Seven quotes from Gordhan's mid-term budget speech


Nelson Mandela with Oliver Tambo

PARLIAMENT - Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, are three famous leaders Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan quoted during his midterm budget speech on Wednesday.

The minister who is currently facing charges of fraud due to his involvement in approving the early retirement and reappointment of former Sars official Ivan Pillay said while South Africa was facing a low economic growth it was also an opportunity.

The budget is, "Tabled at a time of uncertainty, but of hope, of caution, but of opportunity. It's up to us."

He quoted a number of famous leaders and former President Nelson Mandela. Below is a list of seven quotes he made during his speech.

1. Amilcar Cabral, African anti-colonial leader from Guinea-Bissau

Gordhan: As a nation it is as if we are at a crossroad, politically and economically. In Amilcar Cabral's words: "…one type of struggle we regard as fundamental…(is) the struggle against our own weaknesses… Whatever difficulties the enemy may create, the aforementioned is the most difficult struggle for the present and the future of our people …" _

"We must look frankly at ourselves, and ask what is working for us and what is not, and what needs to change," said the minister.

2. Martin Luther King Jr., African-American civil rights movement leader

Gordhan: The medium term budget speech tells a story of an economy in difficulties but not in decline, of a society that is intolerably unequal but is making progress in addressing its legacy of fragmented communities and discriminatory practices, of a government committed to promoting inclusive growth within a sustainable fiscal framework.

As Martin Luther King said: "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

3. Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General

Gordhan: As Kofi Annan wrote in the foreword to the 2003 United National Convention Against Corruption:
"In promoting development and making the world a better place for all, we are called upon to reaffirm the importance of core values such as honesty, respect for the rule of law, accountability and transparency."

4. Pope Francis, the 226h Pope of the Roman Catholic church

Gordhan: Progress towards equality is not assured.

In the words of Pope Francis: "Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities.

Inclusive growth depends on how these structures are changed.

Gordhan's speech concluded with the following three quotes.

5. Oliver Tambo, former president of the ANC during Apartehid

Gordhan: "As Oliver Tambo once said: 'We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity.'"

6. Pedi quote

Gordhan:  "Ditau tsa hloka seboka di shitwa ke nare e hlotsa." (Lions that fail to work as a team will struggle to bring down even a limping buffalo.)

7. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

Gordhan: Adapting Nelson Mandela's enduring words:
…With freedom come responsibilities,
…We dare not linger, for our long walk is not ended.