We expect community based organisation to uncover and arrest any misdeeds that would harm community development.

We want to be held accountable to our promises and mandates.

When we stray, we want to be dragged by the ear to listen to the needs of our people and be set on the correct path.

The confidence we have in community-based organisations is informed in great measure by the role you played during the dark days of apartheid.

You provided shelter and nourishment to those who were deprived and marginalised by an oppressive regime.

Today, it is organisations like ABH that help us to bring forth the hidden talents of young people, women and other marginalised groups.

It is through organisations such as ABH that we are able to build strong schools, families and communities.

They help drive economic development.

They help poor people fight for their rights.

They support law enforcement to fight crime and domestic abuse.

They provide a free space for children to play and grow.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We must commend and support ABH for the indispensable role they play in providing security and hope to the most vulnerable in our society.

We thank them for reminding us that domestic abuse is a cancer that continues to eat away at the moral fabric of our society.

Thank you for providing care to the frail, disabled, elderly and mentally ill.

For taking a stand against drug abuse.

For standing up for those who have lost their economic and financial balance.

For being the voice of those who cannot shout to demand that their rights be respected.

For listening to the cries of the poor and those who have lost faith in a brighter tomorrow.

We thank you specifically for taking a stand against domestic violence.

Domestic abuse is a deplorable crime that hides behind the economic fragility of many women.

It knows no race, class or social standing.

It is entrenched through a patriarchy and a cultural chauvinism that subordinates the role of women in family and community life.

I commend ABH for being an organisation that is attuned to the demands of time by continuously renewing itself.

I am happy to see that it is not a complacent organisation.

It is an organisation that is driven by improving service delivery and upholding good governance.

I am encouraged to see that you have a constant desire to do more with less.

Your programmes seek to use donor funding productively and responsibly.

This is evident in your desire to produce your own food through agricultural projects.

The training and re-skilling you provide your staff is also an indication of your commitment, through empowering people, to efficient, professional service.

Many of us may sometimes be oblivious to the amount of work you put in, but your record speaks to the heart and hopefully to the purse.

It is clear that ABH cannot continue its civic duty without the financial and moral support of all those gathered here this evening.

I thank you most sincerely for your outstanding work and ask that we all do our best to help you achieve your mission to be of service to others and to be of service to society.

I thank you.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa