REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY
DURING VISIT TO VICTORIA MXENGE HOUSING PROJECT
Capetown, South Africa
I'm delighted to be here with your mayor and so many distinguishedofficials. But I'm mostly glad to be here with the women and all of youwho have helped to build these houses. I have been talking about what Isaw ever since I returned to the United States. I have been telling myhusband about all of the work that is being done in South Africa to buildthis country; And I particularly told him about what I had seen here inCapetown.
So when it came to be that he was able to come on this trip to Africa,of course he wanted to come to South Africa; and of course he wanted tocome to Capetown; and of course he wanted to come with me to see what youhave done. ( Applause.)
Now, you may remember you gave me this pot last year. And you told meto go home and cook a meal in it or my husband. Now, I have to you that Ilive in a very big house with many people who cook for my husband. So theydid not like the idea of my taking their work away. So I will save thispot to cook for my husband when he is not the President and longer.(Laughter and applause,)
But you know, I brought the pot back because it reminded me of whatyou have done here. There is a wonderful story about a traveler wh wentfrom place to place with only an empty pot. And he would go into a villageand he would get some water and he put a stone in the pot. And he wouldput the pot on the fire. And people would come by and they'd say, what isthis crazy man doing? He is boiling a stone. And then after a whilesomeone would say, but he has a very good pot, maybe we should addsomething to the stone. So someone would come and they would add things tothis pot. And pretty soon what did they have? They had something thateverybody in the Village could eat.
Well, that is what you have done here. You have taken your hard work,you have taken your motivation, your desire to have a house, and each ofyou has added something. We were just over helping put some of the blocksin the house. And now you have houses, you are building a community. Isaw where the children are taken care of, where the store is.
So just like this empty pot, this was once empty land. But you have--each of you -- added something to this land so that now we all of thesehouses where these families can live. I hope that every one of you feelsthe kind of pride that I do in what you have accomplished. Nd as the Mayorsaid this is a real tribute to all of you.
Last year I asked you how many of you believed you would have a house.And everyone of you believed you would have a house. And every one of youraised you hands. This year I want to ask, how many of you have a house?All of you. (Applause.) Nd way back over there.
Well, this has been a wonderful experience for me to see with my owneyes what you have built. But I am especially pleased that my husbandcould see with his eyes, as well. I wanted him to come, and it's thefirst thing that he's done since he came -- we arrive here very, very late.The Mayor was kind enough to meet us, it was about I guess 2:30 or 3:00 inthe morning. But we wanted to come to see you, to tell you how grateful weare to have a chance to tell you in person how much you have accomplished.
So it gives me great pleasure to introduce my husband, to introducesomeone who cares very deeply about what people can do fore themselves, andworks very hard in our country to help people and wanted to see who thewomen were who gave him the hope of a good meal when he is no longerPresident. (Applause.)
So let me introduce my husband, Bill Clinton. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Madam Mayor, Patricia, thank youall for making us feel so welcome.
I really didn't have a choice about coming here because my wife saidto me when she got home one year ago from South Africa, she said, you willnot believe this housing project I visited. These women are building theirown houses, they're saving their own money, they're moving out of shacksand shanty villages into nice neighborhoods with good houses and a goodfuture for their children and they're helping themselves. And I want youto go and see it.
And perhaps you have this situation in your family, but when Hillarysays she wants me to go and see something, that means; you are going to seethis at the first moment. (Laughter.)
So we got in late last night and we got up this morning and we cameout here. I thank Mrs. Mbeki back there for showing us her home. Thankyou, ma'am, and congratulations to you on your nice home. (Applause.) AndI thank the ladies who are here who let me visit their constructionproject. And I said almost 30 years ago I actually spent the whole summerbuilding houses. And when I was out helping you I realized it's prettyhard work, and that's why I went into politics, so I wouldn't have to workso hard anymore. (Laughter.)
Let me also say, on a serious note, I believe what you are doing here-- building your homes, saving for them, taking a small amount of money andbuilding a very nice house -- should be a model for people who don't have alot of money all over Africa and all over the world. If you can do it herethan in villages all over the world people can do the same thing.
And I came here today partly in the hope that through the coveragefrom --(gap in tape_ -- that all over the world people will see what youare doing in this neighborhood and say, I want my neighborhood to be likethat, I want my children to live in good homes, I want them to have a goodfuture, I want them to believe that they can do better with their lives.And we intend to support you.
Today, I'm pleased to announce that our United States AID program,which supports projects like this, will spend another $3 million this yearto try to help build more houses to make more success stories so we can seemore people like Mrs. Mbeki and he family.
Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you. (Applause.)
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore