Unity is a precondition for the success of all our efforts to build a better world – Ace Magashule

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Closing remarks by the ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule during the closing of the BRICS political parties plus dialogue held in Tshwane.

Comrades and compatriots, again it is our greatest honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to make some closing remarks to this historically important gathering of the BRICS plus political parties. We count on the success of this dialogue for the victories of our future struggles for the liberation of humanity.

In our closing felicitations, we again borrow the profound words of wisdom from our late President of the ANC, and the recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, Laureate Chief Albert Mvumbi Luthuli when he said:

“Many years ago in 1913, when the first significance of being landless pawns began to dawn, we sang a folk song;
Sikho siphi thina maAfrica
Sikho siphi thina maAfrica
Siuo zula, sizule, sizule
Size Sikhone phina
Sakubona sakubaletha maAfrica
Siuo zula, sizule, sizule
iNgisi ngala, iBunu ngala, iJalimani ngala, iJalimani ngala
Siuo zula, sizule, sizule
Size sishone phina
Sakubona sakubaletha maAfrica”

Translation:
“Where are we Africans
We seem to be nowhere
We shall wonder, and wonder, and wonder
Behold people of Africa
What a burden we bear
We shall wonder, and wonder and wonder
The Englishmen this side
The Afrikaner this side
The Germans this side
The Germans this side
We shall wonder, and wonder and wonder
How shall we go
Behold people of Africa
What a burden we bear

This is the question we have been trying to resolve up to this day and age after a long history of forced removals of the African people from the arable land by the racist white South African colonial regime. A regime which relegated the indigenous people of this country into pariahs in the land of their birth.

The successful resolution of land reform, and especially the expropriation of land without compensation that the ANC is committed to, will go a long way in addressing inequalities bedevilling our society, and therefore consolidate a firm foundation for economic prosperity.

Some of the magnificent and successful stories of the BRICS countries on agrarian revolution is a testimony to the strategic objectives we want to achieve.

Our guiding historic document the Freedom Charter says the following:

“The people shall share in the country wealth. The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all South Africans, shall be restored to the people. All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose to manufacture and enter all trade, crafts and professions”.

The profound message from our Freedom Charter is about the agrarian revolution which necessarily is a foundation of all industries. The agrarian revolution was the beginning of our modern day society.

We have said during the opening of this important dialogue that the industrial revolution was an advanced stage of the agrarian revolution, information technology is the advanced stage of the industrial revolution, and now artificial intelligence is the advanced stage of the information and technological revolution.

This is the very same notion of the scientific formulation that the new does not necessarily obliterate the old. The new will always develop from the womb of the old and use the material of the old to emerge and to survive.

This is a giant leap from quantity into quality which is one of the fulfilling laws of the change of the categories of dialects. The advancement of human society through its various stages of development is in itself a scientific process.

As the BRICS community of nations, we choose to cooperate with one another rather than to engage in confrontation. We strive for peace and friendship, to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiations and not by war.

Our understanding of globalization is that it is a social process and not a natural phenomenon. Therefore in this process of globalization, we are actors and participants in the shaping or the reshaping, of a social phenomenon.

We can therefore not be dictated to by one actor in this dominant hostile realities of the world of capitalism. This is where people to people relations become critical as an instrument of nation building and formation.

BRICS must rise to the occasion and allow popular participation by all sectors in the process of transformation. A new dimension that will make BRICS a powerful power block in global socio-economic relations.

This participation stands on the foundations of popular mobilization of our women and youth for the transformation of society. We need multilateral fora imbued with gender perspectives and youth empowerment.

The late President of the Republic of Mozambique Cde Samora Machel said:

“The liberation of women is not an act of charity. It is not the result of a humanitarian or compassionate position. It is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee of its continuity, and a condition for its success.

The revolution’s main objective is to destroy the system of the exploitation of man by man, the construction of a new society which will free human potentialities and reconcile work and nature. It is within this context that the question of women’s liberation arises”.

Each country has got its competitive advantages obviously at different levels of advancement. It is important that the world of multilateral fora should assist each and every country to realize its potential.

In the interconnected global economy everyone needs each other, as it is not possible for a country to produce all that they need. The powerful and the weak need each other, and countries with surpluses and countries with deficits need each other for balanced trade.

In the volatile global market, the weak must be assisted to enhance their productive capacity, and not to disappear from the world global market. It cannot be that only a few of the developing counties have experienced substantial economic growth whilst most are in dire financial difficulties which are beyond the margins of survival.

We have over the last three days had a good exchange on the content of our theme;

“Towards building a common Agenda, Inclusive Development and Multilateralism in the 4th Industrial Revolution”

We have done so by addressing pertinent questions like what is our position about multilateralism and its future in the light of the rising wave of the chauvinistic irresponsible nationalism, what are our thoughts about inclusive socio-economic development and ways of achieving it?, what is our understanding of and response to the 4th Industrial Revolution?, and what is the position of BRICS community of nations on matters of international security?

These questions are posed in the context of a growing realization that the BRICS platform has a strategic role in order to advance our shared agenda in international affairs. This role is imbued with the high hopes of the people on the periphery of the failed system of global capitalism that BRICS will champion the high politics of global reforms with meaningful effects in the lives of ordinary people, especially in the global south.

These expectations enjoin us as representatives of the people of the BRICS plus political parties to clarity as to what we will do to ensure that BRICS becomes truly the champion of transformation at global, regional and national level that will impact positively on the lives of the people for whom globalization has meant more poverty, greater inequality, higher unemployment and deeper underdevelopment.

This is a task we have to accomplish with the understanding that it is not our own choosing, but the product of particular of historical conditions that we find ourselves in. Our history with imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and now neo-liberal globalization enjoins us to respond in a particular way to challenges and demands of multilateralism, inclusive development, peace and security and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

In the past three days, we have reaffirmed our commitment to a rule-based international system of governance against attempts to undermine and weaken it. We have said that international agreements arrived at must be honoured because the rule of law is paramount for international stability.

The reform of institutions of global governance, from the United Nations Security Council to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, is long overdue and if achieved will galvanize justice and fairness in the way global governance is managed.

For us shared global prosperity means that the international system must be geared towards achieving inclusive growth and development. It must be an inclusive process by all of the world nation states.

We call for an end to protectionism and other measures undertaken by dominant economic powers, because they distort international trade and investment, thus undermining efforts to achieve economic sovereignty for all nations. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers that are returning fast in the global economy is a matter of deep concern. We reject the idea that countries must pursue their self-interests at the cost and to the detriment of our shared prosperity. No country will make itself great by causing others to diminish.

We emerge out of this dialogue more vigorous to build on party-to-party relations, and to ensure that we consolidate unity and cohesion amongst the BRICS nation-states and all other progressive forces of the world. Unity is a precondition for the success of all our efforts to build a better world for all.

We are determined with our struggle to make the world a better place. It is therefore in the best interest of the generations of mankind to come, that we work together to ensure we fulfil this dream we desire as the world and the people.

We wish you all good luck and hope that you shall arrive back at your different destinations of the world, safe and determined more than ever before to continue with our struggle for the emancipation of all humanity. Together we are united in a common struggle for our future, we shall triumph over adversity.

We thank all of you,

Thanks very much.