Hon Speaker, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, comrades, and hon Members of Parliament, I stand here before you feeling fulfilled and humbled to have been favoured with the opportunity to serve our people in a representative capacity. Indeed, the 18 years I have spent within these august walls will remain etched in my memory.
I will always recall that the ANC worked hard to transform an institution that was legally legitimising a system which the United Nations declared a crime against humanity. I will recall with fulfilment that the representatives of the aspirations of our people did not only repeal laws that were inconsistent with our Constitution, but passed laws which not only freed our people from the shackles of apartheid, but also restored the dignity of the downtrodden and empowered the vulnerable.
Hon members, I shall never forget how I was part of the team in the history of our people, the team that ensured that South Africa, our beloved country, became much better than it was before 1994. Yes, I agree with the President that it is a good story to tell. [Applause.] It is a story we shall continue to tell our people, the story of how taking electricity to rural areas has freed our women from taking their precious time to hew wood, many of whom had to balance logs of wood on their heads.
Ba ile go rwalela dikgong kwa nageng. [They went to hew wood in the veld.]
These women have gradually been released from the burden of cooking outside under harsh conditions. The ANC has, through using its position as a governing party, built houses for the homeless and brought potable water to our people.
Ha re sa ya dinokeng re ilo kga metsi. [We no longer fetch water from the rivers.]
The dignity of our people has been restored and women released to pursue more fulfilling ventures.
Hon Speaker, what brings joy to us is to have been part of a team that worked hard to extend access to permitting documents. We have witnessed the joy of people receiving smart identity document cards for the first time. [Applause.] Our government is now rolling out the smart identity document cards, beginning with our senior citizens, many of whom had been dehumanised by the apartheid government by forcing them to carry "dompasses" and "specials", and virtually turning them into pariahs in their own land. The roll-out also begins with the young who, though affected by the harsh legacy of apartheid, have been spared its direct indignities.
Hon members, our democracy demands of us to be in contact with the people we represent. It is therefore necessary that we strengthen our constituency work. We should also dedicate more quality time to oversight work, because theory cannot be divorced from practice, and knowledge without experience is always at the risk of being irrelevant. In the period I have been in Parliament, I have to say that the people's Parliament under the leadership of the ANC has done a lot to reverse the legacy of apartheid, yet more still needs to be done.
Let me take this opportunity to wish all hon members well in their future endeavours. In particular, I want to thank the ANC for affording me the golden opportunity to serve our people. I also thank the members of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and the staff; the office of the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Department of Home Affairs; the office of the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip for their support; and lastly, I thank the entire ANC family here in Parliament. It was warm to be in the ANC. [Applause.]
Ho lona bohle ke re di sa kopaneng ke dithaba. [I say to you all, till we meet again.]
Ntumelele Mmusakgotla ke re: Gape nna ke motlhakola o montsho wa mampa'Modise, more mophyegisa manong. Magodi ga a akelwe. Ke motho yo o ntseng a re tlou, tlou. Ee, le e bone e tlhaga e tshaba eng? Ke setlogolwana sa Bakwena. Ke a leboga, Mmusakgotla. [Legofi.] [Praise poem]