About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

31 Oct 1994: Nqakula, Charles

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POM     Let's start with me asking you, it's now been six months since the election in South Africa and after those six months how do you feel? Do you feel that things are generally going in the right direction, that the new government is getting its reins on the strings of power, or do you think there has been slowness and not enough time, not enough time to redress some of the fundamental grievances of the people?

CN     Well for starters one is very confident that we are going to make a good job of governance in this country. There's a lot of enthusiasm from a lot of people and commitment also to transform our country and transform it fundamentally. But of course that is a tall order as can be understood by anyone because transforming under the present conditions is very difficult. The present conditions, among others, relate to the government of national unity that is in place where disparate forces have been brought together for purposes of governance. Of course we are not regretting that we put in place such a government. There were historical reasons why we had to do so and we do believe that given what has been happening hitherto that those who were arguing for a government of national unity have been vindicated. We needed it, we needed this breathing space for us to begin to address the key questions of the day.

POM     When you say we needed this breathing space, could you elaborate a little on that?

CN     Yes, by bringing together all of those who have constituencies. It does not matter how small those constituencies are. In fact Comrade Mandela has begun to look at other ways and means in which we can bring more people into governance even those who did not participate in the elections because it is necessary that as we are beginning the process of transformation that everybody who claims to have some followers, who claims to have a constituency ought to be part and parcel of those forces of change, particularly those who were part and parcel of the struggle for democracy in South Africa which would include AZAPO. AZAPO did not participate in the elections but there is no reason why an effort should not be made to bring them on board because they do represent a constituency. The Pan Africanist Congress did not score well in the elections but all the same we need to look at a strategy whereby they can have some representatives even at Cabinet level because, as I say, all of those forces, and as I have said, those that participated in the struggle for democracy ought to find space. There are others who represent the conservative white communities who also did not participate in the elections. An effort must be mounted to bring them on board as well. Now when we have accomplished that we shall be creating the space that we need, for us to begin to look at the key questions relevant to transformation without fear that there might others who would have different agendas, who would want to scuttle such efforts. Of course we are barely a few months after that historic election that brought about this new situation and it would be unfair to judge our performance on the basis of this short period of time. But nevertheless quite a number of our ministers have shown an ability to govern. They have been addressing those issues which are fundamental in our effort at transformation.

POM     Let me just rephrase the question slightly. Could you point to what you would consider to be areas of strength within the government and areas of weakness that will need some bolstering up?

CN     Well the obvious strength is the fact that we have political power now and Comrade Mandela is unchallengeable as the leader of this process and he is actually asserting his authority on the developments in the country. Our organisations remain very strong and we are therefore able to lead the process of transformation. If we are not strong both inside and outside of parliament we would not be able to lead this process of change in the country. Those are our strong points and we have people who by nature are also very strong and strategic thinkers. Some of them are found within the Cabinet and they have already begun to show what they can do given, among others, the resources that we want. People like that, for instance, the examples would be people like Joe Slovo and quite a number of the others, Jay Naidoo as the driving force behind the Reconstruction and Development Programme, Tito Mboweni, the Minister of Land, Hanekom, Derek Hanekom, all of those people have been showing they are strong. Of course the others as well who have not been favoured with a good press are also quietly doing very good work on the ground. Those are our strong points.

CN     Of course, the weak points relate to our inability to deliver immediately and we can't deliver immediately to our people despite the promises that we made during our election campaign and there are reasons for that. One of them, the main reason of course, is the dearth of financial resources and, of course, the fact that we are involved in a government of national unity is in itself a weakness at a certain level, although I have said it was necessary to have that kind of arrangement. And we believe on the basis of what we have seen develop that our future is not bleak at all. All that has been happening here does augur well for a better future for all of our people. There are some of our people who do not really understand the concessions that need to be made during this process of transition. The consequence is that there have been a number of demands for immediate delivery on questions of employment and, of course, this arises because the unemployment figure is very high in our country, seven million which is just a conservative figure. People are homeless, there are millions of people who do not have houses, many of them living in squatter camps. All people want houses and their belief is that having put Mandela into power there's a necessity for Mandela therefore to deliver immediately. Those are some of the problems that we have.

CN     At the workplace as well many of the workers would want to go on as if there has been no change at all. That has to deal with possibly our inability to lead people even in political terms in order for them to understand the new situation, properly analyse and interpret it in order for people to begin to review their roles and to place themselves into positions where they can actually make a difference by making positive contributions to the changed situation.

POM     I have found going around the country for the last couple of weeks and always asked people I met people from various walks of life, from just ordinary people to teachers to government officials, whatever, and one question that I have asked them all is about the RDP and I found this to be true that if you mention the words RDP to the average citizen he just looks at you with a kind of a blank stare, hasn't heard very much about it, others might have a slight memory of it but don't know what it's about. And even within government itself, different people in different departments have different interpretations of what it's all about. Do you not think that a lot more effort and energy must go into selling the concept of the RDP, just as the Electoral Commission sold the idea of voting and democracy?

CN     We had a discussion in the South African Communist Party even before the elections where we were talking about how to take the RDP down to the people so that they own it and we were arguing that people will not want to own a programme that they don't know. One of the things we were saying was that the RDP must become a document that would have been like the Freedom Charter which was formulated in 1955. What we did when we were still underground was that the Freedom Charter was made part and parcel of our curriculum in our camps, in the underground structures both outside and inside the country because our argument was it would only be after understanding the full implications of the Freedom Charter that our people would begin to make an input and the Freedom Charter was used even by structures inside South Africa that were above board in order for them to begin to mobilise people. Therefore many of them were adopting the Freedom Charter in their conferences and what have you, explaining the Freedom Charter to the people. And we said we needed to do that with respect to the RDP as well. But this has not been done as well as we thought it would. It is only now that we have put in place, for instance, the Reconstruction and Development Councils and those are going to be responsible for teaching people about the RDP.

POM     How many of these ...?

CN     There's a national one which will be replicated right down the line.

POM     How many might be involved? Twenty, thirty?

CN     It depends on the local situation. At the national level it's quite a big structure because there's a core committee as well as other people representing the various areas of human endeavour in our country who are members of the RDP Council. That has not worked well either but people are beginning to talk about it. Every time we have our own meetings of the party we do talk about this and check if our people have put into place these RDP committees where they stay.

CN     The second thing that we want to address is the fact that many of our people think that the RDP is some kind of Christmas stocking where the government must put in presents and yet we are saying it is their own involvement on the ground designed to transform their lives that the RDP addresses. In other words people must not, for instance, say the government - like one thing we saw on TV the other day in one of the small towns in Transkei where people were complaining that our streets are dirty, our town is dirty and the government is not coming in to clean, but they ought to have put together some committees, street cleaning committees and that kind of thing to clean and it would have been easier if they had had those committees to then go back to government to say, We are able to do the following to ensure that our town is clean but can you give us money for instance for fuel as we shall need transport to remove the refuse where we stay. Something like that.

CN     There are very good examples of people who have begun to address the issue. Like in Cape Town there is a committee there of squatters who decided about a year ago to have a committee and that committee was collecting money from people to say that at some point we must invest this money so that we use that money to begin to build houses for ourselves. They have had meetings with Joe Slovo where they were discussing a subsidy from government. They would use their money but they would be pleased if the government would also subsidise them to a certain extent. There is a village near Pretoria where people, because they came from an area where there was massive illiteracy, decided to put up a school on their own which they did by collecting donations from the community. They are now busy establishing a dam, water dam for their livestock as well as for consumption purposes and they have a programme where they are going to be doing most of these things. But the government has now gotten interested because there's an example of people who are doing something practical in terms of our programme of reconstruction and development.

CN     So that, as I say, you will come across people who do not know what it means, people who believe it must come like manna from heaven without their own personal contribution, but also those you will find busy implementing the RDP at times without even involvement from the government.

POM     You mentioned a couple of minutes ago the one big handicap that faced the government was the lack of resources. So you have on the one hand a lack of resources, you have the government trying to show the West it's really following the path of a free market economy that's stable in order to attract foreign investment. Do you think foreign investment is absolutely necessary to the restructuring of society in South Africa or will you have to develop a scenario where you say, listen we're not going to get enough investment from abroad either because we've got to take steps that are too radical in terms of our own internal economy or because foreign business will say wait five years and let's see what happens, or there are other places around the world that are more attractive investment opportunities?

CN     You see foreign investment is not the be all and end all kind of scenario as far as we are concerned. We believe that there are some resources in South Africa that need to be re-channelled to serve all the people. These are resources that the previous administration was using in terms of its apartheid, grand apartheid dream and when re-channelled we are going to make a huge saving. And then of course there's the internal kind of economic growth that must be encouraged. We must encourage manufacturing for instance which was destroyed by the previous administration in favour of a mining based economy. And of course the various structures that were built in the name of apartheid which siphoned a lot of the domestic income and we are busy redirecting all of that and we are making a saving in other areas as well.

CN     Of course the government has issued a directive to people to begin to tighten their belts which must pre-suppose among others a reduction in government's own spending so that all of that saving we shall be making will be redirected to serve the interests of the RDP. But we are not spurning foreign investment in South Africa, but we cannot bank on foreign investment. There is so much that persuades the big investors internationally to invest in any country. There is so much that they would want to look at first including quite a period of time analysing the unfolding situation and to make at an appropriate time the decision to invest, and some of that may take years before it actually becomes reality as they have to keep on monitoring the signals that have been posted relevant to the unfolding situation in South Africa. And we would not want, therefore, to delude ourselves and say because we have begun the process of democratisation in South Africa therefore foreign investment is going to be flowing into the country. We are not deluding ourselves.

POM     Now after six months of being part of the government and of the whole restructuring process, what is the particular role of the Communist Party, or does it have a particular role that is separate and distinct from the ANC's role or COSATU's role?

CN     You know I like the definition that we get from our own people, those who are party members and even those who are not, when they look at the programme that was formulated in 1962 by the Communist Party where we clearly identified the African National Congress as the leader of our struggle for democratisation and the role that we saw for the party at that time was that the party would become part and parcel of the forces for the strengthening consolidation of our gains vis-à-vis democratisation as well as the defence of the democracy that would emerge as a result of our struggle. And people are saying that the time has now come for the party to become the leader of those forces that must ensure that we do strengthen this democracy and defend it because the ANC cannot do so as the leader of government because the ANC's role will be to dispense government in South Africa and therefore they will not particularly be looking at the consolidation process, they will not be looking at the defence of the newly established democracy. And people are therefore saying that the South African Communist Party must ensure that the ANC is able to run government and run government properly and the South African Communist Party must ensure the ANC does not veer off the historic mission that it has been given.

POM     So in a way you see yourself as a watchdog?

CN     We are not just watching, we are in the process to ensure that it does not go off the rails and of course ensuring that as this formation, which is an extra-parliamentary formation, we are able to mobilise for the forces of change and democracy in South Africa. There are certain organisations that are historically against the ANC. They have been fighting the ANC for many years but the South African Communist Party is able to invite those organisations into meetings as we are doing on the 5th and the 6th November. We are inviting organisations to come to the conference on socialism and many of the organisations that we have invited that do not belong to the traditional Congress movement are not so well disposed towards the ANC but they are able to respond favourably to all events that we mount. Therefore our task is to ensure that even such organisations are brought on board the Reconstruction and Development Programme. The theme of this conference is going to be socialism, The Socialist Conference for Reconstruction and Development. It is taking place here on the 5th November, this weekend, 5th and 6th. We are going to be moving those organisations towards a position where they should begin to make a constructive input to the Reconstruction and Development Programme. And if it was the ANC that had initiated that effort some of those organisations would not have responded well to the ANC. We believe, therefore, that among others, as part and parcel of the process of the defence of the newly established democracy, that the South African Communist Party must all the time interact with all of the organisations in South Africa particularly those that are part and parcel of the national liberation movement and move them towards a situation where all of us become the defenders of this democracy.

POM     Do you think that the alliance has had trouble moving from being a liberation movement to the act of governance on the other hand, that it's been a very difficult transition for itself to make? People are so used to opposition against those structures that were there that there is an in-built culture of opposition which I find teachers in the colleges telling me that no matter what grade they give a student, the student comes right back and says, I want a different grade.

CN     Yes, we've had programmes about that. Whereas the leadership understood the necessity for us to transform into a political party in order for us to begin the process of governance there are the ordinary people who on the day of Comrade Mandela's inauguration on 10th May were still singing songs which said, We don't want De Klerk, we want Mandela. On that very day when all of them were going to be sworn in, De Klerk, Mandela and the two Deputy Presidents but people even on that day were saying, We don't want De Klerk, we want Mandela. There is still an attitude towards, for instance, Die Stem as part and parcel of the national anthem, and of course people in the street still want to demonstrate and still want to take on all structures that are not seen as belonging to the national liberation movement. It relates to mind sets, not only in so far as those who were fighting for liberation are concerned but also those who were on the other side as part and parcel of the tools of oppression against our own people and it is our function to indicate to our own people in the first instance that this new situation demands that we liberate everybody, the oppressors of old and us who have been oppressed by those people. All of us must be liberated and those who were oppressing are no longer oppressing and therefore whenever we want, even people who have the necessary expertise to contribute to our programme of transformation must be inspanned in those programmes.

POM     Do you sense a real change in the attitudes of the black community since Mandela became President? I mean did that act alone, his becoming President, electing their own government, have an empowering effect on them?

CN     Yes, yes. As I indicated there is now a lot of enthusiasm on the part of our people but then the big problem is the expectation. The people are saying now that we have Mandela we must see a change for the better in our own lives and the expectation also that because we have our own government in place we have suddenly become immune so that even those people who indulge in criminal activities think there should be intervention by the various ministries if they have been involved in theft and even assault. Because they belong to our movement the Minister of Safety & Security must intervene on their behalf, all of those expectations. But this happens simply because people are now saying that those who were using the system for their own immunity must see that we can also use our own system for our immunity. But then what we tell them all the time when we are in meetings is that we are not going to do anything immoral simply because it was done by the previous administration. We shall not because freedom based on the tenets of thoroughgoing democracy means that there has to be law and order in the country which is designed to defend all freedom loving and peace loving people, so you can't have that kind of thing. But people do believe that they are now empowered enough for them to derive benefits from the system as white people did in terms of the previous administration.

POM     Would you say that white people have adapted more than you thought they would have adapted after six months? Adapt towards accepting reality and are going to live with it?

CN     You know our argument all the time when apartheid was in place, particularly so in the last ten years, was that there are many among the white people in this country who want change, who believe that it would be through change that their own lives would be secured. Many of them had been forced into a situation where they were bereaved because their sons were dying in the war in Angola, in Namibia and in clashes with our own cadres from uMkhonto weSizwe. Apart from that they were also seeing a deterioration of their conditions of living and they knew that that was connected to the economic sanctions applied against South Africa and they knew that if apartheid was allowed to run rampant for more years there would be problems because there would be no amelioration of their conditions. And therefore they were arguing for change. And when change did come about via the election, and there are many who voted for the ANC who were never members of the ANC but who voted for the ANC at the time because they saw in Mandela a person who would be able to lead this country away from the deprivation of the past, away from the violence of the past.

POM     Do you think too much responsibility has been put on his shoulders? I am referring, whenever there is a problem rather than the minister stepping in to solve the problem, they say, Mandela, come and solve the problem.

CN     That's right. Yes. A lot of that is put on his shoulders and I am among people who have argued against this culture that is developing. I have always been arguing that when there are labour problems it is the labour leadership that must come in to resolve those problems and it must only be when the problems are so serious that the labour leadership themselves come to the politicians to say assist us in this area. But what has been happening, and this is wrong, is that when some of our own workers at the level of the work place have been confronted with problems they have insisted that ministers should come and address those problems and I think this is going to come to an end because there is going to be an alliance meeting and on the agenda of that alliance meeting among others is such an issue that we must dispense with issues like that. Comrade Mandela must not be made a fire fighter in any way. He must be allowed to govern the country because if he spends most of his time fire fighting he will not have enough time to govern the country and we may have problems when 1999 comes where we must go into the next election if people have not seen proper governance because both Mandela and his Cabinet colleagues have been involved in fire fighting.

POM     There have been allegations in the papers in the last couple of weeks in particular about voter fraud in the election last April. Do you think that there was fraud in certain areas, that the ballot was rigged or voters not counted in, or counted in where they didn't exist? Or are you reasonably confident that it was a reasonably fair and free election?

CN     Well we should not connect the two. Whether an election is fair and free does not mean that there can't be problems in the running of that election. There were many irregularities and when some of those were conveyed to us as the leadership of the national liberation movement we felt that as this was the first election we should have a very big margin of error. It was better for us not to raise it as an issue because what we wanted to see in this country was an election which would bring about change and we were quite confident that ours would get most votes and therefore become the core of this machinery for change and that is what we wanted to do because what we said was necessary for people to do was to get rid of apartheid and those who were responsible for apartheid so that we could start to rebuild South Africa. Therefore, many of the irregularities which were brought to our attention, we felt should not be used to declare the election null and void. Some of the irregularities that one thinks about here were so glaring, like ballot papers that never reached their destinations, like ballot papers which did not have faces of some of the people, like the ballot paper that did not have an Inkatha sticker in Natal and things like that, the question of voter stations which were not known by the IEC and not even run by the IEC as happened in KwaZulu/Natal, and so on and so on. There were those irregularities. In particular when the issue of KwaZulu/Natal was raised relating among others to that question of illegal voter stations, we once again said, Look, let's let it ride, let's not raise any hullabaloo about it because it will have impact on the entire election, and as I say what we wanted was a sign to our people that we were moving forward, because if that had not happened you can imagine if for instance they were declared null and void, what amount of violence would have been unleashed in South Africa. It would have been irresponsible of any party to try therefore to stop the elections. There would have been violence of unimaginable proportions.

POM     If I were an outsider, and I will just take ten more minutes of your time, an investor looking at South Africa, some of the impressions I would have gotten in the last six months would be random strikes, large pay demands, part of the MK in rebellion, some former members of the SDUs running townships, forming gangs in townships, crime rates that are absolutely soaring to the point where there are more people being killed now than there were before liberation and the kind of simmering violence that is still there in KwaZulu, the volatility, the potential for it. Would I be correct in defining this situation still as still a wait and see one, that the country isn't yet stable but it's getting there?

CN     Yes, what you have referred to are problems that are inherent in processes of transition. You can never have a situation, in fact in our own experience South Africa has done tremendously well compared to other areas because when transition starts in many areas there have been violent wars relating to such transition. You know what happened in Angola with their own elections, and in other countries where transformation has brought about violence unleashed against the people by the government itself. In our country, yes, there are problems but not of the same magnitude in respect of other examples of transitions in the world. And some of the problems that are there have to do with the fact that they were not resolved before the elections. We did not really thoroughly discuss and resolve the issue of the integration of the armed forces and the result is what is now happening, the recklessness within the camps that have been designed as reception areas.

CN     The question of the violence also was not thoroughly addressed. We went into the elections, as you are aware, with violence still on our doorstep but we were arguing all along that there was a third force in South Africa responsible for that violence. There was no real effort mounted by the previous administration for instance, to investigate the existence or otherwise of that third force and there are people who are still involved in violence and when you look at the incidence of such violence you can see that there is a hidden hand somewhere otherwise how do we explain a situation where people once more just get into areas where our people are and begin to blaze away without any reason at all, not unless there is someone who has said, Look go in there and do this, someone therefore is responsible for the destabilisation that is still taking place.

     And with respect to the workers, I think what happened was misunderstood, if not misrepresented. There has always been around June, July negotiations for salary raises relevant to the various trade unions and when this happened this time the employers were arguing that, Look you are not going to get away with anything this time because we are now part and parcel of a new arrangement that that new arrangement requires of all of us to begin to act responsibly and acting responsibly among others means that we have to live with what we have and if you fellows at the workplace give us trouble we will go back to Mandela and say these people do not want to co-operate. We are making an input to the RDP and because we are making an input to the RDP you fellows must not make financial demands on us. They were responding to ordinary demands of working people with arrogance and working people did what they usually do when there is dissatisfaction at the workplace they go on strike. And that is all that has been happening. Those responsible for reporting on those events did not sit down and really understand the side of the workers. I am not trying to suggest that every strike that was mounted had to do with that kind of situation.

     There are some people that I referred to earlier in this interview who believe that now that we have the power, let's strike our immunity to the law and many of them are people who have not grown up under the culture of our movement. And those are the people who at the drop of a pin take workers out on the streets, particularly in the various provinces and we got a report the other day about the Eastern Cape where nurses have gone out on strike and when they presented their demands were told that every item stipulated on the memorandum had already been addressed. Some of them were talking about salary raises that they should have gotten in December. What has happened to those because we are now in possession of a circular relating to that. But they were shown facts and figures to say, But you got that money in December. It's things like that where people feel an urge to go into the streets and many of those are people who were never part of the former culture where our people would go into the streets, of course there would be reasons for them to do that, but these are people who are now trying to illustrate their own commitment and their own militancy in the new situation.

POM     Two other things. One is about the Truth Commission. How would you like to see this operate? Is there a possibility that rather than bringing reconciliation or being the basis or reconciliation it could be the basis of more distrust, more antagonism between people? How much, at what level and should there be a penalty involved?

CN     The Truth Commission is a necessary exercise. We must look at what happened in South Africa in order for us to ensure that it does not happen again. In the first instance it had to do with the fact that in place in this country was a policy which was designed to dehumanise the majority of the people and acting under instruction by those who were in charge of that process there are people who committed atrocities and some of those atrocities are atrocities that must be brought to light in order for us to begin to explain to families who suffered tremendously during those times that their children, the parents were affected in a particular way during that struggle. We need to do this because by so doing we shall be cleansing our consciences and we shall be also saying that whereas there was a time when South Africa was at war with itself then we must explain the results and implications of that war via a Truth Commission. We must also be saying that this must not happen so that the incoming government must also understand that there were those matters and those incidents that were authorised by the previous administration that they should not even begin to attempt to want to copy. We need to do that.

POM     I don't think white people understand that.

CN     Well they will not because their own interpretation of the Truth Committee is that of some kind of witch hunting which is directed only at white people, and yet that is not so.

POM     I've been coming here now for five years and have found the view among a large segment of whites would be that all that is in the past, we're on the road to a new South Africa, keep going on the road to the new South Africa, that's past.

CN     That's right. There will be a problem. You see the Truth Commission is not designed to prosecute and even persecute people, it's not designed to do that. It's designed to record in our annals of history the fact that there was a time in South Africa when all of those things happened. And, as I say, there are families who do not know what happened to their children. They were spirited away and may have been killed. We don't even know about that. Those who were killed were buried in unmarked graves in areas that they don't even know about. There are stories that are coming out now of people who were killed and whose bodies were lacerated and mutilated with explosives. All of that kind of thing. And when it comes out, really comes out for everybody to see, even those parents will say, At least we are now satisfied. We know that our children died and this is how they died and if we want to we can go to areas where they were buried and exhume their remains so that we can give them proper burials. This is what we are trying to do.

POM     Inter-governmental relations. I heard from a lot of people in provincial governments complaining about powers not being devolved to them, of their hands being tied by the central government. Their hands are being tied and they are not getting the resources from the central government that they need to do their job. Do you think that's an accurate reflection of what's happening or why has the central government been so slow in devolving power to the provinces?

CN     You see the problem here in the first instance relates to arrangements that were entered into during the negotiations phase in South Africa prior to the general election and has also to do with our own understanding of government at that level. I am sure you will recall that our own attitude was that we must ensure that South Africa does not become a federation as narrowly defined by a lot of the other parties. We contested the elections against that, and we were saying that we needed to ensure that the central government had enough power to begin to govern this country, but we are busy looking at some of the powers that were originally denied the regions that can now be given to those regions. We know that many of them have to do with resources and establishment of structures. Clearly people did not foresee as we were negotiating the necessity of having structures for implementation and now that at least we've had a bit of experience in governing I am sure that experience will be taken into consideration as we begin to redefine the powers of the various regions. It is a problematic issue and from time to time there are meetings that are held, at least between our Premiers and the leadership of our movement, to look at those powers and how they can be given to regions. This is happening at a very crucial time for us as we begin to put together structures for the drafting of the new constitution and those provinces will have a right to begin to make submissions to the commission, the Constitutional Commission of the ANC, so that we redraft the powers of the regions giving the regions at least those powers that will ensure that they are able to implement the programme of transformation.

POM     Do you think that the country will be ready for local elections in October of 1995 or that there are still something like 20 million voters to register, there are boundaries to be demarcated?

CN     I'm very worried about that date. Obviously we want the local government elections to take place sooner rather than later but there is a lot involved in terms of the preparations and preparatory work that has not begun yet is relevant to the running of those elections. Among others we have to begin to prepare the registration of voters and compilation of voters' rolls by any definition is a lot of work and someone was suggesting at a meeting the other day that we will possibly be ready for an election in nine months. It can be more than that, it can be much more than just nine months. I am not sure personally if we will have these elections by October. Maybe later than October.

POM     People will also have to vote within defined constituencies.

CN     There has to be a rezoning, yes there has to be a rezoning, there has to be compilation of voters' rolls and all of that takes a long time.

POM     Final, final, final question. Is implementation of the RDP moving at a slower rate than it should be or it is on course or should it be moving quicker?

CN     Well the first phase, which is this phase, is very slow. It's very slow because there are certain things that we need to do and we should have done them by now if we are to look for instance at the delivery of housing. That has not moved as quickly as we would have wanted it to. We had said in twelve months we could produce a number of houses and in the five years of the tenure of this government we would by the end of this period have delivered eight million houses. But we are moving slowly in the beginning as we put in place all of these structures including extra-parliamentary structures like the Reconstruction and Development Programme Councils which I've already referred to. But when we have at least done the initial work and there is a proper budget relating to the RDP it will pick up its tempo and particularly by the second half of 1995 there are certain things that we will begin to do. There is going to be a new budget which will be submitted in March or April next year and there will be additions that will be made to that budget to deal with issues that we quickly want to put in place to facilitate the implementation of the RDP. But it is correct to say that at this point it is moving slower than we had anticipated.

POM     OK. See you again in six months. Thanks for the time, I appreciate it.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.