BOKAMOSO | Smaller parties: Why a vote for the DA packs more punch

The ANC’s total dominance of SA’s politics for a quarter of a century has become profoundly destructive to our national wellbeing. South Africa’s democracy needs a strong alternative. To achieve this, we need to reform our politics: we need to use our vote to promote our shared values rather than our personal identity.

The majority of South Africans are committed to the values on which all successful democracies are built: accountability, constitutionalism, the rule of law, nonracialism, a market-driven economy, and a capable state that delivers to all rather than to a connected elite. These are fundamental principles that millions of us hold in common, despite our differences on more granular issues.

If we can rise to the challenge of choosing values over identity, we can together build a strong alternative. This election has got to be about that. We simply do not have the luxury of tinkering around the margins of opposition politics right now, tailoring our vote to reflect our precise personal preferences or identity.

We are fighting for our future in a country that is fast becoming a failed state because of one-party dominance. Almost every aspect of our state is already in crisis. Another five years of rolling blackouts, spiraling prices, corruption, patronage politics, failed administration and socialist policy will be severely damaging.

The true test for any democracy is whether power can change peacefully at the ballot box. The challenge for South Africa is to fast arrive at this point, where the governing party is kept on their toes by the ever-present threat of losing power.

We cannot allow our country to fall prey to the entrenched single-party hegemony that continues to plague the African continent. The very founding values of our democracy are at stake. If we cannot hold rank failure and corruption to account, then can we really call ourselves a democracy at all?

So, we urgently need to build a strong counterweight to the ANC, to show that another way is possible. Voting for smaller parties right now is tantamount to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Smaller parties will not stop our demise under the ANC and blurs our focus on the biggest threat to our democracy: one-party dominance.

Under normal circumstances, the plethora of parties – 48 on the national ballot paper alone – should be welcomed as a sign of a vibrant democracy replete with plentiful options for voters to express their individual preferences. But this is not a business-as-usual election; this is a fight for our survival. So 8 May must be about building a credible alternative government, not about creating a wide sprinkling of opposition parties on the fringe of our politics.

This means focusing on what we have in common, rather than on what divides us. Rather like a tug of war, we need to all pull together in the same direction to have maximum impact in our bid to save South Africa from the failing ANC.

The DA is a party for all South Africans – people from all walks of life are coming on board. It is a platform where people of diverse racial, religious, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds can come together around our broadly shared democratic values.

If every voter demanded to agree with every single one of a party’s policy positions, then we’d end up with a multitude of tiny parties hopelessly unable to challenge the ANC’s dominance. The only way to have real impact is to punch in the centre, and that is where the DA is located.

The ANC is flailing under the weight of its governing failures right now and running a disorganized, half-hearted campaign. It is entirely possible that they could be brought below 50%, especially in certain provinces.

The DA is the only party that can credibly lead an alternative government – whether it is a coalition government, a minority government or a full majority government. The party has the structures, momentum and governing experience to achieve real impact.

The DA has demonstrated it can lead a successful coalition government in SA. Forming coalitions in Cape Town (2006-2011), Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (2016-2018) enabled us to cut the channels of ANC patronage and corruption that had plagued these metros. Literally billions of rands of corrupt contracts were terminated.

Coalitions will enable South Africa to realign its politics away from one-party dominance. I want to make it clear that the DA will work in coalition with any other parties, groups or individuals that share our core values. And where required, we will consult with other parties, who may not share our core values, but share the grand goal of furthering democracy by removing the ANC from government.

Governing successes in Johannesburg and Tshwane prove that even minority coalitions can be extremely effective, if one party emerges as the clear leader.

On 8 May a vote for the DA will be a vote for a new government in a maturing democracy. It will be the strongest possible electoral response to the threat of one-party dominance in a failed state. It will be a vote for the democratic values on which we can build one united, prosperous South Africa for all.

BOKAMOSO | DA can win the fight against crime

If we South Africans are going to build a functional, peaceful society one thing is certain: it can only happen if everybody plays by the same rules. That means we need an honest, professional police force able to uphold our laws.

Lawlessness has become tightly woven into the fabric of our society. So much so that people have long since stopped hoping and believing they will ever feel really safe in South Africa.

Yet we can win the fight against crime. SAPS is in crisis, but the solutions are obvious. If we fix the fundamentals in SAPS, we can turn it into an honest, professional organisation that actually serves and protects South Africans.

The DA’s manifesto sets out our plan for fighting crime. We will overhaul SAPS to decentralize it and to fix the Four U’s: under-training, under-staffing, under-resourcing and under-equipping.

The DA is determined that responsibility for policing must be devolved to those provinces and cities that are up to the task. It is internationally accepted, and something of a no-brainer, that crime-fighting must be located as close to affected communities as possible.

The current one-size-fits-all approach where all important decisions are taken in Pretoria is inflexible and unresponsive to the specifics needs of each community. And it hinders the prospect for community-police teamwork that is so essential to effective crime-fighting.

Even though SAPS is 100% under the control of the national government, the DA has made good progress in achieving law and order where we govern. I can confidently say that the DA leads the best metro police forces in the country.

When Herman Mashaba became mayor of JHB metro in August 2016, one of the first things he did was to appoint an experienced, determined leader to run the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, in the form of MMC Michael Sun.

Two and a half years in, MMC Michael Sun has built a formidable law enforcement team to drive Mashaba’s programme of Buya Mthetho (bring back the law) aimed at building a culture of law and order in JHB.

The DA-led coalition government took the unprecedented step of recruiting an additional 1500 JMPD trainees. They are in the process of being trained and will graduate and join the JMPD by the end of 2019. This will double the JMPD to almost 3000 operational officers.

But even before it doubles in size, the JMPD has become an effective force, going well beyond its mandate of law enforcement, to fill in the crime-fighting vacuum left by a weak SAPS. So, they focus not just on traffic management and general by-law infringement, but also on drunk and reckless driving, vehicle hijacking, theft, unlicensed firearms, and possession of drugs.

JMPD has racked up some impressive achievements – and I can say this confidently, because they measure and report on everything. For example, they achieved a 28% reduction in fatal vehicle crashes in JHB metro this festive season compared to last festive season (63 in 2018/19 compared with 87 in 2017/18).

These are not just numbers. They amount to lives saved. Thanks to this 28% reduction in fatal car crashes, fatalities came down by 29%, from 103 to 73. This means 30 fewer people were killed this festive season than last.

Think about that for a minute: 30 fewer families lost loved ones – mothers, fathers, children – in Joburg this Christmas season. The DA-led coalition government is literally saving lives!

The JMPD has introduced a Whatsapp-based hotline, to enable effective teamwork with the community. And they have invested in an evidentiary breath alcohol testing (EBAT) machine, to improve the conviction rate for drunk driving, which is by far the most common recorded crime in JHB.

Slowly but surely, Buya Mthetho is coming true. JHB is becoming a dangerous place for criminals, rather than for innocent people. Just think how much faster this is going to happen once the JMPD doubles in size at the end of this year.

We’ve also proved ourselves in our other metros. Our longest track record is Cape Town, considered to run the best metro police in the country. With its “localise, professionalise, specialise” approach, the tiny metro force does its best to fill the huge voids created by a chronically understaffed SAPS in the metro, where deployment ratios are 1:560, compared to 1:369 nationally.

It focuses on crime hot-spots, using technology (CCTV cameras, ShotSpotter, and an ER system operational in all vehicles) and specialist teams to get maximum leverage from extremely scarce resources.

In Tshwane, the DA-led coalition government redirected a fleet of BMWs, purchased by the former government for politicians, to the anti-hijack team in Tshwane’s metro police.

NMB had no metro police force at all before the DA-led coalition took over in 2016. In just two years, we built a fully-trained 154 officer-strong force with 3 metro satellite police stations, 10 vehicles, a bicycle unit, a plainclothes (ghost) squad and a 24-hour manned call centre.

On 8 May, a vote for the DA will be a vote for effective policing and safer communities.

BOKAMOSO | Ramaphosa-Bosasa, Zuma-Gupta: same game, different players

With the National Prosecuting Authority as weak and incapacitated as it is after years of assault by the governing party, the State Capture Commission looks set to be a “Corruption TRC” when what we really need is a government clean-out. That’s why voting for the corruption-free DA on 8 May is such a crucial assault on corruption.

This week, President Ramaphosa’s son, Andile Ramaphosa, admitted that he received over R2 million from Bosasa as a monthly retainer fee starting in December 2017, the month his father was elected ANC president.

President Ramaphosa has admitted knowledge of this “business relationship” and has also admitted that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson “donated” R500 000 towards his ANC presidential election campaign.

Let’s cut the quotation marks and call these payments what they really are: sweeteners and bribes.

There is no substantive difference between the nature of the Ramaphosa-Bosasa relationship and that of Zuma-Gupta. The Zuma-Gupta relationship had more time to play itself out and therefore involves the syphoning off of a lot more public money. But the difference is one of degree and timing, not of kind.

We’re watching the same game here, but with different players.

Bosasa is a company that has been bribing ANC politicians for the last two decades. Bosasa contracts with the ANC government total over R10 billion. The details of this corrupt relationship have been reported on in the media over the years, and much of the information was exposed in a detailed SIU report a decade ago.

Like Zuma-Gupta, the Ramaphosa-Bosasa relationship follows the standard ANC modus operandi: the ANC-in-government (e.g. Department of Correctional Services) gives lucrative tenders to the ANC-in-business (e.g. Bosasa) which in return funds the ANC-as-a-political-party (or one or both of its factions).

This has enabled an ANC-connected elite to enrich themselves while also entrenching their political power to facilitate ongoing elite enrichment. This is profoundly anti-democratic, deeply corrupt, and unequivocally against the public interest.

Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi yesterday told the State Capture Inquiry that Bosasa paid out an estimated R70 million in bribes between 2006 and 2016, and that he knows of large “donations” of R10 million and R12 million given to the ANC top six. It is simply inconceivable that the R500 000 “donation” to Ramaphosa wasn’t a bribe.

It is strongly in the national interest that President Cyril Ramaphosa appears before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture before the national elections on 8 May 2019. I have this week written to Commission Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to urge that he does so.

Our country faces severe crises on multiple fronts. South Africans have a critically important once-in-five-year opportunity to bring change. So we all need to know the full truth about the nature of the relationship between the Ramaphosa family and Bosasa. This information is integral to the decision we face and therefore integral to our nation’s future wellbeing.

President Ramaphosa’s actions in relation to these revelations are not those of a man with nothing to hide. On the contrary, he has ducked and dived in an attempt to gloss over or conceal the truth from Parliament, the media and the people of South Africa.

In an answer to my oral question in Parliament in November 2018, asking President Ramaphosa to explain the payment of R500 000 by Bosasa to his son, Ramaphosa claimed the payment was for consulting work rendered by his Andile to Bosasa, and that he had seen the contract himself.

This information turned out to be false and the R500 000 was in fact a “donation” (laundered bribe) to his CR17 campaign. This breach of the Executive Ethics Act led me to submit a complaint to the Public Protector.

More recently, when I have asked Ramaphosa further questions in Parliament, he has refused to answer them, on the grounds that the matter is being dealt with by the Public Protector. In doing so, he displays a blatant disregard for the constitutional oversight role of Parliament. That a matter is with the Public Protector does not in any way absolve him of his constitutional obligation to account to Parliament.

It should be extremely concerning to all of us that: Ramaphosa considers it acceptable for his son to receive money from a company notorious for conducting a deeply corrupt relationship with his party over the course of two decades; that he lied to Parliament; that his son has received over R2 million so far; and that he has used Zuma-style evasion tactics to avoid accountability.

We all need to know the full truth about the Ramaphosa-Bosasa relationship, and we need to know it before 8 May. Because the sooner we put an end to this system of corrupt elite enrichment, the sooner we can start building a South Africa where opportunities are open to all, rather than to the connected few

BOKAMOSO | Ramaphosa’s foreign policy direction points to a False Dawn

The hallmarks of South Africa’s foreign policy must be a deep commitment to human rights, democracy and free trade.

That requires the South African government to call out leaders who rig election results to acquire or retain power. It requires South Africa to speak out when ruling parties silence, detain or murder opposition politicians and activists, or use violence against civilians to create a climate of fear in order to suppress dissent.

This is not happening under President Ramaphosa. On Wednesday he visited Zimbabwe and treated Emerson Mnangagwa as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe. I have no problem with Ramaphosa visiting Zimbabwe and being cordial towards Mnangagwa.

But he uttered not a word about the human rights atrocities – beatings, rape, murder, detention without trial – being perpetrated in Zimbabwe to suppress opposition to the ZANU-PF government. Not a word about the need to restore the rule of law, comply with the Constitution and respect human rights.

Mnangagwa came to power on the back of a military coup and a rigged election. His government rules Zimbabwe because it used force to acquire power and it is using force to retain power. Ramaphosa should use his position as SA President and SADC chair to stand with the people of Zimbabwe and call ZANU-PF out. Instead, he stood with Mnangagwa, seemingly happy to be in a brotherhood of Big Men leaders of liberation movements that are holding back Africa’s progress.

Millions of Zimbabwean families have been impoverished and torn apart by the parasitic, predatory politics of ZANU-PF’s political elite who’ve used their control of the armed forces to loot the country into oblivion. And yet Ramaphosa seems happy to support and legitimise this winner of a rigged election. Or, if this is his version of quiet diplomacy, it will fail as surely as Mbeki’s did in the early 2000s.

The ANC sent a delegation to Venezuela last week, to show support to Nicolas Maduro, another winner of a rigged election. Free and fair elections are a cornerstone of democratic societies. It is outrageous that the ANC would choose to support Maduro over the people of Venezuela.

South Africa now has a seat on the United Nations Security Council and therefoe an opportunity to show our values by the way we vote. Yet we were one of only three countries to vote against a US resolution before the UN Security Council to recognize Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela. (Venezuela’s Constitution allows for Guaido, who is President of the National Assembly, to become President of the country on an interim basis in order to facilitate new elections.)

Not only must South Africa’s foreign policy serve the interests of the citizens of other countries, it must also serve our own interests. The alliances we form must assist us to grow our economy so that we can put a job in every home and ensure fair access to opportunities.

Good relations with Israel offers a wealth of opportunity for trade and innovation (for example, in advanced water-saving technology), and yet South Africa is shunning Israel by downgrading its embassy there to a mere liaison office. This position is more about winning political support for the ANC than it is about promoting South Africa’s best interests.

Pursuing good relations with Israel doesn’t stop South Africa from calling Israel out on its treatment of Palestinians. In fact, keeping communication channels open is the most effective way for South Africa to play its part in bringing about a two-state solution. Instead, the ANC is using foreign policy to pursue a populist agenda.

South Africa is still stuck with the ANC’s old alliances as if the Berlin Wall is still up. We need to modernize our foreign policy and get it working for the benefit of all South Africans. Ramaphosa has been President for over a year and still our visa regime deters tourism, international and intracontinental trade, and the importation of scarce skills.

We need our foreign missions to act as trade offices. But instead of using them to promote trade, the ANC is still using them to dispense patronage. Cutting our number of diplomats will be a good start to reducing the size of our public sector wage bill.

A year into Ramaphosa’s presidency, SA’s foreign policy direction points to a False Dawn. Ramaphosa’s shielding and legitimizing of the ANC will prolong the suffering of South Africans just as his shielding and legitimizing of Mnangagwa and Maduro will prolong the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

On 8 May, a vote for the DA will be a vote for a modern, human rights based foreign policy that puts the interests of ordinary people over the interests of dictators and political elites.

BOKAMOSO | A decade of DA delivery in Western Cape shows what is possible under clean, capable government

Last week, we learnt from StatsSA that SA’s economic growth (0.8%) was below population growth (1.2%) in 2018. So the average South African got poorer for a fifth year in a row. This shows it is not enough to put a new driver into the old ANC bus.

South Africa needs to move beyond liberation movement politics and into a post-liberation era of clean, capable, citizen-centred government that can put a job in every home, eradicate corruption, build a professional police service, secure our borders and deliver better services.

On Saturday the DA launched its Gauteng Manifesto, our plan of action for how we will get Gauteng working. The province has massive potential. The DA has already proved itself in Johannesburg and Tshwane which accounted for 162 000 of the 172 000 new jobs created in Gauteng last year. And DA-led Midvaal, has sustained economic growth of 10% for over a decade, with the lowest unemployment in Gauteng.

We will build on our success in Gauteng by actively supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through funding, innovation hubs and partnerships. We’ll make it easier to do business by cutting red tape and by revitalizing and expanding industrial parks. We’ll provide space for informal traders, pay suppliers on time, and support the development of new CBDs in Soweto, Tembisa and Mamelodi. And we’ll lobby for police competency to be given to the province, since a more local approach will be far more effective in fighting crime.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Gauteng or with our country. We just need clean, capable government. Over the past ten years of DA government in the Western Cape, the province has pulled far ahead of the other provinces precisely because it’s had clean, capable government.

Outgoing premier Helen Zille is the first to admit there is still much to be done. But the province has progressed despite bad policy at the national level. It now has a professional, capable administration that is well-positioned to accelerate delivery. Below this newsletter I’ve listed some highlights from Helen’s final State of the Province Address, and I’d like to thank her for her incredible contribution.

This impressive progress comes from putting citizens’ interests first and prioritizing the most vulnerable. They show that Western Cape citizens did well to place their trust in the DA.

The DA’s Western Cape Manifesto sets out how we will build on these achievements. We will work to secure the Western Cape’s power supply through Independent Power Producers, because we cannot rely on Eskom to keep the lights on. We will fight for a provincially managed rail service so that bus and train transport can be integrated. And we will fight for policing to be devolved to provinces (those provinces that have the capability), so that we can build a professional provincial police service.

On 8 May, please vote for clean, capable DA government that builds One South Africa for All.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane

DA Leader

 

Highlights from Premier Helen’s Zille’s Western Cape State of the Province Address

  • At 23%, the Western Cape has SA’s lowest unemployment rate, a full 14 percentage points below the national average of 37% on the expanded definition.
  • 508 000 new jobs have been created in the WC since the start of the administration’s first term.
  • Employment in the Western Cape grew by 24.8% between 2009 and 2018, well ahead of Gauteng (18.6%) and KZN (8.8%), a result of the WC’s economic strategy – Project Khulisa.
  • We have South Africa’s lowest rural unemployment rate at 15.7%.
  • Success rate of land reform farms is 72%, compared to 10% success rate for SA as a whole.
  • Since 2009, 103 000 people have received title deeds across the Western Cape. We have brought the title deeds backlog down to 25%, compared to 59% nationally.
  • Achieved 83% clean audits this last financial year (2017/18). Gauteng came a distant second with 52%. WC achieved 0% clean audits before we took over in 2009.
  • 21 of the 30 clean municipal audits in SA are in the Western Cape. (Compared to 0 in 2009.)
  • Western Cape is consistently the top performing province on key indicators for matric pass rates. Since 2009:
    • the overall matric pass rate has increased from 75.7% to 81.5% in 2018
    •  the Bachelor pass rate has increased from 31.9% to 42.3% in 2018. The proportion of Bachelors passes in Quintiles 1 – 3 has more than doubled.
    • the maths pass rate has increased from 64.9% to 76% in 2018 o the Science pass rate increased from    52.9% to 79.5% in 2018.
  • The SACMEQ 4 report indicated that the Western Cape has an advanced reading score that is double the national average – 72.7% compared to 36.1% nationally. We were also well ahead of the 2nd ranked province, Gauteng, at 54%.
  • Our Retention Rate from Grades 10 – 12 is the highest in the country, at around 63% for the 2018 matric results. No other province managed to achieve a retention rate of over 50%.
  • WC consistently achieves the best health outcomes. Life expectancy is the highest in the country, supported by a functional public healthcare system.
  • Since the DA took office in 2009, life expectancy
    • for men has increased from 59 years to a projected 66 years
    • for women from 64 years to a projected 72 years.
  • WC has the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of their nearest health facility, at          91.5%, according to Stats SA’s General Household Survey 2016.
  • We have built on average 13 schools and 206 new classrooms for every year in office since 2009. This amounts to 132 schools and close to 2,057 classrooms over two terms.
  • WCPG reached its target of full broadband coverage to a total of 1,875 public sites, including over 1,200 schools, over 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities.
  • Over 95% of all kilometres travelled in the Western Cape are on roads in a fair to very good condition – you can literally feel and see the difference when driving into the province.
  • Since 2009, we have delivered 212 967 housing opportunities across the Western Cape. A total of 105 000 housing opportunities are in the pipeline for completion by 2022 as part of our Catalytic projects, which are at various stages of construction, design and planning.
  • 22 WC municipalities have in place the necessary systems to accept Rooftop PV power into their grids – and 18 of these municipalities have approved tariffs in place so consumers can be compensated for electricity they feed back into the grid.
  • 2018 Ratings Afrika rated Western Cape municipalities the best in the country, with a combined average rating of 62% compared to the national average of 41%.
  • Municipal IQ found that a total of 8 out of top 10 municipalities in the national Municipal Productivity index are in the Western Cape.

SPECIAL BOKAMOSO | Let’s build a real shareholder economy

The following speech was delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the 2019 Black Business Summit in Midrand, Johannesburg on Friday 1 March.

Let’s build a real shareholder economy

Delegates

Fellow panelists

Fellow South Africans

The DA’s vision for South Africa is animated by the goal of putting a job in every home. This is what we judge all our efforts against. Does our policy create work? Does our policy encourage and support legitimate black business? Does our policy help reverse the legacy of our unjust past?

Apartheid systematically deprived the majority of our people on multiple fronts. People were disadvantaged economically, socially, psychologically and geographically. It is up to all of us to create a climate that addresses all of these issues and delivers broader inclusion and the transfer of assets to black South Africans.

That must be the goal and the outcome of our discussions here today: to build a more inclusive and diverse country together. Not to create another circle of insiders. Not to conjure up enemies and scapegoats. Not to pit one race against another in a zero-sum game contestation.

For the time being, these efforts need to be targeted at black South Africans specifically in order to address the injustice aimed specifically at them. Hopefully we all agree that our goal is a non-racial country with equal opportunities for all. There has to come a time when we no longer use race as a proxy for disadvantage.

But for now, there can be no doubt that our society and our economy still bear enormous scars from our past. We are very much still a nation of economic insiders and economic outsiders, almost all of whom are black.

At every level of our economy, black South Africans still remain disproportionately excluded from opportunities and from ownership. South Africa is a story of delayed and displaced asset transfer to black South Africans. This, despite more than two decades of government intervention and over 800 pages of BEE codes meant to correct this imbalance.

A quarter of a century into our democracy, this calls for an honest appraisal of what the goal was compared to what has been achieved.

Our number one priority must still be to break down the walls between the insiders and the outsiders – to broaden inclusion in the economy, to ensure a dramatic increase in the transfer of skills through education and training, and to enable the ownership of assets, property and pension savings for more black South Africans. Apartheid was a deliberate disruption of wealth transfer, but one way to overcome this is by promoting a pension savings culture in South Africa. This is a highly effective way to ensure wealth transfer to a next generation.

But if we want to make any headway in opening up our economy to more black South Africans, we need to agree on two things:

The first is that the ANC government’s efforts to transform our economy have failed – not only to build a growing and more inclusive economy, but also to favour legitimate black businesses. Twenty-five years on, all we can see for these efforts is a thin slice of super-empowered individuals at the very top of the economic ladder – individuals who all too often enjoy close proximity to the party.

The second thing we must agree on is that critique of the current model does not amount to opposition to the idea of economic redress and empowerment. You can be both an ardent critic of BEE and a staunch advocate for real broad-based empowerment.

In fact, if you care at all about correcting the imbalance in our economy, then this has to be your position.

The motivation behind BEE – or B-BBEE, as it was disingenuously renamed a few years ago – bears little resemblance today to the intentions it once started out with. Over the years it has been reduced to little more than a fig leaf for elite enrichment. Often then followed by re-enrichment of the same elite.

For a programme intended to boost black inclusion in the economy, BEE has had virtually no positive effect on poverty, unemployment, income and assets. Surely these should be important yardsticks when measuring the effectiveness of this programme? Surely broad-based empowerment cannot begin and end with the share of black ownership of JSE-listed companies?

And this is not only my view, or the view of the party I lead. This has been confirmed in independent polling in recent years, with the majority of black South Africans indicating that the current ANC model of BEE had helped neither their community nor them individually.

All of this makes a strong case for reform when it comes to our empowerment and redress efforts. The current model has not worked, and it is in fact losing support. Is it not time for us to return to the noble intentions we once had for empowerment? Should we not be looking at ways to better include more ordinary black South Africans in our economy?

By focusing on four areas – share ownership, enterprise development, skills development and diversifying places of work – we can create an empowerment model that both increases the inclusion of black South Africans in our economy, and dramatically reduces the complexity of the current model, making it far easier to do business in South Africa.

In terms of share ownership, we need to place a far stronger emphasis on workers as shareholders. When the re-written BEE codes came into effect in 2015, this aspect was radically diluted. In fact, it was initially taken out completely, and only re-included – albeit in a watered-down format – after an outcry.

This needs to be brought back, and placed front and centre of our empowerment model. Employee Share Ownership Schemes can be implemented across all sectors, from Agriculture and Mining to Manufacturing and Retail. This holds the key to real broad-based empowerment, as opposed to the narrow, elite version we are currently working with.

Apart from the obvious financial benefit to individual workers, owning a share in the business increases an employee’s commitment to the business. It raises productivity and it boosts employee retention.

Rather than searching for one BEE partner, businesses should be incentivised to make their workers their business partners. They should invest time in explaining to them what it means to be a business partner and co-owner.

And white businesses have a big role to play in this regard. I know it is often far easier to simply sign up a partner and be done with it. But if we want to transform ownership of our economy in a meaningful way, then we might have to put in a little extra work. This is one area of economic empowerment that calls for a whole-of-society approach.

The second aspect of empowerment that requires a re-think is that of enterprise development. We can’t claim to be serious about black economic empowerment if our model doesn’t prioritise bringing new entrants into the various sectors of our economy.

I would propose the establishment of a fund specifically aimed at financing new black entrants – whether they be in mining, insurance, clothing or any other industry. I call this a Jobs & Justice fund, and this will be ring-fenced start-up capital meant to launch new black businesses.

Along with this fund, companies should be rewarded for their efforts to help develop new black entrepreneurs, whether they do so by direct mentoring or by donating to organisations that finance and incubate black entrepreneurs.

When the BEE codes were rewritten, the points awarded for the inclusion of new entrants were also drastically reduced. This needs to be corrected. Focusing on bringing new entrants into the economy will ensure that empowerment remains truly broad-based, and that the same wealthy individuals are not re-empowered over and over again.

The third aspect of such a new empowerment model must be that of skills development. We all know an economy responds to its skills base, but yet we do very little to incentivise the broadening of skills among black South Africans.

In addition to turning around our failed basic education system and increasing access to tertiary education for more black youth, we need to start rewarding companies that invest in our skills pipeline. This could be through schooling, training, bursaries, internships, mentorships or apprenticeships.

And finally, we need to ensure that our places of work – across all sectors and at all levels – become reflective of the incredible diversity of our nation.

There are many other aspects to black economic empowerment that we can also talk about. Issues like transferring land with full title deed to those who live on it. Issues like building a capable state that can deal decisively with corruption – because all corruption does is replace legitimate businesses with politicians who reinvent themselves as businessmen and women. Issues like placing our cities at the forefront of development and growth, because this is one way to deconcentrate the economy.

But the four areas I mentioned – share ownership for workers, enterprise development for new entrants, rewarding the development and transfer of skills, and workplace diversity – have the potential to radically transform our economy.

I realise that some of my views might be met with resistance by some at this conference. Many attendees here have no interest in challenging the status quo. That’s because BEE, in its current format, has been exceptionally good to some South Africans.

And out there is an entire industry that has arisen around BEE compliance – armies of consultants and lawyers who only exist to guide companies through the maze of codes and legislation. BEE has been good to them too.

But most ordinary black South Africans cannot say the same. And they are the people for whom an economic empowerment programme was meant to exist. They have watched for over two decades as others went inside and shut the door on them. And they can’t wait much longer.

Not only has BEE in its current format failed to include them directly, it has also managed to deter investment and put the brakes on job creation.

We need to put our country and its people first. That means dismantling the system that rewards the few at the expense of the many, and replacing it with one that truly broadens inclusion.

If we want to call it “Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment”, then it has to be just that.

Thank you.

SPECIAL BOKAMOSO | No more talking. No more watching. South Africa needs action.

The following speech was delivered yesterday by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during the Joint Sitting Debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address, in Parliament, Cape Town.

Madam Speaker

Honourable President

Honourable Members

Fellow South Africans

Bagaetso Dumelang

Mr President, I am flattered that you would like to include me in your band, as you said in your SONA last Thursday.

But I am not sure it’s going to work out. I am worried that you only know how to sing to the ANC’s tune. I personally prefer to sing something more in tune with South Africa.

Honourable Members,

I have spent a lot of time on the road recently traveling from kasi to kasi, discussing the many challenges our people face.

On one such a stop in Diepkloof, Soweto, my visit coincided with ANC campaigners in the area. And as I was talking to a group of young people selling meat, one of them pointed over to the ANC campaigners and said to me:

“Sikathele a bo Agrizzi” – we are tired of Agrizzis.

He was angry and frustrated. He knew instinctively that he – like millions of others – had been robbed by the corruption of this government.

All he wanted was a government that could do the basics well. A government that can keep the lights on, keep the taps running, help small businesses like his succeed and help put young people into jobs.

From kasi to kasi – from Mdantsane to uMlazi – the cry is the same. People want change and they want it now. They are tired of their communities becoming dormitories of unemployed labour. And they are tired of broken promises.

They want action, not talk-shops and not summits. And they wanted this a long time ago.

But instead, Honourable President, you asked them on Thursday to wait some more.

“Watch this space”. That’s what you told us several times during your SONA address.

But that’s all you’ve been doing for the past decade, and it’s all you’ve been doing for your entire first year in office. Watching and waiting.

You have been watching this space as youth unemployment grew to include more than half our young people.

You have been watching this space as Eskom fell apart, threatening to plunge our country into a crisis we may never recover from.

You have been watching this space as the Gupta leaks and the Zondo Commission showed how our country was sold out for a braai pack, some beers and a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Throughout all of this, South Africans have been desperately hoping for something to happen. But nothing did and, judging by your track record, nothing will.

But while you have watching and waiting, the DA has been doing.

We have not stopped fighting on behalf of South Africans in this Parliament and in court to expose the corruption and mismanagement of your government.

Yet you were content to just watch and wait as your party robbed us blind.

Under your ANC, SONA stands for “State of No Action”.

We are a State of big promises. We’re a State of Commissions, Task Teams and Road Shows for every possible problem. But when it comes to actually doing things, we are a State of No Action. Every single SONA – including both of yours to date – has been nothing but a long list of things that sound good and sound busy, with very little meaningful action. And I don’t think this is what you want.

I’m sure you would love to preside over a government that gets things done – a government that improves the lives of our people.

But you don’t. You preside over an ANC government that can’t and won’t act. Across towns, cities and provinces, our State is being looted by your party. That’s the ANC citizens would be voting for.

Mr President, it is clear they are in charge, and not you.

That’s why you love spending time overseas. When there’s no ANC around – when you’re speaking in Davos or being interviewed by the foreign press – you can say whatever you like.

But as soon as you’re back home, it is the ANC of the Magashules and the Mabuzas and the Mahumapelos – and yes, even the ANC of the Zumas – that calls the shots.

And we all know that this ANC disagrees with you on almost all key policy issues – the nationalisation of land, the nationalisation of mines and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

We all know you weren’t joking when you said, about Ace Magashule: “This is my boss, the real boss. Without him I am nothing.”

We judge a man by the company he keeps, Mr President. These are your friends.

Like many South Africans, I want to believe your SONA address. But I know that you are not in charge.And because of this, you can only offer revision, while our country desperately needs a new vision for change.

Honourable President, we all know any economy needs a dependable supply of electricity to grow.

And so I’m sure you’d love to unbundle Eskom – as you should have done 10 years ago – but your ANC-aligned unions won’t allow this.

I’m sure you’d love to reform our failing education, but your SADTU allies won’t let you.

The ANC will let people like Angelo Agrizzi and his Bosasa colleagues take the fall, but they won’t allow people like Dudu Myeni and the Honourable Nomvula Mokonyane to be arrested.

And if you cannot even remove the corrupt from your own cabinet, or from these Bosasa benches, then how can we believe anything you say about cleaning up government?

Failure to act makes you just another driver of the same broken bus – as is the case in Zimbabwe.

When you speak of renewal, you don’t mean the renewal of South Africa. You mean the renewal of your party.

When you speak of unity, you’re talking about the ANC. And the unity of the ANC comes at the expense of South Africa.

“Watch this space”, you tell us. But the time for watching has come and gone. What we need now is action.

Honourable President,

You speak of nine wasted years, to absolve yourself of the integral role you played as second-in-command.

But let’s be honest, while these years might have been wasted for South Africa, they most certainly were not wasted for the ANC.

These were the golden years for the black, green and gold.

Everyone made money.

Everyone got a security upgrade.

Everyone got a new car. Everyone got deals for their family members – tenders, shares and positions on boards.

Even you and your own son benefitted from Bosasa.

Throughout all of this you were right there, Honourable President.

You didn’t arrive on the scene a year ago. Eight times you had the opportunity to save our country from Jacob Zuma, and eight times you voted to protect Jacob Zuma.

Your record will always reflect: 100% percent behind Zuma – a man you described as “a very strong president.”

You were there, Mr President.

You were there as our national debt skyrocketed to almost R3 trillion.

You were there as we dipped in and out of economic recession while our peers – both here in Africa and throughout the developing world – raced on ahead without us.

You were there as our unemployment rate just grew and grew and grew.

Today almost 10 million South Africans cannot find work. Four out of every ten households do not have a single job in the home.

This morning’s headlines say that you were “shocked” by stage 4 load-shedding. How can you be shocked, Mr President? You were there all along.

Watch this space, you tell us. Well, let me tell you about the spaces you should have been watching instead.

On Thursday – on the day of SONA – millions of South Africans were experiencing a very different nation to the one in your speech.

On the day of SONA, 57 people would have been murdered in our country.

On the day of SONA, 110 people – mainly vulnerable women – would have gone to a police station to say they had been raped. And those were just the reported cases. We all know the real number is much, much higher.

On the day of SONA, 53 children under the age of five would have died. Three-quarters of these children wouldn’t have had their first birthday yet. Most of them would have died from preventable causes, and malnutrition would have played a major part in these deaths.

This is 2019. We should not be speaking of this.

On the day of SONA, over 30 million South Africans who live below the poverty line would have struggled to afford the very basics to get by. Many of them would have gone to bed hungry that night.

On the day of SONA, 9.8 million people did not get up and get ready to go to work because they have no work to go to.

That’s the other part of our nation. These are the outsiders. These are the forgotten ones.

This is the real State of Our Nation.

Honourable President,It doesn’t have to be this way.

We, in the DA, have a dream of building one South Africa for all. And we have a plan to achieve that dream. Where we govern, we have already started building this South Africa.

While you talk, we do.

There is a good reason why the Western Cape has an expanded unemployment rate that’s a full 11 percentage points below the next best province, Gauteng.

There’s a good reason why half the jobs created in South Africa in the past year came from the Western Cape.

It’s because we understand what it takes to attract investment and create jobs. And this has become our obsessive focus where we govern.

We’ve identified agriculture and tourism as key drivers of job creation in the province, and we’ve focused our efforts on getting the most out of these sectors.

Over the past five years, almost 27,000 jobs were added in tourism alone. And over the past three years, three quarters of a million more tourists visited Cape Town.

The point I’m making here is that investment, growth and jobs don’t just happen. You have to make it happen. You can’t just talk. You must do.

Honourable President, while you talk of cleaning up government and fighting corruption, we do.

In the past year alone, Mayor Mashaba’s administration in Johannesburg has had 2,445 cases of fraud, corruption, theft and maladministration investigated. This has led to 362 arrests, 15 suspensions and 27 dismissals.

And it’s important to note the DA has not just targeted officials. We’ve gone after the crooked politicians too.

The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay have all opened up the tender process to the public. This means the days of handing tenders and contracts to connected friends and family behind closed doors are a thing of the past in the country’s biggest cities.

Honourable President, while you talk of tinkering with Eskom to keep the lights on, we do.

Where the DA governs we are way ahead of the rest of the country in terms of renewable energy readiness.

85% of municipalities in the Western Cape already have legislation in place to allow for independent solar energy generation, and most of them are geared to sell clean energy back into the grid.

These are the kinds of solutions we should be looking at to make our country more energy secure – to make our country Eskom-proof.

It requires more than just replacing SOE boards, Mr President.

We must become adaptable and flexible in our energy mix. Cities should be empowered to diversify their energy as much as possible by buying directly from IPPs. And that’s why we have taken your government to court on this.

We aren’t interested in preserving beleaguered SOEs like Eskom. We’re only interested in delivering electricity to citizens.

We need real SOE reform. Sell the ones that are not working like SAA, so our people can use these resources.

Honourable President, while you talk of ways to better manage public funds, we do.

Thanks to the hard work of coalition governments, the R2 billion deficit that Mayor Msimanga’s administration inherited in the City of Tshwane was turned into a surplus by the end of their first financial year in office.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Mashaba’s administration managed to allocate an additional R700 million towards capital expenditure in the recent Adjustment Budget.

This money will now be spent on electrification of informal settlements, upgrading of council flats and the replacement of sewer lines, to name just a few.

Honourable President, while you talk of land reform and land restitution, we do.

And we do so without tampering with the Constitution and sacrificing private property rights.

In the past four years the Western Cape government supported 357 land reform projects. These projects have a success rate of more than 60%.

Without changing the Constitution, a DA government will ensure that many more South Africans own land with full title.

We believe in secure land rights for all South Africans – not the Apartheid division between strong rights in urban areas and weak, mainly communal rights in rural areas.

We don’t want democracy for some, but autocracy for others.

We know that property ownership is what delivers freedom. Not living at the mercy of the State on land owned by them, or by traditional leaders, as some parties in this House propose.

Yesterday, Sipho Hadebe, Moses Sithole and Pablo Makhetha received title for the very first time in Johannesburg.

They join more than 6,000 other recipients of title deeds under the Mashaba administration, along with the 100,000 families who have received title deeds in the Western Cape over the past decade.

This means these people can leverage their property to access capital. It means they can pass it on to their children and create inter-generational wealth.

How many more lives can we change across the country by simply giving South Africans ownership and title to the land they live on?

That’s what freedom looks like. Honourable President, our country needs action.

But then it has to be the right action. Your party wants everything to revolve around the State. I want everything to revolve around the people.

You want to maintain the walls of rigid labour laws that protect those already on the inside of the economy, and keep the rest locked outside.

I want to break down these walls and create access to work opportunities for almost 10 million more South Africans.

If we want special economic zones to work, let’s do it properly. Let’s offer the incentives in cities so that we can be more aggressive when it comes to creating jobs.

Mr President, you look out for yourselves by spending millions on protecting politicians. I want more money for SAPS so they can better protect ordinary citizens.

You want to shield those within the ANC’s senior leadership from the law.

I want every man and woman to stand equal before the law. You side with leaders like Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nicolas Maduro. I stand with the people of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Mr President,

It’s been 29 years, almost to the day, since Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison and told us of the South Africa he wanted to build on a foundation of human rights.

But here’s your ANC, protecting tyrants like Omar al-Bashir.

That is why South Africa needs change, Honourable President. Not because we hate the ANC, but because we love our country.

And the ANC is simply incapable of doing what needs to be done.

As a famous Greek philosopher once said: “Character is destiny,” meaning you don’t build your reputation on what you’re going to do, but on what you’ve done.

I believe this to be true. I believe when I look at what you have done, it tells me what you are going to do.

And when I look at the past five years – both yours and the ANC’s – I have no reason to believe that you will change now.

We have seen the character of your party, and it will not lead us to the destiny we want.

This is why our May election will be a referendum on the ANC. Do we want another five years of unemployment, load-shedding and hopelessness, or do we want to take a different road?

It will be our chance, as South Africans, black, white, Indian and coloured, to stand together and usher in the change our country so desperately needs.

That change can only come from the DA.

I am the man in the arena, Mr President, and I have an agenda for reform that will unlock South Africa’s full potential.

The DA has a plan that will restore the dignity of all South Africans.

Our plan is to put a job in every home.

Our plan will champion entrepreneurs and micro enterprises as the heroes in the fight against unemployment.

Our plan will place our cities at the forefront of economic growth.

Our plan will prioritise the education of our children – not by giving them tablets, but by training their teachers.

Our plan will ensure that we have a small, efficient government, where no one implicated in wrongdoing will serve in any legislature, parliament or cabinet.

We’ll also do a skills audit of all civil servants. Anyone who got a job as a cadre must go.

I’m talking about real change.

I know this is possible for us. And I also know that only the DA can bring this change.

You see, Mr President, those young people I met in Diepkloof – I made them a promise. I said that if they played their part on election day, I would make sure they would not have to put up with a bo Agrizzi much longer.

That’s a promise I intend to keep.

Honourable President, the most important moment in your speech on Thursday was the announcement of the election date of 8 May.

That’s what really matters to the people of South Africa – the power of the vote to fire a government that has stolen from them, and to hire one that will bring change.

Change you can believe in.

Change that has already begun.

Change that builds one South Africa for all.

President Ramaphosa, 8 May. “Watch this space”

SPECIAL BOKAMOSO | South Africa doesn’t need a different driver. We need a new bus.

The following Alternative State of the Nation Address was delivered by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane this morning in Cape Town.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

Members of the diplomatic corps

Members of the press

Fellow South Africans

If we are to reflect, honestly, on the state of our nation, we have to decide on the benchmark we’re going to use.

Do we allow our expectations to be lowered by decades of failure and disappointment? Do we simply accept this as our new normal and judge our progress against this standard?

Or do we take a big step back and compare our current South Africa to the one we could have been – the one we all thought possible 25 years ago? Because this would make for an entirely different assessment.

I know what my answer is. The South Africa we have become today is nothing like the one we once dreamt of, and I cannot accept this.

I remember when we were united by a vision of a country that worked, in both senses of the word. A country that functioned like a normal society – fair, tolerant and peaceful – but also a country with dignified work for all its people.

A country that protected the rights and freedoms of all South Africans.

Thirteen years ago I made a decision to dedicate my life to public service precisely because, by then, we had made almost no progress towards becoming this united, inclusive country.

A massive gap had opened up between the economic insiders and outsiders in our society.

Some had ended up on the inside – they had jobs, went to good schools, knew the right people, had the right party connections. And others were stranded on the outside with no hope of getting in.

It seemed to me that there was a deliberate effort to put up walls to protect the insiders and keep the rest out. Everything felt stacked against poor South Africans, and I could see no attempt nor will from our government to rectify this.

There was this profound injustice that remained in our society despite more than a decade of democracy and political freedom.

Today that gap is even wider, and there is no indication of it closing. We are a country split in two. That is the state of our nation.

Four out of ten South Africans can’t find work, and we have the highest youth unemployment in the whole world.

We also have the highest inequality in the world. Half our people live below the poverty line, and 17 million social grants are all that stand between them and extreme hunger and suffering.

Some of our communities experience rates of violent crime that put them on par with war zones, and we have among the highest murder and rape stats in the world.

And although we sit at the very top of all these terrible lists, these aren’t even the things we are best known for as a country. That honour belongs to the endemic and systemic corruption that has infected every single aspect of our life here.

Thanks to more than two decades of looting at every level and sphere of government, this is how we are known throughout the world.

If we want to gauge the real state of our nation, we need to hold this South Africa up against the dream we once had for our country.

We need to recognise that things are getting progressively worse for us, and we have to acknowledge that the reason they’re getting worse is the ANC.

Ladies and gentlemen,

If we are to take our democratic duty seriously, then this year’s election has to be a referendum on the ANC.

Not an expression of hope for a better version of the ANC, but a referendum on the party’s achievements and failures during its time in office, and particularly its performance over the past term.

Anything less would be a dereliction of our duty in our hard-won democracy.

I was reminded last week of the value of democratic freedom when I met with opposition MPs from Zimbabwe. Their harrowing stories of the brutal clampdown by Mnangagwa’s government on the people of Zimbabwe were hard to listen to.

Forty years of democracy was not meant to turn out like this for them, and I pray for a peaceful resolution to their crisis.

There are many lessons we can learn from our neighbours north of the Limpopo, but the most pertinent is that it is extremely naïve to place blind faith in a new leader of a failed governing party.

Zimbabweans are fast discovering that Zanu-PF is still Zanu-PF, with or without Robert Mugabe.

This may seem obvious from the outside – or in hindsight – but it’s never an easy lesson to learn. The struggle for freedom is such a dominant part of our history, that our identities have become intertwined with liberation movements. For many people, it is all they know.

So now we have a country that emerged from 40 years of National Party rule and went straight into 25 years of ANC rule. As a nation, we struggle to step out of the shadow of one-party rule.

The failure to imagine a future that lies beyond the liberation movement has been the undoing of countless nations throughout Africa. And if the history of Africa has taught us one thing, it is that liberation movements never make good governments.

Their goal – their very reason for being – is to fight oppression and effect liberation, and not to build a new country. The ANC is simply unable to build one South Africa for all.

This is the lesson that we must learn before we head down the same road as our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters: Swapping out leaders to save a party is only ever in the interest of the party, not the country.

I respect Cyril Ramaphosa as a person. But whatever individual qualities he might have means little, because he leads a party that has demonstrated, over and over again, that it cannot act in the interest of South Africa.

Tomorrow he will sketch out his version of the state of our nation in Parliament. This will no doubt be a carefully crafted narrative that tries to separate him from everything he and his colleagues did to our country just the other day.

Be wary when he talks of concepts like renewal and unity, because he means unity of the ANC, not our country. In fact, the unity of the ANC comes at the expense of South Africa.

Ramaphosa’s ANC wasn’t recently parachuted in to save South Africa from an entirely different ANC. He was there, side by side with Zuma, throughout the “lost years”.

All those implicated in the State Capture saga and all those who took money from Bosasa are still there in his cabinet, and in the ANC’s NEC and Top 6.

The Zondo Commission has shown to the world how Bosasa has been an ongoing enrichment project for the ANC for the past two decades, and how our people were sold out for a braai pack and some beer.

The list of beneficiaries of this criminal scheme stretches all the way to the top of the party. It includes ANC heavyweights like Gwede Mantashe, Nomvula Mokonyane, Dudu Myeni and Vincent Smith.

The worst part is that we have known all of this for years. James Selfe raised it all the way back in 2010. Journalists have been writing about it. The SIU compiled a comprehensive report at the time, and nothing happened.

But this is not surprising when the President himself sees nothing wrong with his son’s ongoing business with Bosasa.

If Bosasa confirmed one thing, it is that there is no possibility of renewal in the ANC.

There can be no renewal when corruption charges against Duduzane Zuma are dropped by the NPA.

There can be no renewal when Nomvula Mokonyana remains a cabinet minister, despite the mountain of evidence against her.

There can be no renewal when Bathabile Dlamini remains a minister, or when Jacob Zuma himself is welcomed back with cake and champagne.

There can be no renewal when those who belong in jail are sent to Parliament instead.

“Thuma Mina” is not some magic word that washes away all sins past and present.

I know it is tempting to want to believe the hype. As a country, we are long overdue some good news. But if we want to move forward, we are going to have to remove the blinkers from our eyes and see this for what it is.

We have to be sober and honest in our analysis. And we must be prepared to use the opportunity afforded by an election to take the necessary action.

What we need is a governing movement, not another Big Man to rescue us.

Renewal in the ANC is not possible because rot has already spread everywhere in the party, and from there throughout the State. Which is why it can no longer manage the real problems our country faces.

The window period for a clean amputation has long since come and gone. Now it would mean cutting out most of the party.

But here’s the crux of the matter: Even if it were possible to cut out the rot in the ANC, it would still not be enough.

You see, our ANC problem goes beyond their systemic corruption. It is bigger than that – it’s a problem of vision, policy and action.

They’re a backward-looking party, stuck in the past. Their vision for South Africa comes from a time before the Berlin Wall fell, and they cling to a worldview shaped during the cold war.

Their guiding document – the National Democratic Revolution – was written for an age that no longer exists.

They see themselves as the arch-patriarch in this family of ours. They alone must own things, they alone must control the economy, they alone can provide jobs and they alone know what’s best for everyone.

They pit themselves against the world of business in everything they do, as if they were always destined to be enemies. They don’t seem to understand where and how jobs are created.

While the rest of the world has moved on, our government is like that Japanese soldier stranded on a remote Pacific island for decades after World War II had ended – still fighting an enemy that does not exist.

The ANC has now brought us to the edge of the cliff.

They have given us the single biggest threat to our economy: Eskom, with its massive debt of R400bn and counting.

They have given us almost 10 million unemployed South Africans.

They have given us systemic corruption that will take years, if not decades, to eradicate from the State.

And they won’t do anything about it. Even when they promise to take action, we know by now that they simply can’t do it.

The ANC is a broken bus – dangerous and unroadworthy – hurtling down the road with all of us on board. What they now have in Cyril Ramaphosa is just another driver of the same doomed bus.

On our current trajectory as mapped out by the ANC, we are heading for disaster, regardless of who sits in the driver’s seat. And this is something that is of concern throughout the world.

This much was confirmed by a joint memo to Ramaphosa’s investment envoy last year from ambassadors of five nations which, together, represent the bulk of our foreign investment.

Their red flag for our economy went beyond the usual concerns around corruption. More important were issues of policy and regulatory uncertainty. They spoke of shifting policy goalposts and of the negative impact on investment by threats to property rights.

To put their concern into perspective, consider that investments from those five countries combined are responsible for between 1.5 million and 2.3 million jobs in South Africa. This is what we are risking by not heeding their advice.

Just imagine cities like Port Elizabeth and East London without Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz. They would be ghost towns.

The authors of this memo know that the solution to our massive unemployment problem is increased investment and trade. And they wouldn’t have written that memo if they thought we were on the right track.

What they said in that memo is true, but the reality is that everything we need to do in order to open our doors for investment stands in direct opposition to ANC vision and policy.

This is why all Ramaphosa’s talk of cleansing and renewal in the party is a red herring. Even if he could somehow find the moral fortitude and the internal support to have his senior colleagues charged and prosecuted, it would not reverse our economic slide.

Our staggering unemployment numbers would continue to rise. The World Bank’s latest prediction of GDP growth at around 1.4% is less than half of what we’d need to start making inroads.

We would still find ourselves hurtling down the road in the wrong direction. That’s why we don’t need a new driver of the old bus. We need to switch buses.

And when deciding which bus to board, there is only one thing that matters: Your track record. Everything else is insignificant.

We’re in the middle of manifesto season right now, and some of the material recently released by parties makes for amusing reading. In a library you’d find these manifestos in the fiction section, and particularly amongst the other fantasy books.

It’s easy to make promises you know you’ll never be expected to keep. These manifestos guaranteeing everyone high paying jobs, houses, university degrees and all sorts of other nice things were never meant to be honoured.

It’s nothing but cheap populism and empty promises, and parties should be called out on it.

The alternative, of course, is to ask people to judge you on your track record rather than on your promises. And let’s be honest, there’s only one party than can do this, and that’s the DA.

Thirteen years in the City of Cape Town, ten years in the Western Cape and the past two years in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay have given us a chance to demonstrate the DA difference, and not just talk about it.

And the results – the ones that really matter when it comes to closing the gap between economic insiders and outsiders – speak for themselves.

After a decade of DA government, the Western Cape today has by far the lowest unemployment rate in the country. This is thanks to an obsessive focus on attracting investment, growing tourism and supporting an agriculture sector hard hit by three years of drought.

And I’d like to single out Alan Winde for the exceptional work the province’s Ministry of Economic Opportunities has done in recent years in this regard. Under his leadership, the Western Cape was truly open for business.

Over the past year, more than half the jobs created in South Africa came from the Western Cape – a province with less than an eighth of the country’s population. And while we are proud of this achievement, we are under no illusion about the scale of the task. We know there is still a long way to go.

It’s not only on jobs that the DA-run Western Cape leads the rest. On almost every single measure of good governance there is clear blue water between it and all the other provinces.

More young people stay in school and finish matric in the Western Cape than anywhere else.

People live longer in the Western Cape than elsewhere.

More people have access to basic services in the Western Cape than in other provinces, and we work very hard at speeding up the delivery of these services.

But we are also honest in our commitments to communities. We tell people what we can and what we can’t do, and we keep them informed as we move forward.

There is also no provincial government that does more to keep its people safe. Given the limited power that provinces have over policing, our increase in the resources of the Metro Police, our new rail safety unit and our efforts to fight gangs and drugs have had a profound impact on the lives of people in the Western Cape.

Which is why we say: Give provinces real power over policing through a provincial police force, because they are best placed to serve their communities.

If there is one thing the DA has shown in recent years, it is our resilience in government. With no help from national government – and by harnessing the incredible power of our communities – we managed to defeat Day Zero in Cape Town and keep the taps running.

And it is not only in the Western Cape that we have set our government apart from the rest. In the short time we have led governments in the Metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay we have made huge strides in cleaning out the rot and prioritising service delivery.

The recent Adjustment Budget in Johannesburg saw an additional R700 million being allocated towards service delivery projects. This followed extensive consultation with residents on how this budget should be prioritised.

This money will now be spent on various electrification projects, road upgrades, council flat upgrades and public lighting projects, to name just a few.

That’s the DA difference, and it all comes down to a government that serves the people and respects the sanctity of public money.

Consider that the Western Cape government got 83% clean audits in the last Auditor General’s report. The next best province was Gauteng, way back on 52%. And it went sharply downhill for the rest of the provinces from there.

That’s why I say, judge us by our track record. Because everything else is just noise.

When I say the DA has not only a vision for a better future for our country, but also a plan to realise this vision, our track record in government confirms that this is true.

When I say we know how to unlock the potential in our economy and attract investment in order to create jobs, that’s not just talk. Our track record says we can do it.

Our track record says we don’t tolerate corruption and mismanagement of public funds.

Our track record says the 15 million people who live under DA governments are better off than those who live under ANC governments.

And we want to expand this so that we govern for many more. I believe we can lead governments in both Gauteng and the Northern Cape, and we can solidify our position in the metros, as well as reclaiming Nelson Mandela Bay.

Already our efforts to bring renewal to the inner city of Johannesburg and to attract investment to Tshwane are bearing fruit.

And there is much more that we would like to do for the people where we govern, like a provincial rail system and a provincial police force.

Later this month we will be launching our own election manifesto. And when you read through that document I want you to keep this in mind. Compare our offer to the offers made by those with no track record to speak of.

And then ask yourself: Who would you trust to build One South Africa for All?

Ladies and gentlemen,

I’ll be the first to admit that governing in coalitions and in minority governments in the metros has not been easy. But it is the way forward for us.

We are now in the era of coalition governments and for the foreseeable future this will be the case, including in national government.

It is possible for such coalition governments to succeed if they can agree on putting the interests of the people first, and if they have a plan to work from.

Armed with a DA blueprint, I have no doubt that a national government can turn the tide on unemployment and bring millions of economic outsiders into our economy.

Right at the top of this DA blueprint will be the one thing the ANC cannot deliver: Policy certainty. This will include guaranteeing private property rights and guaranteeing the independence of the Reserve Bank.

Compare this with the constant contradictions from the ANC on crucial issues like land expropriation, the Reserve Bank and prescribed assets. No investor can make decisions in such a climate.

We will make job creation the core focus of everything we do and we will offer special incentives to investors who meet a minimum jobs threshold.

As part of this focus on opening opportunities for young people, we will introduce a voluntary national civilian service year. Those who don’t qualify for tertiary education will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in either healthcare, education or policing.

A crucial part of our plan is to help more South Africans to start and run their own businesses, because this is where the fight against unemployment will be won or lost. By making it easier to keep the doors to a small business open, we can go a long way towards helping put a job in every home.

We also understand the important role that cities play in generating GDP throughout the world, and we will place city-led growth at the forefront of our plan.

We will prioritise infrastructure that will help increase trade – areas such as roads, rail and air freight facilities – and we will look to reduce tariffs and charges at our ports and airports.

Our full manifesto will deal in detail with this plan to help create jobs, as well as crucial issues such as the management of our SOE’s, fiscal stability, economic redress, land reform and social development.

At the heart of this manifesto lies our plan to build the South Africa we once all thought possible, but have since lost sight of.

This is a South Africa where the walls between the insiders and the outsiders finally come down, and we can begin to deliver the economic freedom that so many people have been waiting for.

It is a plan rooted in reality, and not pie-in-the-sky fantasy as you will find in the manifestos of others.

It is a plan that draws on the skills and creativity of all our people. A plan that taps into the vast job-creating potential of entrepreneurs and small business owners, rather than treating them like the enemy.

It is a plan that flings South Africa’s doors open to the world and says: We are now open for business.

But most importantly, it is a plan that offers South Africans a fresh start, free from an ANC that once served its purpose as a liberation movement, but just could not step up to the plate as a government.

It is a plan that rekindles the hope for a united South Africa – not fractured by our diversity, but in fact strengthened by it.

It represents a brand new bus, heading off towards a bright new future, and not just a lick of paint and a different driver.

Because that is what our people deserve – the chance to finally build our dream country: One South Africa that works for all its people.

Thank you

BOKAMOSO | DA can put a job in every home

Election 2019 should be all about jobs. South Africa’s core problem is our unnaturally high unemployment rate. Poverty, inequality, crime – all these will remain dangerously high while there are 9.8 million (mostly young) adults without a job in South Africa. Conversely, poverty, inequality and crime will come down if we can shift millions more people into the productive economy.

A DA national government would aim to put a job in every home in South Africa. Our track record in DA-run Western Cape Province suggests we can do this.

Over half (95 000) of the 188 000 new jobs created in SA in the past year were created in the Western Cape. This was achieved despite the hostile regulatory environment imposed by the ANC national government and a crippling drought in the area.

The Western Cape accounts for only one-eighth of SA’s population. Just think how many jobs could be created if the entire country were DA-run!

(Note that the DA does not claim to create jobs. Rather, our approach is to create an environment which fosters job-creating entrepreneurship and investment, and which extends opportunities to all.)

By comparison, the ANC’s 2019 manifesto can be summarized in one sentence: South Africa’s unemployment rate will remain unnaturally high if the ANC remains in government. Their manifesto promises to create 275 000 new jobs each year. Frankly, everything else it says is just noise.

Numbers speak louder than words and this number is telling us all we need to know about our future prospects under an ANC government.

Let’s be charitable and assume the ANC breaks with tradition and keeps this promise. (Only 188 000 new jobs were created in SA in the past year, so this is not a forgone conclusion. Unfortunately, the total number of people needing jobs increased by 525 000 in the same period, meaning another 337 000 people joined the ranks of the jobless.)

If only 275 000 new jobs are added to the economy each year, joblessness will continue to go up and soon it will breach 10 million and be headed for 11 million. South Africa will know no peace, stability or prosperity under these conditions.

At 275 000 new jobs per year, it would take 35 years just to produce jobs for the current 9.8 million people who need them. But since the job market grows by an additional 550 000 people each year, there’ll be no clawing back of that number.

So, it is fair to say the ANC’s manifesto is a blueprint for the status quo of unnaturally high unemployment, poverty, inequality and crime. It is an admission of defeat.

This is the crux of the difference between the DA and the ANC’s approach in government.

The ANC’s focus is on creating a black elite, even at the expense of improving the lives of the black majority. This approach has divided our country into two South Africas – the haves and the have-nots.

The ANC’s approach has essentially created an insider/outsider economy. Insiders – those with jobs and connections – are protected and enriched (through policies such as highly restrictive labour legislation, national minimum wages and BBBEE) at the expense of outsiders who are locked out of opportunities, with little prospect of ever entering the economy.

The DA’s approach builds one South Africa for all by breaking down the barriers that keep people locked out of the economy and by extending opportunities to all. This is the only approach that will bring down South Africa’s unemployment rate and effectively fight poverty, inequality and crime.

The upcoming election is the most crucial our nation has faced since 1994. Election 2019 is a chance to bring real change to SA. If you want to support the DA’s job-creating approach and our vision of one South Africa for all, please check that you are registered to vote by going to check.da.org.za.

This weekend 26-27 January is the final registration weekend. If you are a first-time voter or are not yet registered, please make sure you visit your nearest voting station between 8am and 5pm on either the Saturday or the Sunday, with either your green ID book, your smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

Please use your vote to support job creation and build one South Africa for all.

BOKAMOSO | South Africa must change buses, not just drivers

The following remarks were delivered by DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the Cape Town Press Club yesterday.

Ladies and gentlemen

Members of the Press

Fellow South Africans

A quarter of a century ago we began a journey towards freedom. We weren’t free yet. As Nelson Mandela articulated back then, we had merely achieved the freedom to be free.

But there we were, boarding the bus with all our baggage from the past and all our hope for the future, and we set off towards a free country. A place where individual rights would thrive, where men and women could find work, own their own property, build their own homes.

We were all eager travellers, excited about the journey. We all held on to hope.

However, twenty-five years later our journey has come undone. We have taken so many wrong turns, suffered so many bad drivers and hit so many potholes over the years that we are now completely lost and our bus can barely move.

This path has now brought us to a crossroads, and we have a choice to make: Do we remain on the same broken-down bus, on the same dead-end road, or do we change buses here?

Do we stick with the liberation movement that has stalled our economy and failed our people – as every liberation movement on this continent has done over the last half a century – or do we opt for change?

And it’s not only failed liberation movements that we are emulating. The ANC has now started borrowing from the Apartheid government’s playbook too. When the National Party ran out of money they introduced “prescribed assets” to boost their coffers. Ramaphosa’s ANC seems intent on doing the same.

Is this really the path we want to be on? Are we to believe that this broken-down ANC bus will reach a different destination by merely swapping drivers? Because nothing in its track record – or indeed the history of liberation movements – suggests that this is likely.

If we want a different outcome, we must go out and choose it.

Our history in South Africa has always been one of division. Between black and white. Between rich and poor. Between ownership and dispossession.

The struggle for liberation was meant to change this, but the reality is that we are busy repeating history. Over the past 25 years we have, once again, become two distinct South Africas.

On the one side are those born into the right circumstances – those who receive quality education, those with access to opportunities, those who participate in the economy, those who own their property, those who know the right people and have friends in the right party. The economic insiders.

And on the other side are the millions of South Africans who find themselves locked out of all these opportunities. These are the people without a head-start in life. Born into poverty, condemned to a failed education and cast out into a world of unemployment and hopelessness, they are economic outsiders.

Any government intent on building an inclusive, prosperous South Africa should make it their primary business to close the gap between these two groups. But after 25 years of ANC government, this gap is wider than ever before.

And it is widening because we have a government that deliberately puts up barriers between the insiders and the outsiders. A government that protects the employed at the expense of the unemployed and has turned its back on the most vulnerable in society.

Whether through legislation such as labour laws and the new National Minimum Wage, or through corrupt and criminal practices like jobs-for-pals and jobs-for-sex, this ANC government continuously builds walls between the haves and the have-nots.

If you happen to be born into the wrong South Africa, life is a continuous struggle.

Nearly four out of ten adults in the labour market can’t find work. Most of these people are under 30 years old.

And Reserve Bank data shows that the poor are getting poorer as real per capita income has fallen in the past 5 years.

Thanks to our runaway unemployment we are now the most unequal society in the world.

Half our households are headed by women, and most of these households are desperately poor.

14 million South Africans go hungry every day. One in five children is stunted due to malnutrition.

This is what the “other” South Africa looks like. The one not protected by unions or minimum wages. The one sustained almost entirely by meagre social grants.

The face of this poverty is still largely female, young, rural and black.

A child born into this South Africa will go to schools where she will be failed, over and over again. Failed by crumbling infrastructure. Failed by the lack of toilets and clean water. Failed by the lack of textbooks. Failed by massive class sizes. And failed by teachers who can’t and won’t teach the curriculum.

In this South Africa children will exit the Foundation Phase and reach Grade 4 without the ability to read with any comprehension. They will struggle through the grades and, if they’re lucky, they will see the inside of a matric exam hall. More than half won’t.

In this South Africa, the real matric pass rate, once you factor in drop-outs, is below 40%. And the chances of finding work after school, even lower than that.

My son started Grade 1 last week, and I took him to school on his first morning. As I saw him settle into his class, surrounded by the boys who will become his friends and peers over the next twelve years, I couldn’t help but think of all those children starting out in the other South Africa that morning.

Surely it must be our goal to give these children the same chance in life as my son and his classmates have. Surely we should be focusing all our efforts on building one South Africa from this fractured and divided country of ours.

I believe, with four months left until we go to the polls, that we have an opportunity to do just that. I believe our choice at this crossroads is simple.

We can either choose, once again, to reward the liberation movement and extend their mandate for another five years. Despite their failed track record in government. Despite their record of criminality and corruption. Despite their stated intentions for our economy. Despite the way in which they have welcomed the disgraced Jacob Zuma back into the fold. Despite returning, to their national list, the very same people who looted the state alongside Zuma.

Or we can choose a different path – a solution outside of the liberation movement. A solution that doesn’t require poor South Africans to sacrifice their future just to remain loyal to a liberation movement that failed to transition into a government

We can either look to the past and remain rooted in the past, or we can turn around and step into the future.

The reality is, we have almost run out of time to do so. And that’s why the election in May will be crunch time for our country. I know this is said about every election, but our situation has deteriorated to the point where our decision at the polls in May will have profound consequences for us.

If we want to pull South Africa back from the brink, then we are going to have to recognise and name our troubles for what they are.

We are going to have to remove the blinkers of lowered expectations and make a brutally frank assessment of our current path and trajectory.

This assessment has to recognise that unemployment, along with unfair access to scarce jobs, is the very core of our problems.

Every other challenge we have – poverty, inequality, crime, social unrest – can be solved if we can find a way to put more people into jobs.

Or, seen the other way round, if we can’t secure a dramatic turnaround in our unemployment rate, all our efforts to curb the other ills in our society will be in vain.

The ability of a party to enable and nurture job creation should be the make-or-break factor when choosing a government in South Africa.

And this is why Saturday’s ANC manifesto launch was such a red flag.

One year into his term and four months before the election, President Ramaphosa had the perfect opportunity to admit to South Africans the full scale of our problems, and to lay out a bold new route map for our way forward.

But he did neither of these things. Instead, he all but admitted defeat.

Why do I say this?

The most telling moment from his entire time at the podium was the number he put forward as his target for job creation: 275,000 per year, which is the number that emerged from his Jobs Summit in October of last year.

But let me tell you the two problems with this number:

Firstly, the ANC cannot achieve this. There is a bitter irony in the fact that the number of unemployed South Africans grew by almost exactly this same number – 278,000 – since Ramaphosa’s term as president began at the start of 2018.

During this time, nothing has changed to make growth and jobs more likely. If anything, the populist, economy-killing rhetoric has been ramped up. Yet we are now asked to believe that they are going to miraculously turn the tide on the jobs carnage.

The ANC can’t even stop our unemployment rate from going up, never mind bring it down.

But there is an even bigger problem with this number of 275,000: it’s not enough. In fact, it is not even close.

There are currently 9.8 million unemployed South Africans. Even if our labour force remained the same size it would take over 35 years, at Ramaphosa’s rate, to clear that number.

And of course, our labour force won’t remain the same size. The cohort of children entering our schools every year is over a million. And as they enter, a similar number exit on the other end and join the labour force, whether directly from school or via other routes.

That is why Ramaphosa’s best-case-scenario promise of 275,000 jobs per year – while completely unrealistic and unattainable – won’t even scratch the surface. We need far more than that.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the ANC was throwing around big jobs targets. In 2010 their magic number was 5 million jobs by 2020. Four years later, at their 2014 manifesto launch, Jacob Zuma spoke of 6 million job opportunities within five years.

Since then, the ANC’s jobs target has steadily come down as the gap between what we need to add and what we continue to lose grows wider and wider.

They know they cannot continue to speak of millions of jobs when we have a net loss of hundreds of thousands every year.

And this is why Ramaphosa’s jobs offer is nothing but a meek white flag in the face of the unemployment onslaught.

A commentator summed it well when he said the ANC’s manifesto is not about the long-term dream of our nation but rather about staying in power.

It’s a compromise on some issues, and a capitulation on others.

It doesn’t address the single biggest threat to our financial position: Eskom. Years of corruption, mismanagement and state capture has seen the utility’s debt rocket to over R400bn, with plans to increase this debt to R600bn over the next three years.

It continues to absolve the ANC from decades of land reform and land restitution failure, using land expropriation without compensation as a dangerous and damaging populist rally cry.

And it threatens us with prescribed assets which, along with plans to nationalise the Reserve Bank, will hammer the final nails in our economy’s coffin.

It’s not a manifesto, it’s a wake-up call to South Africans.

As we grapple with our own path forward, we could also do well to reflect on the situation in Zimbabwe right now. They too were asked to believe that a new leader of a failed liberation movement would steer them towards a different outcome.

And now they are discovering that a government runs on systems and not individuals. If those systems are broken, it doesn’t matter who is in charge.

This is the story of liberation movements and their splinter parties everywhere.

The ANC – along with every other so-called revolutionary party that has sprung up recently like mushrooms in the forest – desperately wants you to believe that you still need to be liberated from something or someone.

That’s all they know, and so they create imaginary enemies and wage imaginary wars. Their language, their ideology and their ideas got stuck a long time ago.

The more they fail at being a government, the more they will try to convince you that you need them for the struggle.

And, having destroyed the systems and the institutions that make up a government, they will ask you to put your hope and your trust in individual leaders – personalities whom they will try to elevate to icons.

But that’s not how a government works. That’s not how a capable state is built. If you want a better government, then you have to choose a better government.

I believe the DA is that government.

We have a vision – a dream – for our nation that is best expressed as One South Africa for All.

A nation united not only along racial lines, but economically too. Where we can unlock the potential of our people and give them the independence and freedom that comes with work.

Of course, we must ultimately aim to put everyone who wants to work in a job. But can you imagine what a difference it would make if we could start by putting a job in every home? At least one steady income in households where there were previously none.

Can you imagine how a job in every home would lift these households out of abject poverty and into a space where they have dignity and independence?

The DA can do this. I am not asking you to blindly believe me. I am asking you to look at our track record.

Over the past 12 months, 188,000 new jobs were added across the whole of South Africa. Of these, 95,000 came from the Western Cape. That’s over half the jobs from a province that represents less than one eighth of the population.

If you want to compare this number to Ramaphosa’s annual target of 275,000, the DA-run Western Cape produced more than a third of these jobs in 12 months. And remember, this was a period that followed three years of intense drought.

If this is what a DA provincial government can achieve under the hostile conditions of an ANC national government, just imagine the possibilities if we were able dictate policy nationally.

That would be real change. That would begin to break down the walls between the insiders and the outsiders of our economy.

Now add to that the financial liberation that comes with owning the title deed to your own property – being able to secure a loan against it, being able to leave it to your children in your will.

And then add to that the freedom that comes with safe neighbourhoods, free from gangs and drug dealers. Neighbourhoods protected by a vastly improved SAPS – trained, funded, equipped and motivated.

This is the South Africa that the DA wants to build.

A South Africa where the rights of every individual are upheld and protected.

A South Africa that rolls out the red carpet for investors and cherishes entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises.

A South Africa with a government that is open and transparent, and without the continuous shadow of corruption hanging over it.

A South Africa where both government and the civil service are capable, and where only the best are hired.

A South Africa where our citizens feel safe.

A South Africa where everyone stands equal before the law, and where all are held to account.

But most importantly, a South Africa where the walls between the insiders and the outsiders have come down and where everyone can enjoy the dignity that comes with having a job.

That is what a DA government will fight for.

We understand that it is not government that creates these jobs, but rather a thriving private sector. We know that a government’s task is to provide the climate that makes this possible.

This means treating small businesses and entrepreneurs as jobs heroes, supporting them where you can, and trying to streamline as much of the red tape that so often trips up SMME’s.

It means recognising that our cities are best placed to drive growth and jobs, and ensuring that they deliver the infrastructure that investors require – reliable electricity, clean water, efficient transport networks, safety and security and high-speed fibre.

It means recognising which sectors of the economy have the best job-creating potential, and focusing most of your resources on these sectors.

It means caring passionately about the youth, and doing all you can to open opportunities for them and give them work experience. Internships, apprenticeships, jobs centres – these are all top priorities in DA governments.

And we have more ideas in the pipeline for the youth, like a year’s voluntary national civilian service for school leavers.

These are the reasons why the only DA-run province in the country has, by far, the lowest unemployment rate. It is why young people stream here from all over to find work.

That is what you get in a DA government. We serve the people for whom we govern. We are not perfect but we aim high and we work hard, and it shows. We get stuff done.

The message we will be taking to communities across the country over the next few months will spell out our vision for the kind of South Africa we’d like to build, and we will focus specifically on five election pledges:

  1. We will fight corruption at every sphere and every level of government, and we will send those found guilty to jail for 15 years.
  2. We will fix the South African Police Service so that it is able to protect and serve the citizens of this country. This means hiring more officers, training them properly and making sure they are well equipped. It means bringing back the disbanded specialist police units and appointing only qualified and capable SAPS leadership.
  3. We will grow an economy that’s inclusive, and we will create fair access to jobs. This means no more cash for jobs, no more sex for jobs and no more jobs reserved for those with the right party connections and membership.
  4. We will secure our country’s borders and fix Home Affairs, so that those who want to enter here legally can do so, but those who want to come here illegally are kept out.
  5. We will speed up the delivery of basic services to all communities across South Africa.

That is our pledge to the people of this country. That is what you will get in a DA government.

A government that fights for the rights of each and every citizen, as enshrined in our Constitution.

A government that fights for the dignity of each and every citizen through better access to jobs and better access to basic services.

A government that fights to keep the people’s money and the people’s resources out of the pockets of the corrupt.

There is no other party doing any of these things. Standing at the crossroads of these elections, the choice before us should be clear: We must choose a different bus, not just a new driver.

Only one party has shown that it is committed to building one South Africa for all, and that party is the DA.

Thank you.