We, the people of South Africa, have journeyed far since the long lines of our first democratic election on 27 April 1994, when we elected a government for us all.
We began to tell a new story then. We have lived and renewed that story along the way.
Now in 2030 we live in a country which we have remade.
We have created a home where everybody feels free yet bounded to others; where everyone embraces their full potential. We are proud to be a community that cares.
We have received the mixed legacy of inequalities in opportunity and in where we have lived, but we have agreed to change our narrative of conquest, oppression, resistance, and victory.
We began to tell a new story of life in a developing democracy.
We began to share freedom and the uncertainties of living with it and in it.
We felt our way towards a new sense of ourselves:
§ Trying, succeeding and making mistakes
§ Proclaiming success and closing our minds to failure
§ Feeling orientated and disorientated through our own actions
§ Affirming some realities and denying others
§ Proclaiming openness to the world, yet courting insularity
§ Eager to live together, yet finding it difficult to recognise shared burdens
§ Learning to recognise and acknowledge shared successes.
Our new story is open ended with temporary destinations, only for new paths to open up once more.
It is a story of unfolding learning.
Even when we flounder, we remain hopeful.
In this story, we always arrive and depart.
We have come some way.
What we do, and how we do it, is as important as what we want to achieve.
What we are, is because of who we have been and what we want to become.
We will continue to make it to make us, because we are happy with being who we are.
Who are we?
We are Africans.
We are an African country.
We are part of our multi-national region.
We are an essential part of our continent.
Being Africans, we are acutely aware of the wider world, deeply implicated in our past and present.
That wider world carries some of our inheritance.
We have learned a great deal from our complex past; adding continuously to our experience of being African.
Therefore, in 2030, we experience daily how:
We participate fully in efforts to liberate ourselves from conditions that hinder the flowering of our talents.
We feel loved, respected and cared for at home, in community and the public institutions we have created.
We feel understood.
We feel needed.
We feel trustful.
We feel trusted.
We feel accommodative.
We feel accommodated.
We feel informed.
We feel healthy.
We feel safe.
We feel resourceful and inventive.
We learn together.
We talk to each other.
We share our work.
We ponder and laugh.
We are energised by sharing our resourcefulness.
We are resilient.
We love reading.
All our citizens read, write, converse, and value ideas and thought.
We are fascinated by scientific invention and its use in the enhancement of our lives.
We live the joy of speaking many of our languages.
We know our history and that of other peoples.
We have clear values.
We create rather than eliminate; value arises from improving through creativity that which we inherited.
I have a space that I can call my own.
This space I share.
This space I cherish with others.
I maintain it with others.
I am not self-sufficient alone.
We are self-sufficient in community.
We all see to it and assist so that all life’s enablers are available in a humane way.
Through our service we show our solidarity.
We enjoy the same quality of service.
We are connected through our caring.
The beating heart of our country is a community that has all the enablers of modern life:
§ We have water.
§ We use a toilet.
§ We have food on the table.
§ We fall asleep without fear.
§ We listen to the rain on the roof.
§ We gather together in front of heat.
What we contribute in our taxes, we get back through the high quality of our public services.
That is why we have:
§ Good clinics and hospitals with well trained, caring doctors, administrators, nurses who rush to our aid with empathy and expertise
§ Affordable effective medicines, because they were made for all of us
§ Good schools with well educated, trained and caring teachers.
Each community has:
§ A school
§ Teachers who love teaching and learning
§ A local library filled with a wealth of knowledge
§ A librarian
§ A police station with respected and upright police
§ A clinic with nurses who love caring for people.
In our well-designed community surroundings we feel safe everywhere.
There, we enjoy meeting one another.
We find so much pleasure in one another’s company.
Everywhere we go in our country, we hear the laughter of our children.
We all have actively set out to change our lives in ways which also benefit the broader community.
We are a people at work.
We work to create plenty.
Our work brings us ever closer to our dreams.
Work grounds our dreams even the more fantastic they are.
The reality of work connects us to our dreams.
We work towards goals with patience invested in actual effort.
We invest in our efforts and are not waiting in disengaged expectation.
Because we are impatient to succeed, we work with painstaking rigour.
Our efforts, not so much those of others, make us stronger.
Then we are patient for the results of our efforts.
This kind of patience, gives birth to our new work ethic.
In this work ethic we ground our dreams.
We have built our own houses.
We are confident and self-sufficient.
We are traders.
We are inventors.
We are workers.
We create companies.
We set up stalls.
We are studious.
We are gardeners.
We feel a call to serve.
We make things.
Out of our homes we create objects of value.
We invest and reap good returns for our efforts.
We travel to trade beyond our borders, carrying our values with us.
As artists we express and celebrate, we expose and nurture, we explore, shift and change frontiers.
Through sports of all kinds, we push the limits of our possibilities.
Our philosophies and stories have enriched the world.
We respect ability, competence and talent.
Now our economy is growing.
Our prosperity is increasing.
We are energised by our resourcefulness.
We are connected by the sounds we hear, the sights we see, the scents we smell, the objects we touch, the food we eat, the liquids we drink, the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel, the dreams we imagine. We are a web of relationships, fashioned in a web of histories, the stories of our lives inescapably shaped by stories of others.
We love sharing our stories in our schools, places of worship, libraries, in the variety of media whatever they may be.
We are inevitably and intimately implicated in one another.
We all assist the institutions we have creatively redesigned to meet our varied needs; we reach out across communities to strengthen our resolve to live with honesty, to be set against corruption and dehumanising actions.
We have made the rules by which we want ourselves to live:
§ We hold the Constitution of our country as the covenant guide to a fair society
§ Since 1994 we’ve changed our laws to obey our Constitution
§ Now we live it: justice rules us, because just laws make community possible
§ The law enables us to live together fulfilling our mutual obligations and responsibilities in the shared public spaces of our mutual affiliation.
We know that those to whom we have given the privilege to govern our land, do so on our behalf and for the benefit of all the people.
Government begins in the home, grows into the community, expands towards the city, flares toward the province, and engulfs the entire land.
We know our leaders as we have elected them and pledged them into office:
§ They are wise in the use of our wealth
§ Wise in knowing and understanding our wishes and needs
§ Wise in expecting us to express ourselves to them in any appropriate manner we have agreed to be allowable
§ Wise in not silencing those who criticise, but enable them, through our rules of engagement, to be even more rigorous in supporting a just society.
Our leaders’ wisdom is ours, because we sense our wisdom in theirs.
They do more than respond to us:
§ They bring new thoughts and ideas
§ They share with us what they think
§ They inspire us, because we then seek to aspire with them
§ With them we renew our world continuously.
But our gift of leaders extends far beyond politics.
We have them in abundance in every avenue of life.
We have come far with our cultural, religious, and ancestral traditions.
Contemporary citizens that we are, we are conscious of the intimate relationships between tradition and change.
We say to one another: I cannot be without you, without you this South African community is an incomplete community, without one single person, without one single group, without the region or the continent, we are not the best that we can be.
We love the land.
We greet one another again.
We enjoy being visited.
We are courteous and curious.
We love arguing, we debate fiercely, we contest ceaselessly.
We solve our differences through discussion.
We refrain from being cruel, demeaning or hurtful in disagreement.
We feel we belong.
We celebrate all the differences among us.
We are not imprisoned by the roles ascribed to us.
Our family life strengthens the women, men and children who live in it.
The older share their wisdom with the young.
The young invigorate us with their energy, openness, optimism, and questioning minds.
The welfare of each of us is the welfare of all.
Everybody lives longer.
We experience fulfilment in life, living it in the successful society we are creating.
We feel prosperous.
Our connectedness across time and distance is the central principle of our nationhood.
We are a people, who have come together and shared extraordinarily to remake our society.
We ply between our cities and our ancestral origins.
Others’ ancestral origins are beyond our country.
Where they go, from time to time, is a piece of our home too.
We discover the country and the world.
We live peacefully with neighbours.
We have good friends in other societies.
We have welcomed people from distant lands, who have chosen to live among us.
We value interdependence and reciprocity.
We feel hospitable.
We are a community of multiple, overlapping identities, cosmopolitan in our nationhood.
Our multiculturalism is a defining element of our indigeneity.
We are, because we are so many.
Our many-ness is our strength – we carry it in us throughout our lives.
We are safe, not so much because we are guarded, but because of the strength of our belonging.
We acknowledge that each and every one of us is intimately and inextricably of this earth with its beauty and life-giving sources; that our lives on earth are both enriched and complicated by what we have contributed to its condition.
South Africa, our country, is our land. Our land is our home.
We sweep and keep clean our yard.
We travel through it. We enjoy its varied climate, landscape, and vegetation.
It is as diverse as we are.
We live and work in it, on it with care, preserving it for future generations. We discover it all the time. As it gives life to us, we honour the life in it.
From time to time it reminds us of its enormous, infinite power.
When rain and floods overwhelm, winds buffet, seas rage, and the sun beats unrelentingly in drought.
In humility, we learn of our limitations.
To create living spaces within this beautiful land is to commensurate with our desired values.
South Africa belongs to all its peoples.
Now, in 2030, our story keeps growing as if spring is always with us.
Once, we uttered the dream of a rainbow.
Now we see it, living it. It does not curve over the sky.
It is refracted in each one of us at home, in the community, in the city, and across the land, in an abundance of colour.
When we see it in the faces of our children, we know:
there will always be, for us, a worthy future.