Mr Speaker, certainly, we should support the new chairperson, and I think we will deal with the reality of how we should support her as and when it comes. We should agree, generally, as this House, that if we need to support her in order for her to succeed in this important work, this House will support government to support her. I think that commitment is absolutely important, because we must support her. The mere fact that we have a person coming from here with clarity on what we need to do implies that the resolution of the problems of the continent would, in fact, become the resolution of the problems of our country.
Therefore, I think there should be a general agreement that we will support her. However, we have to see what types of challenges she faces and what types of support she needs. I think I would be inclined to say that we should help.
With regard to the unity of the continent, I know that some people say that Africa is divided, particularly those who have time to write and imagine things. I am not sure how much they know about Africa because there is nothing that has gone wrong. In the first place, there was a democratic election, following a democratic campaign. I don't understand why, if there is a campaign and people are contesting positions, then people begin to say there is a fight! There is now erosion of relations. What else do you do in a democracy? Unless you say that democracy must be managed, having one person contesting and others keeping quiet. But the nature of democracy is that people should contest. It does not mean that by contesting they are then fighting. We contested with a number of countries in Africa just as the Gabonese candidate was contesting; they crisscrossed the continent just as we did.
We clearly put across the political objectives, why we were saying we needed change, and how we needed the AU to operate differently so that we would be more effective in dealing with matters. There is no country that we were at loggerheads with. We were actually discussing with them. We also challenged them to convince us; unfortunately, there was no argument that came from them to state why the other candidate was better than ours, and we were then able to advance.
That is why, through political persuasion on the principles and objectives of the continent, we were able to win the majority. There was no disunity that was created. And I wish you were in the AU when she finally won, you would have realised how united the African continent was behind her. She has been accepted by all; even those who had contested came back and said they were very happy with that election. So, there is not much work that we have to do because there was no damage during the election. This is just the speculations of people who always think that they know better about Africa. [Applause.]
Position regarding provision of funding for Nkandla-Mlalazi Smart Growth Centre
14. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) asked the President of the Republic:
Whether he, in pursuance of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, instructed his Ministers to provide funding and a budget for the Nkandla-Mlalazi Smart Growth Centre; if not, what is the position in this regard, if so, which Ministers?