Eastern Cape Liquor Forum Speech during the EC Liquor Summit 2017

written byPumlani Fani

Nothing about Us, Without Us

Mr Programme Director; – Hon R Davies, Hon Lindiwe Zulu, The Hon Premier, Hon MEC’s and members of Prov. And local Government, Hon Executive Mayor; ECLB and CEO, EC House of Traditional Leaders, SALBA CEO
Directors and Representatives of different stakeholders, ECLF Executive Members; Distinguish guests
Ladies and Gentleman:

All Protocol observed

Good Morning and thank you for the opportunity;

Allow me, on behalf of the Provincial Executive Committee of the Eastern Cape Liquor Forum, and indeed our entire membership, to express my profound gratitude to all gathered here for this historic Liquor Summit between stakeholders.
Our ultimate praise should indeed be reserved for MEC Somyo, ECLB and CEO, ECLF Executive and Prov. Council, for being the driving force behind this gathering. For us this summit represents the culmination of our persistent efforts to address the historical impediments associated with the liquor industry.

Right at the outset we want to make one thing crystal clear. We have not come here to apportion blame or to point fingers in any direction, however justified we may be in doing so, would not help resolve the issues. Therefore, whatever the outcome of our summit tomorrow, contact amongst us must continue, precisely to nurture areas of agreement and to seek lasting solutions to areas of disagreement.

We also firmly hold the view that a better liquor industry is the business of all liquor traders, the Government, stakeholders and our Communities. It should be undertaken on the basis of mass involvement and broad consultation among all interested stakeholders.
If we are to fulfil the true purpose of our summit, there must be no victors or losers amongst stakeholders. The people and South Africa must be the victors. We must satisfy and disappoint in equal measure.

The eyes of the liquor industry are on us. The majority of liquor traders in this province and other parts of the country certainly wish us success.
In the history of nations, generations have made their mark through their acumen to appreciate critical turning points, and with determination and creativity, to seize the moment. We must unite as South Africans now, and chose a path, in a new patriotism to achieve the goal of creating a new and better liquor industry.

We cannot build or heal our nation, if we have people who continue with blind arrogance to practice racism in the liquor industry, despite the appeal by our government to ensure transformation. We must work together, craft a new plan to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and power in the liquor industry.

Everywhere and in everything we do, what is required is boldness in thinking, firmness in resolve and consistency in action. The central message I am trying to convey is that all of us must take the national project of radical and fundamental economic transformation of our national government very seriously indeed.

The achievement of the objectives of equity, nonracialism and nonsexism constitute the very essence of the new liquor industry we seek to build.
We have come here with a clear conscience, not to defend our territory, but with the understanding to listen, contribute and cooperate with all stakeholders to create a new and better Liquor Industry. One that is fair and just, one of which we can all be proud of as South Africans. Such are the demands of this historical moment.

We must all know that history will judge us by our successes or failure to turn the current tide of poverty, abuse and exploitation of the majority operating in the liquor industry.
I thank all of you, most sincerely, for your involvement during this summit.
God Bless,

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