A group of prominent foundations representing “illustrious South Africans” like Oliver and Adeleide Tambo, Desmond and Leah Tutu, Chief Albert Luthuli and Thabo Mbeki, among others, have banded together to help solve the country’s problems.
Other groups that formed part of the new “The Foundations Initiative” (TFI) included the foundations for Helen Suzman, FW de Klerk, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka’s Umlambo Foundation.
“These foundations bear the names of illustrious South Africans, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to the achievement of freedom, democracy in our Motherland,” the TFI said in a statement.
“The representatives of these foundations have over the past several months met and put their heads together to discuss and debate a structured approach to assist in the building of a national consensus to solve South Africa’s current problems and move the nation to its rightful place in the world.”
It said that in the coming months the TFI would facilitate dialogues across the country, and would co-ordinate, document, research and record those conversations and dialogues about the state of the nation.
“It will then endeavour to chart a way forward that that will hopefully unite the country and strengthen its democratic values. TFI will also endeavour to ensure that the outcomes of these dialogues are included in the programmes of both government and the private sector.”
It said much had been achieved since the country achieved democracy, but along the way cracks had started to appear.
“With the passage of time, these cracks imposed stresses and strains on our budding nationhood. Some of the cracks came from historical fault-lines while others were occasioned by the emergence of unexpected and unsavoury ways of doing things.
“Fuelling these maladies is the scourge of endemic corruption, which makes government failures all the more unacceptable. Our Chapter Nine Institutions are slowly being retarded through resource constraints and public castigation.
“It is against this background that The Foundations Initiative (TFI) was born.”
The announcement of the initiative follows a groundbreaking ruling by the Constitutional Court on Thursday that President Jacob Zuma and the National Assembly had flouted the Constitution with regards to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on the upgrades to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.
The Office of the Public Protector is a Chapter Nine institution, and the Constitutional Court also found that her remedial actions are binding.
Zuma now has to pay back money used for non-security upgrades to the homestead, following a determination of the amount by the National Treasury.