Tripartite Alliance Summit
Closing Remarks by Deputy President Jacob Zuma
7 April 2002
This summit has been refreshing, and its deliberations are well captured in the Summit Declaration. It will disappoint our enemies, who said we would emerge more divided. There have been people who have said that the Alliance would die. Recent events led these people to think they were right. This Summit proves them wrong.
The summit indicated a high level of debate, though some comrades would say we didn’t go far enough in some of the issues. The feeling of the Alliance Officials is that issues highlighted but not resolved will be pursued towards resolving at a future point.
The President said at the beginning that we are looked upon by the rest of the world to provide leadership. Both friends and foe agree that South Africa has a role to play in the world. That presents a big challenge to ourselves, as a collective, to look at our readiness to do so, and what actions we should take. Our discussions have responded to that challenge.
What remains is to look at how we move away from how we have been in the recent past. We must find a way to resolve our differences. The issues of difference are not new, there have always been differences. But what enabled the Alliance to succeed historically was the management of these differences – knowing what to say in public, and what not to say in public. This tests the quality of the Alliance leadership.
This Summit is saying lets lead differently.
The Alliance doesn’t belong to individuals; it belongs to the people of this country. We must move away from the tendency to exaggerate tensions that are very insignificant. The organisation is above everything. Our duty is to protect, defend and maintain this Alliance. This Summit has provided an opportunity to be stable and provide the necessary leadership. We must not lose the momentum. We are alive and well, and ready to lead the transformation of this country, the continent and the world.
I hope the spirit of this Summit and the issues arising from it will be taken to all structures of the Alliance at all levels.