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By Hans Ittmann*
I have a dream that we in South Africa conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and end all conflicts. We must not allow our protests to degenerate into destroying property, burning of buildings and use of physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with the force of ubuntu. The freedom gained in 1994 must be revitalized by the realization that there is only one destiny for all in this country. The destiny of the individual is tied up with our nations’ destiny. We need to rejuvenate this freedom by breaking the shackles of “state capture”. We cannot walk alone; we need to walk as one.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead and walk to real freedom for all. We can never turn back to the past. We can never be satisfied as long as our education system is non-functional, that there aren’t equal education opportunities for the poorest of the poor and that the quality of our education system is not world class. We can never be satisfied as long as there are millions unemployed, sitting at street corners across the country hoping that someone will stop and offer them some kind of job to earn a few rand. We cannot be satisfied with the lack of service delivery and the many dysfunctional state organs. We can never be satisfied as long as thousands of our children and youth see no future for themselves in this beautiful country. We can never be satisfied as long as racism prevails, no we must cherish the growing experience of many of us at the marvel of the growing friendship amongst all in our diversity. We cannot be satisfied as long as corruption is rife in this country and only lip service is paid to the complete eradication of corruption. We can never be satisfied with lawlessness that prevails in so many spheres of our society. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until sustainable economic growth is reached enhancing the quality of life for all.
I am not unmindful of the continued suffering, trials and tribulations of so many of our citizens. Some have not experienced the benefits of a democratic society. Many are still battered by unemployment, by the lack of food and basic services. There is hope and we need to maintain the faith that somehow this situation can, must and will be changed. Let us not allow ourselves to fall into the valley of despair.
Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the South African dream. The dream we experienced as the rainbow nation in 1994 and again during the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the Soccer World Cup in 2010.
I have a dream that one day the call will sound for this nation to come together and rise up, standing together, to live and strive for real freedom calling out that “God bless us, protect us, protect our nation, our nation South Africa!”.
I have a dream that one day the sons and daughters of farm workers, and the sons and daughters of farm owners will join together at universities sharing the need to gain knowledge. I have a dream that the people of South Africa will accept transformation as a reality and through this strive towards one goal to make our beloved country great!
I have a dream that one day the entire country will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice for all within a non-racist society. That the rule of law will prevail with no corruption, quality education will be entrenched in our education system, and our economy will grow because of the sweat and efforts of thousands of hard-working individuals from all creeds of society, that there will be work for all, poverty will have been eradicated and this nation will achieve is full potential. I have a dream that we will be proud of all our towns and cities that have all the necessary services, working properly, with quality infrastructure, maintained regularly and cleaned daily.
I have a dream that our children and their children will one day live in a nation where they will only be judged by the content of their character. I have a dream that we all will be able to join hands as brothers and sisters of this rainbow nation uncompromising in our determination to achieve fairness and compassion.
I have a dream.
- Hans Ittman retired in 2011 after 38 years at the CSIR as the Executive Director of Built Environment. He’s knowledgeable about mathematical modelling, simulation and logistics and is still doing scientific research and has an uncompromising passion for this wonderful country.
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