Pretoria – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday lauded the work done by non-government organisations (NGOs) for the role they play in society.
“Non-governmental organisations such as yours are an integral part of the vision of the National Development Plan to build an activist and people-driven democracy. No government can adequately and genuinely serve the needs of the people without collaborating with organisations that are closest to them,” said the Deputy President.
Speaking at the Aryan Benevolent Home (ABH) fundraising dinner in Durban, the Deputy President said the work done by organisations like the ABH is helping to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
“Government cannot provide social goods and public services without the helping hand of organisations such as the ABH,” he said of the home that takes care of children, the elderly and physically and mentally disabled people who have no one else to provide for their needs.
“We cannot do without the skills, experience and institutional capacity you have built in your 95 years of existence,” he added.
The Deputy President said organisations like the ABH are an indispensable instrument for extending the reach of the state, adding that government cannot make good laws or develop effective plans if it does not interact with such organisations.
“If we are to effectively address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, then we need to mobilise all sections of society, all communities and all institutions.”
He encouraged civil society to participate in the process of governance and to hold government accountable to its commitments.
“Those who are true leaders ought to know that none can govern without the goodwill and support of institutions that represent the people.”
Deputy President Ramaphosa said government wants to be held accountable to its promises and mandates.
“When we stray, we want to be dragged by the ear to listen to the needs of our people and be set on the correct path. The confidence we have in community-based organisations is informed in great measure by the role you played during the dark days of apartheid.”
In addition, government is able to build strong schools, families and communities through organisations like the ABH which also brings forth the hidden talents of young people, women and other marginalised groups.
“We must commend and support ABH for the indispensable role they play in providing security and hope to the most vulnerable in our society. I commend ABH for being an organisation that is attuned to the demands of time by continuously renewing itself,” he said.