Vote of Thanks by Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan at the 2nd Mkhaya Migrants Awards Ceremony: Monte Casino

Thank you Programme Directors,

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the South African government and in particular the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and most heartfelt gratitude to all the people who burned the candle on both ends to make this ground-breaking initiative possible.

Honourable Minister Gigaba, thank you for the vision. Our sponsors, Telkom as well as Gemalto, your sense of corporate social responsibility is inspirational. The event organisers as well as the DHA support team, we salute your commitment to rise to the challenge given the constraints you had to deal with. Thank you SABC for the live coverage that I trust will help spread the word about the social values that the Mkhaya Migrants Awards are all about right across Africa.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the nominees for allowing us to co-opt them into our noble cause, it is your commitment to the creation of a just society that gave birth to these awards; we truly salute your selflessness. To the people who took their time to participate in the nomination process, you are an integral part of this; the nominees get to participate at your behest so you are the voice of the communities that are impacted upon by the efforts of these luminaries.

Our adjudication panel, your task could not have been easy considering the quality of nominees, but you did a sterling job choosing the winners as you did. Please rise as I call your names out for acknowledgement.

Mr Moraka Raks Sekhoa

Mr Richard Mwamba

Ms Ntsako Mbhokota

Ms Thandi Moyo

Mr Victor Kgomoeswana

Mr Richard Ota

Mr Bareng Batho Kortjas aka BBK

Mr Williams Okpara

Mr Clayson Monyela

Prof Zodwa Motsa

Prof Farid Esack

Mr Abram Bram Hanekom

This second edition of the Mkhaya Migrants Awards has given a reason to believe and the confidence that we can only grow from strength to strength, thanks to all the partners that came through to make sure that our dream is sustained. We trust that the word is now irrevocably out, that the Mkhaya Migrant Awards are now part of our annual calendar, and to help us grow this opportunity, we exhort business and communities to continue their invaluable support and show of goodwill.

Like Harvey Mackay once said: None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone's help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.

So once again to all of you, MERCI BOUCOU, OBRIGADO, SIYABONGA, RE A LEBOGA Enjoy the rest of your night, and those who will be driving, please be safe!

Thank you.

Source: Department of Home Affairs