Volkstaat (Afrikaans for "People's state") is a proposal for the establishment of a homeland for Afrikaners. Outside a possible use of force, the South African Constitution and International Legislation present certain possibilities for the establishment of such a state. The South African regime declared that they would not support a Volkstaat, but "would do everything they could to ensure the protection of the Afrikaner language and culture". What a fine job they are doing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sam Shilowa on the Volkstaat


15 October 1999

Chairman of the Pretoria Afrikaanse Sakekamer , Mr. Tertius Zitzke, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen


I thank you for inviting me to be with you this evening. It is indeed an honour for me to be given this platform to say a few words on this august occasion.

Perhaps I should begin by asking the question: what is a nation? This question is relevant because from time to time we hear politicians and ordinary people talk of building a united South African nation. Do we all have the same conception of this united S outh African nation? Are we all agreed about the character of this nation?

To the extent that we are a people that share a common territory and are governed by one government, there is no doubt that South Africa is a nation.

There are, however, many in this community who feel that because we are a people with such diverse cultures, speaking different languages and honouring different traditions and religions, we should therefore be separated and build a nation divided into many ethnic groups. This notion is particularly repeated by some in the Afrikaner community, at least by those who advocate a crude idea for an Afrikaner Volkstaat.

During the time of the negotiations and for years thereafter it became quite evident that the notion of a separated nation of different ethnic groups is not a popular option. The constitution of the Republic of South Africa recognises the rights of all Sou th Africans, protecting their religion, culture and language. It is this constitution, which has been embraced by all South Africans, which invalidates the arguments for a divided nation.

We are therefore a nation of a diverse people. We are bound by our jealous love for this beautiful country, rich with natural resources and flowered with an attractive landscape. We are a people driven by the desire to unite one another so that together we can build a successful nation. We share the common determination to reconcile from our brutal past in order to combine our energies and experiences towards creating a better life for all.

Having arrived at this point, about what sort of nation we are, I think it is proper to then tackle the issue of what the Afrikaanse Sakekamer is about. I have no shame to define you as a group of people who share the noble idea of building a united nation . I am convinced that all of you feel equally obliged to creating better living conditions for the people of our country. I am sure there is no one within your midst who regrets being African. You are, like the rest of us, true sons of our continent, Africa.

There are major challenges which your organisation ought to acknowledge and respond to. The social, economic and political developments in our country today dictate that your organisation should begin to play a broader role, further from that of catering f or the Afrikaner community. As part of this nation, we expect of you to be worried by the increasing number of people who are unemployed, to feel brotherly about the lot in our country who do not have a shelter over their heads, who lack educational qualif ications and many who are trapped in abject poverty. We call upon you to help us redress these imbalances, which threaten our dreams of a nation with equal opportunities.

As business people, I would like to invite you to join hands with us to build the economy of this country, and our province in particular. Your experiences and skills, accumulated over years of hard work, could be transferred to thousands of people who are also trying hard to create employment for themselves. I refer here to the emerging black entrepreneurs who have set up enterprises, which have grown tremendously over the past few years. The impact that these initiatives have on our economy and the creat ion of employment is unquestionable.



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