SPEECH BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR ZINTLE PETER AT THE HANDING OVER OF BLANKETS TO EASTERN CAPE NEEDY BY THE EDGARS GROUP AT THE BILLY FRANCIS HALL ON 23 JUNE 2006.
This is a wonderful day for our City and our Province. It symbolizes the coming together of important roleplayers that help define our society as a caring society and enables me to stick to the motto of my reign as Executive Mayor of Buffalo City.
As you may know, my motto is: Governing with Grace in an Age of Hope.
This is indeed a graceful act by Edgars Stores to donate 5 000 blankets to the needy people of the Eastern Cape. Indeed a warm gesture that warms our hearts and certainly gives us hope for the future.
Without wanting to sound too commercial, it must be accepted that Edgars is a household name in South Africa.
Acts such as the donation of R375 000 worth of blankets does not only shut out the cold for our needy. It drills the name of the company into people's minds and makes the company qualify as a caring corporate citizen.
The capitalist system is sometimes castigated as the chase for money. Our people now see the other side of the system where a company with a conscience makes corporate social investment that contributes to the well being of society.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Edgars on behalf of the City and to say to you that one of the most exciting offers I‘ve recently received is your request for a private-public sector partnership.
It is my firm belief that this goes to the heart of creating a caring and functional society.
My office will be in touch with you to see how we take it forward because it is virtually government policy to seek out partnerships as the solution to the problems we inherited.
The infrastructure problems costing billions and billions of rands cannot be overcome by government alone. We need those partnerships and I recall that at the dawn of democracy, they spoke of the local government arena alone needing more than R50 billion worth of infrastructure.
Partnerships are the flavour of the day as we prepare for the 2010 Soccer World Cup which will bring 300 000 visitors to our shores and inject billions and billions of rands into our economy.
We must talk about how we structure our partnership to exploit the developmental dimension of the World Cup as well as beef up the type of partnership we are witnessing here today to see to our immediate needs.
We understand that the private sector does not comprise charitable organizations. You are in business to do business and we as a local authority must create a climate for business to be able to do business.
As a local authority we pledge to create that climate and to work with you in enabling our society to cohere as a stable entity so that our City may be a good place to live, work and worship.
I also note your use of the Red Cross to distribute these blankets. The organisation's credibility is never questioned and we know that they will do a good job in ensuring that the recipients of these blankets are the most deserving people. It is also good to know you have invited the NGOs and the CBOs who are the real foot soldiers in the battle of the needy and can tell us about the real needs of communities.
It is also good to see you have not left out our councillors who represent their wards and are perhaps the best placed to carry our messages to the people.
Lastly I must thank you for choosing Buffalo City to do the donation to the Eastern Cape where you have donated over 10 000 blankets over the past three years.
Our City is a City in transition where democratic values are being cherished and our development drive is taking place successfully.
Just a few weeks ago, I turned the sod on a R321 million shopping centre in Mdantsane and one of the first questions we are asked are the likes of Edgars among the anchor outlets.
We know a lot of research is being carried out when you make your presence felt and we feel confident that you will find Buffalo City has great prospects for the future.
We ask you to have faith in our City because we believe we have a great future in this consumer led economic boom we are experiencing.
We ask that we hold hands as we go into the future and we are sure that we all will have a brighter tomorrow.
I thank you.
23 June 2006.