2017 FW de Klerk Goodwill Award to Wayne Van Niekerk and Anna (Ans) Botha

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all here this evening – and especially our guests of honour and recipients of the 2017 FW de Klerk Goodwill Award, Wayde van Niekerk and Ans Botha.

The Board of Trustees of the FW de Klerk Foundation established the FW de Klerk Goodwill Award in 2010 to give recognition to individuals and organisations that have made exceptional contributions to the promotion of goodwill between South Africans. Past winners include Dr Danny Jordaan (2011), Pieter-Dirk Uys (2012), Studietrust (2013), Patrice Motsepe (2014), Afrika Tikkun (2015) and Adv Thuli Madonsela and the Office of the Public Protector (2016).

The Board of Trustees of the FW de Klerk Foundation decided at its last meeting in 2016 to award the 2017 FW de Klerk Goodwill Award to the coach and athlete team of Mrs Anna (Ans) Botha, and Mr Wayde van Niekerk.

It chose them in recognition of their wonderful achievements and the manner in which they represent South Africa on the world stage – culminating in the exceptional world record at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Their teamwork inspired South Africans from all our communities and from across the social and political spectrum. It further served to remind us – as stated in our Constitution – that, “…South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity…”, of our commitment to

“…free the potential of each person…” and to “…build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place in the family of nations.”

Few things unite South Africans so well – and generate so much goodwill – as the success that we achieve together in the international sporting arena. Just think of the inspiring performance of Andile Phehlukwayo and AB de Villers in the closing overs of the first ODI against New Zealand on Sunday.

Wayde van Niekerk and Ans Botha have shown once again what we South Africans can achieve when we work together in goodwill.

Just think what we could achieve if we as a nation laid our petty differences aside and worked together in goodwill to address the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment that confront our society.

Like Wayde and Ans, South Africa has the potential to be a world champion.