The following remarks were delivered by the Interim DA Youth Leader. Nicholas Nyati, at the DA’s Freedom Day event in Nyanga.
Today we are gathered to celebrate Freedom Day, a moment in our history that was supposed to usher us into prosperity. A moment in our history that was supposed to bring us closer together and open new doors for all of us.
This is meant to be a day to celebrate the gains made towards the realisation of our economic freedom, but unfortunately, we have nothing to celebrate because we are still not free.
We have political freedom but no economic freedom. No access to opportunities. We do not even have freedom of movement because our streets are unsafe.
I am here today to say let us not despair. Masingancami. Amakholwa athi masingamncami uThixo, mna ndifuna ukuthi kuni apha namhlanje masingayincami inkululeko sesiyibona ikanana. Masingalilahli ithemba.
Let us not lose hope.
History teaches us that fighting for freedom is about hope and perseverance.
Hope that tomorrow can and will be better.
It is that hope that inspired freedom fighters like Helen Suzman and unsung heroes like Molly Blackburn. It was these great women that had hope that one day we can be free.
They hoped for a better South Africa for me and you.
This was not built on blind optimism, it was not built on wishful thinking but hope that we can build One Nation with One Future through the values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all.
I can only imagine how people ridiculed them, how people didn’t believe in them. Imagine being one person in parliament fighting for freedom. That can’t be easy. But Helen Suzman did it. She stood and she fought because of hope.
She had hope in a time when freedom seemed impossible. It was hope in a time of darkness, during the middle of a crime against humanity. The hope was attacked by people who wanted to maintain the status quo. They used everything in their power to try diminishing that hope.
They used money, they used policy, they used their influence. That did not work because our freedom fighters had more than just money, they had the support of the people. They carried the hopes and dreams of all South Africans, and no one could defeat that.
Thirty years into democracy we find ourselves in the same position that people like Helen Suzman found themselves in. A position that begs the question: “Do we accept the status quo and let things remain as they are, or do we come together and strive for true freedom for all”?
Do we maintain the status quo where we still have children using pit toilets in the Eastern Cape, where you send your child to school to seek a better future and they come back as a corpse because they drown in their own feces?
Do we maintain the status quo where our mothers must choose between buying bread or buying milk because they can no longer afford to buy both, because of the rising food prices?
Do we maintain the status quo where police are as good as non-existent because of the useless ministers that keep being deployed?
Do we maintain the status quo where water and electricity are no longer a right but a privilege?
Do we continue to fold our arms when the ANC and EFF are promising us a doomsday in 2024, where they say they will take your house, they will take your job and they will take your freedom?
Or do we come together and unite in our beautiful diversity.
Where we work towards electing a new national government that will give us true freedom.
A government that promises the eradication of pit toilets in our school
A government that promises jobs for every household in South Africa
A government that promises to give you a title deed so that you can own your land.
A government that promises to get the railway working again, so that you can have affordable transport.
A government that will make loadshedding a thing of the past.
That is the choice that we must make.
I choose the second option.
I am here because I want to fight for true freedom. And it is only the DA that can achieve that.
We have a proven track record of good governance, here in the Western Cape. We have a proven track record here in the City of Cape Town. We have a proven track record here in Nyanga. It was the DA government that built this beautiful park.
It is the DA that is continuously building houses for people in Western Cape, it is the DA government that established the LEAP programme.
It is the DA government that gets clean audits every year.
It is the good governance of the DA that attracts people from other provinces to come and seek opportunities in the Western Cape because they understand that under a DA government, they can get Jobs.
But the DA will not achieve this alone. We need you. We need your vote.
It starts now.
To change hope into reality, each person who is eligible, must go out and register to vote. Because if you are not registered, you will not be able to vote in the election next year.
It starts with you. With just one vote.
One family, one community, one province and in 2024 the whole of South Africa
Let us no longer fold our arms and watch a match we are supposed to be playing.
I want you all to stand.
And I want you to repeat after me:
The DA is in it to win it!