Vote of Thanks by the Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality Cllr Fawzia Peer on the occasion of the State of the Continent Address - Media Briefing, Hilton Hotel, Durban
Chair of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma
MEC Ravi Pillay representing the Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, Willies Mchunu
MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi
Officials from the African Unions
Members of the media
I rise to salute the entire leadership of the African Union Commission for the hard work over the past five years.
But more importantly, we pay tribute to all for you for ensuring the efficiency of this important organization.
We thank you for supporting the out-going chair Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma. You have made it possible for her to make an impact throughout her term of office.
Programme Director, we are all inspired by the list of achievements that the out-going chair has listed in her address. She has indeed ushered in a new era of hope and prosperity throughout African continent.
But more importantly these achievements represents a solid victory for women in the whole continent.
She has been an exemplary leader and a role model for millions of women who aspire to make a difference in society.
Everywhere I went and every meeting I attended, women saluted Dr Dlamini-Zuma for focusing on the implementation of the Women’s Decade Programme.
She used her office to intensify the fight against poverty and promoting entrepreneurship, economic empowerment of women and ensuring food security for women and their children.
She prioritized issues of health, maternal mortality and HIV and Aids. There was also a greater focus on the provision of education for women including ensuring access to science and technology.
Critically, the participation of Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma as the only woman at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington in 2014 was clear demonstration of the respect that she commands globally.
Programme Director, many writers and analysts have a lot to say about Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma.
To us, she is an extension of many women who spent their entire lives fighting for equality, justice and democratic society.
To us, Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma remains the only person capable of carrying on with the vision of Mantantise, Mkabayi ka Jama.
She is the only leader that possesses the same determination as that of Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks, is the gallant woman who refused to give up her bus seat in 1955 and sparked a movement that led to the end of segregation. Her courageous act fueled the Civil Rights Movement and inspired Martin Luther King Junior to get involved.
Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma is an extension of Lillian Ngoyi, the first President of the ANC Women’s League. She was instrumental in organising and leading the anti-pass march which was attended by 20 000 vociferous women.
Both Nkosazane Dlamini Zuma and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the sitting President of Liberia, have instilled in women the invaluable belief that they can.
We were privileged as the province and the city to host Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf few months ago. She is the first African woman head of state and there is a lot that we can learn from her as we continue with our quest to ensure that women remain in the corridors of power.
We believe that the political and economic well-being of a country cannot be achieved if women are massively underrepresented in decision making processes.
As women we are not apologetic in stating that that Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma is capable of leading in any position.
She is a medical doctor by profession and we have no doubt that she will champion the provision of quality care.
She has served as the both minister of foreign affairs and home affairs minister. In this regard, we are convinced the she will be able to drive foreign direct investment into this country through friendly political and economic relations.
At this stage, Programme Directors, I want to pause and pay tribute to the staff and entire leadership of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
We thank the Minister of Communications Ms Faith Muthambi and the staff in her office for all the hard work.
We thank the Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal Willies Mchunu for his leadership.
A special thank you to the programme Directors – the Acting DG of GCIS, Mr Donald Liphoko and my sister and my comrade MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation Bongi Sithole-Moloi.
To our guests, thank you for coming.
To the members of the media. Thank you for the positive coverage in advance.
To the viewers and listeners around the world - this event would not have been possible without you.
I thank you