Eastern Cape Premier Ms Noxolo Kiviet has today called on all South Africans to pray for the first President of a democratic South Africa uTata uNelson Mandela. Premier Kiviet said this while handing out Christmas gifts worth R170 000 to 100 poor families in the Chris Hani District.
She said: "All of us must spend at least a few minutes of our time every day to pray for the father of our nation. We still need uTata in our country to give us words of wisdom as we continue with the work of ensuring that we emancipate our people from poverty, unemployment and inequalities. We still look up to Madiba for inspiration and every day we work to ensure we leave to his ideals of being a caring and loving nation, which is non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous.
We started this programme in 2009 with the aim of ensuring that identified poor families benefit and also enjoy the festive season like the rest of society. Since 2009 the programme has benefited thousands of families in our province who might have had a dark Christmas without this programme.
This year alone we have invested over R1 500 000 million in the programme assisting over 900 families throughout the province. This is a drop in the ocean but it is making a difference to our poor families. We want to urge all our citizens who are fortunate enough to have a meal every day to share with the less fortunate during this festive season and in fact for 365 days a year. By so doing we would be showing uBuntu, which I think we are losing very fast.
We do not understand how one can go to bed on a full stomach while his/her neighbour is hungry next door. That is not how we were brought up. And something somewhere went wrong and now we have a survival of the fittest mentality, which is foreign to us. We must rid ourselves of this mentality and return to our old ways of caring for our neighbours.
We see today that we have beneficiaries who are mostly elderly people. We urge you to continue to praying for our movement as it holds its 53rd National Conference to look at its policies to improve the lives of the people. We also want to appeal to you to use these food parcels wisely.
They are not for sale, and are only meant to ensure that you enjoy this Christmas like those that are fortunate. We become very worried when we see beneficiaries especially pensioners misusing the government pension grants. The money that is used for social grants comes from tax payers and I'm sure they go home with sore hearts when they see a pensioner misusing the grant on alcohol.
Our province has been a hive of activities this year with massive infrastructure investments dominating our landscape from all corners of our province. We will continue to do more work next year to ensure that we change the face of our province for the better.