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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in South Africa

Below is the text of Mr Major’s speech at the Alexandra Township in South Africa on Wednesday 21st September 1994.


QUESTION:

What did you think of the pitch at the Alexandra Oval?

PRIME MINISTER:

If you look over there at that township, it is absolutely appalling and what has actually happened now is that lots of the youngsters from that township have got a sanctuary, they can come here, they have got open space, they have got a cricket field where it didn't exist, they have got sports facilities, they have got the chance to play and to grow and to learn and that means a great deal I think.

QUESTION:

What do you say to those who say there is still too much uncertainty and violence in South Africa for international business to invest here? What is your answer to them?

PRIME MINISTER:

I say they are wrong. International business should invest here. I don't have a shred of doubt about the confident future that South Africa can look forward to. Anybody who came here and saw for themselves could feel the changed atmosphere; you don't have to read about it, you don't have to sit back in your chair abroad and wonder what is happening - come and see, it has changed. People should come here and they should invest here, it will be good for South Africa and it will be good for them too.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes they are, thank goodness, and he is a very great sportsman. If the youngsters learn to play cricket remotely as well as Brian Lara or love it remotely as well as Brian Lara, they will be very lucky youngsters.

QUESTION:

What do you admire about his batting?

PRIME MINISTER:

He is one of the best there is, isn't he? It is his back-lift that I found fascinating, he clearly sees the ball very early in flight and hits the ball to all parts of the ground. He is a joy to watch and I fear we will be watching all too much of him when the West Indians are next playing England.