At a symbolic retreat in Liliesleaf, Rivonia, Most Reverend Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, convened South African political and social representatives from all sectors of society in the Club de Madrid final National Dialogue meeting of the South Africa Project “Finding Ways to Walk together” (25-26 July) that seeks to build Shared Societies in the country.
We enjoyed a significant contribution to the Dialogue from Club de Madrid Member President Masire from Botswana on how to celebrate and learn from other successful dialogue initiatives, in a Conference that gathered civil society, business and government representatives to continue finding ways to walk together through sustained collaboration and dialogue.
South Africans from all walks of life have been calling for some time now for creative ways to assist the country to overcome various challenges. We are convinced this national dialogue was one way of responding to these calls and build on the momentum created by previous dialogue initiatives, such as the Four Finding Ways to Walk Together regional dialogues, the National Social Cohesion Summit in Kliptown on 4-6 July 2012, the National Planning Commission’s consultations, and various other ongoing citizen-driven dialogue efforts at various levels. Other interesting examples are the Citizens Movement for Social Change, and Partnerships for Possibilities. We believe, these initiatives now need to be connected and woven into a national dialogue and cohesion infrastructure.
Anti-apartheid activist leader of The Citizen’s Movement for Social Change, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele; Dr. Brigalia Bam, the Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches; Roelf Meyer, South African politician, were among the participants. They were joined by Club de Madrid Board Member Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana (1980-1998) who actively supports South African efforts to promote shared societies.
We would like to acknowledge here the financial support from the European Union Delegation in the Republic of South Africa, which shall be pleased to know that participants present at the National Dialogue committed to continue taking the initiative forward in the future. Our congratulations to the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and Idasa as local partners who joined the Shared Societies Project of the Club de Madrid in this endeavor more than a year ago.
Our most sincere thanks also to the core group comprising The Citizen’s Movement for Social Change, Dynamic Stability, the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, and the Africa Centre for Dispute Resolution of the Stellenbosch University School of Business