Excerpts from the welcome message to the COMMACT participants from the Mayor of Stutterheim his Worship Chris Magwangqana:

....... "The story of Stutterheim's reconciliation, reconstruction and development goes back almost 10 years. Much bridge-building had to be done in a divided community and we are proud that as leaders we not only managed to build these bridges, but we walked across them and joined hands as the people of the town.

We made a conscious and realistic choice to focus on development. Our discussions never became a talk shop, they were focused - we took decisions and implement them. As a result there is an improved quality of life for all in our town and our area.

Local Economic Development in Stutterheim is part and parcel of the process of community building. We hold monthly community meetings which includes the whole spectrum of local organisations - both government and civil society The process is inclusive. We seek a common vision and work towards that.

Development is about people more than things and must occur at local level. As small towns and communities take charge of their own development, this enables them to contribute fully to national progress.

Two years ago I, as Mayor and Nico Ferreira of the Stutterheim Development Foundation, had the privilege of addressing your confrence in Derry via satellite. We have taken courage from your deliberations and today we seek a common vision with friends from around the world. Your experiences will greatly add to our knowledge and ability to transform society We hope too, you will gain something from being in our town."

Chris Magwangqana Stutterheim 1999