Honourable Speaker, and Deputy Speaker
Judge President of the Eastern Cape and Members of the Judiciary Ministers and Deputy Ministers present among us
Members of the Executive Council Members of the Provincial Legislature
Members of National Parliament and delegates to the NCOP Leadership of the ANC, Alliance and other Political Parties
Veterans of our liberation struggle
Iikumkani zelizwe lakowethu
USihlalo Wendlu YeeNkosi neeNkosi zonke zephondo lethu Executive Mayors and Mayors
Leaders of Chapter 9 and 10 Institutions USihlalo we Moral Regeneration Movement
Vice Chancellors of our Higher Education Institutions Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps Leadership of our Security Services
Leaders of the Religious Fraternity, Business, Labour and Civil Society DG, HODs, MMs and CEOs of our State-Owned Enterprises
Manenekazi nani Manene
Kubantu bephondo lethu, abadala nabancinci, ndiyazibulisela ngalentsasa. Good morning. Goeie more aan u almal. Dumelang. Molweni.
Somlomo obekekileyo, abadala bathi emva kwesitshingitshane semvula, ayawutha amanzi, emva koko kumiliseleke ithemba. Xa ujonga imbali yephondo lethu sidlule kwizitshingitshane eziliqela , ingakumbi esengcinezelo nobandlululo. Saphumela ngapha kwazo ngenxa yegalelo loo nyana neentombi zeli phondo abazijula ijacu bazenza amadini okusiweza kuzo.
Kulo nyaka sikhumbula elinye lamagorhakazi asiweza kwezozitshingitshane zengcinezelo nobandlululo, uMama uCharlotte Maxeke. This year marks the 150th anniversary of her birth. She was a true Imbokodo, a leading voice against patriarchal injustices and all laws that were discriminatory to women. As we continue to engage in the struggle to defeat not only the present storm of our time, the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the scourge of gender-based violence, we draw inspiration from her courage and resilience.
Somlomo, siyalibona lona ilitha elikhanyisayo, neliyimbonakaliso yokuba akusekudala ngoku siphume kulo bhubhane weCovid-19. Kodwa simanxebanxeba. Eyonanto ibuhlungu esenzeyona le ntsholongwane ye Covid-19, yeyokusisubela imiphefumlo emininzi yabantu bephondo lethu. Ndime apha nje namhlanje kungosizi novelwano ukuvakalisa ukuba siphulukene nemiphefumlo yabemi bephondo lethu abayi 11 213. This virus has left behind heartaches and sorrow in many families and communities across the length and breadth of our province. It has left behind orphans, widows and widowers. Even in this august House, it has robbed us of our colleague and one of the most dedicated Members of the Legislature, Honourable Mncedisi Filtane.
In the words of our foremost national poet, SEK Mqhayi, which he shared in memory of the victims of the SS Mendi troopship which sank in the English Channel on the 21st of February 1917, ndifuna ukubopha onke amakhaya aphulukene nezihlobo nezalamane zawo, nditsho ndisithi:
Thuthuzelekani ngoko, zinkedama! Thuthuzelekani ngoko, bafazana!
Kuf’omnye kade mini kwakhiw’ omnye; Kukhonza mnye kade’ ze kuphil’ abanye; Ngala mazwi sithi, thuthuzelekani, Ngokwenjenje kwethu sithi, yakhekani.
Lithatheni eli qhalo labadala,
Kuba bathi: “Akuhlanga lungehlanga”.
Let us commit to keep the memories of all our fellow citizens who succumbed to Covid-19 in our hearts. Let us now observe a moment of silence in their honor.
Somlomo, iinzame sizenzile kwezi nyanga zilishumi elinanye siqubisana nale ntsholongwane. Today, I want to convey our special gratitude to the people of our province for playing their part in the fight against the pandemic. It is through your cooperation and sacrifices that we have managed to decrease the burden of the virus and achieved a recovery rate of over 90%.
You are the ones who stayed at home when we asked you to do so. You are the ones who have been wearing masks religiously and you are the ones who have adhered to physical distancing and all other regulations we introduced. All the adjustments and sacrifices we asked you to make were not easy, but were necessary. They helped us to avoid more deaths in our province. Senza umbulelo ongazenzisiyo kuni nonke, sicela kananjalo ukuba ningayekeleli ukusebenzisana nathi ekulweni nalo bhubhane side simoyise.
Madam Speaker, now that the virus is subsiding as evidenced by less infections, less deaths and less active cases, it is time to focus on the reconstruction and recovery of our economy. It is also time to deliver the knockout blow to the virus, and to accelerate the pursuit of the initial goals we set at the beginning of the sixth term. In this regard, our immediate task is to intensify the work of transforming the economy and creating jobs.
We are doing this against the backdrop of low economic growth, rising unemployment, ongoing budget cuts, and increasing demands for services. Needless to say, business activity was negatively affected by the pandemic, with many businesses having to slow down or shut down their operations.
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