Dear Mr President, FW De Klerk,
Dear Mr Steward,
Distinguished panelists, Dr Botha and Prof Bhorat,
Dear Members of Parliament, the diplomatic corps, representatives from state institutions and from civil-society,
Dear Theuns Eloff and all the great staff members of the FW de Klerk Foundation,
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends
On behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you. It is a great pleasure having the opportunity to say some remarks at the opening of this prestigious annual event. This year 2019 it is a special honour, because we celebrate not only 25 years of democracy in South Africa, but also the 20th anniversary of the De Klerk Foundation. As one of our most important partners in South Africa I would like to congratulate the President, his wife and every one of the De Klerk Foundation to this anniversary, knowing that the big celebration is yet to come.
The today’s conference is inequality. The De Klerk Foundation could not have chosen a more important issue for this event, due to the fact that in my opinion this is by far the biggest social and economic challenge which South Africa will face in the future. Many people in South Africa see inequality as a racial problem. This is true to a certain extent, because after 25 years of democracy white, Indian and Coloured South Africans are still enjoying a higher average income and therefore a higher living-standard than their black country fellows. Since the end of Partheid the income of white, Indian and coloured South Africans increased even relatively more than the one of Black South Africans.