Fellow South Africans,
Today, we join millions of people around the world to celebrate International Workers’ Day.
We celebrate the victory of the hard-won fight for fair labour practices and employment standards, and honour the role organised labour played in the struggle for democracy in our own nation.
This public holiday was proclaimed in 1994 at the dawn of our democracy, to celebrate our freedom from an oppressive regime; to celebrate the power of the people.
But after twenty-five years of ANC rule, our freedoms are once again under threat. Ten million of us are without work at all. And those of us who do work are losing more and more of our income to the greedy and corrupt ANC that is looking for more and more ways to feed its connected crooks and cronies.
With every passing month, our wages and earnings buy us less as we pay more for electricity, fuel and VAT to feed ANC corruption and to cover for ANC failure at Eskom, SAA, PRASA and other state-owned enterprises. The latest increase came just last night, when the price of petrol went up by another 54c per litre.
But the state-owned enterprises are so chronically corrupt and bankrupt that they need still more of our money. And so, in the ANC’s manifesto, they speak about “prescribed assets”.
I want to send this stern warning to South Africans – the ANC is coming for your pensions! What the ANC and Cyril Ramaphosa mean by “prescribed assets” is that they are planning to force us to invest our pensions in these failing state-owned enterprises. Due to their own failures in government, they are now looking to make laws that force the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and private pension funds to use our pensions to keep these entities going, so that they can mask their failures and keep stealing. This is the policy of Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC.
The ANC have stolen approximately R1.2 trillion through corruption and will not stop now. They have shown that there is nothing they won’t stoop to.
Fellow South Africans, this Workers Day comes just one week before the most important election since 1994. So, this Workers Day, you need to think about how you can protect your financial freedom and your future going forwards.
And I am here to put it to you straight that the party that will best protect your financial freedom is the DA. The DA will stand with workers and we will fight this. We will fight the PIC Bill to protect the hard-earned pensions of South Africa’s workers. We will fight in Parliament for financial freedom and protection of your hard-earned pension savings.
And I stand before you not just with promises of financial freedom, but with hard proof. The Western Cape has a long way to go, but just look at the progress we have made here in the past ten years.
After a decade of DA government, the Western Cape has the lowest broad unemployment rate in South Africa. At 23%, it is 14 percentage points lower than the SA average of 37%. There are 508 000 more jobs here now than there were 10 years ago.
Even after 3 years of bad drought, the agricultural and agri-processing sector grew here by 10 000 jobs, thanks in large part to the satellite technology that the provincial government put in place to assist farmers use water more efficiently. No surprise that we have the lowest rural unemployment rate, at just 15%. Or that we lead in land reform, with a 72% success rate for land reform farms here.
We’ve grown tourism jobs through our Air Access strategy which has added 14 new routes and 750 000 international inbound seats to this province, injecting R6 billion in tourist spending into our provincial economy.
In fact, on every single measurement of good provincial governance, the DA-run Western Cape comes first. We run the cleanest government, which simply means that we spend public money on the public. The Western Cape achieved 83% clean audits in the most recent financial year – well ahead of Gauteng at 52%.
That’s why last week, it came as no surprise when Good Governance Africa reported that the Western Cape is home to 12 of the 20 best-run municipalities in SA, and that the Western Cape is SA’s best-run province.
The Western Cape has the best basic education results, keeping the largest proportion of children at school until matric and achieving the highest real matric pass rates. We’ve built 132 new schools and over 2000 classrooms in the past decade and rolled out broadband internet to 1200 schools.
At 90% we have the highest proportion of the population within 30 minutes of a primary healthcare clinic and we’ve built two major new district hospitals – in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain. So, it’s not surprising that life expectancy is the highest in the country, increasing by 7 years since we took office.
Where the DA has provincial control – education and healthcare – we are streaks ahead of ANC governments. Now DA Premier Candidate Alan Winde wants to get provincial control of police and railways too.
Policing and trains will be much better run when they are controlled at a provincial level. When service delivery is closer to the people it becomes more responsive to their needs. Police and trains will never be efficient when they are run from Pretoria. When we fix policing and public transport, we will see even more jobs being created in this province, and that means more financial freedom to the people of the Western Cape.
If the DA is elected into National Government, we will introduce a Jobs Act to serve as an economic stimulus shock. We want to make doing business as easy as possible for companies that want to invest and create jobs in South Africa. South Africans are incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial, and that must be encouraged. This is what real freedom is all about.
In democratic South Africa, the fight for freedom happens at the ballot box. And today I put it to you that the best way to protect your freedom is to vote DA on 8 May. The DA’s vision is to build One SA for All, a country in which everyone’s rights are protected, as set out in our Constitution.
Every single vote is going to count if we are going to keep the Western Cape blue. Every vote counts to keep corruption out. Every vote counts to save our pensions from being stolen. So, on 8 May, go and vote DA and take your friends and family with you!