Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Deputy Federal Chair Solly Malatsi at the DA KwaZulu-Natal Congress in Durban today.
Democrats, we gather here just a few days after commemorating Freedom Day.
As is the case whenever I reflect about Freedom Day, I am reminded of where we come from as a country.
The reality is that millions of South Africans don’t fully enjoy their freedom as they don’t have jobs, don’t feel safe in their communities and don’t have access to the most basic services they are entitled to by law.
Right here in Kwazulu-Natal we have a non-caring government whose appetite for corruption has left millions of learners starving because their crony couldn’t deliver food to schools.
Abantwana be sekolo ba bulalwa yindlala nge nxa ye corruption.
We live in a country where 8 – 12 hours of loadshedding has become a daily norm while thousands of small businesses are closing because they can’t afford to power their businesses with generators.
We live in a country where the unemployment rate is 32.7% yet there are young people who aren’t registered to vote for a government that will create the enabling environment for job creation to thrive.
We live in a country where at least 70 women are raped daily while the Minister of Police shoots off his mouth saying a rape victim was “lucky” to be raped by one man.
This, democrats, is the greatest betrayal of a generation.
Who would have thought that freedom fighters would later inflict the most vicious assault on the dignity of poor people!
Democrats, it is only the DA that can save South Africa from the inhumane abuses of our freedoms by the ANC.
Not only do we have the best ideas to solve our country’s problems.
We also have the best people to lead governments that deliver services to all people.
From Umgeni to Midvaal. Kouga to Cape Town, Thabazimbi to Stellenbosch; it is DA governments that are leading performers in delivering quality basic services for all people.
It is DA governments that are enhancing the freedoms of poor South Africans by subsidizing them with the largest basket of free basic services.
It is DA governments that are restoring the dignity of residents who have lost hope in the ability of local governments to transform their lives.
Democrats, we are on the brink of history, not only in this province but throughout the country.
The Moonshot Pact that has been initiated by our federal leader is the most practical pathway to deliver the DA to government nationally.
Now more than ever, we are very close to dislodging the ANC from power.
So you need to be vigilant over the tenders in your municipalities and provincial departments.
The ANC knows very well they will be out of office in 2024 so they will use their remaining days in power as their last opportunity to steal.
And they will do so shamelessly.
Labantu abasa nawo namahloni!
So please scrutinise every major contract in all government departments and municipalities.
We must expose every trick as they will try to channel millions to their fellow comrades and cronies, to fund their elections campaign next year.
Democratic, internal elections are a symbol of a vibrant party unlike the others parties that are owned by their owners and not members.
Some of them appoint and fire leaders based on the mood of the owner.
They can’t even tell us how their leaders will be elected.
In the DA, we hold our leaders accountable through regular elections.
We aren’t afraid of going to congresses.
We trust our internal processes so much that we can even bring congress dates forward.
Democrats, the DA KZN is one of the best exhibitions of what is so right about our party.
No wonder you won the Best Province Award at our federal congress.
So whatever the outcome of this congress will, please leave that electionitis virus here.
For we are going to need each other to win this province.
We dare not be distracted by internal dynamics.
Everything we do from today onwards must be geared towards making sure we end up in government in this province next year.
Democrats, I want to challenge you to ask yourselves how do your daily actions help advance the cause of the DA to govern nationally.
To achieve this and to never fall into the comfort of complacency, we must demand the best from our leaders as we do of ourselves.
Democrats, sekusele kancane, 2024 is here.
We need to focus on the issues that matter to voters and not our egos.
Phambiki DA Phambili!