Note to Editors: This is an extract of the speech delivered by DA Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate, Ghaleb Cachalia, at the release of the DA’s Ekurhuleni Candidates List launch.
Today it is a tragic reality that Ekurhuleni is the capital of unemployment in South Africa.
Too many people are out of work. Too many people don’t have even the most basic services.
Too many people feel helpless in the face of corruption that sees the government make a handful of people rich at the expense of all of us.
I have visited every community in this metro. I have seen the problems we face first hand and seen its impact on the ground.
I have seen families whose children don’t have a light under which to study, who depend on water tankers that may or may not arrive to give whole communities water. A disabled woman told me that she would like a toilet because she cannot use a pit latrine.
The experiences of this campaign has moved me, and sometimes shaken me, to my core.
I have seen the struggles of small business owners who cannot get city planning approval to expand their businesses so that they can employ more people.
I have heard how the red tape in this metro is stealing business direct from our business community.
In spite of these struggles, what I have seen on the campaign trail is the triumph of the human spirit – that everyone still believes that there can be a better tomorrow, and that if we work together, we can create jobs, cut corruption and deliver services to all our people.
The belief that we are all in this together was the belief of Nelson Mandela. It was the belief of my mother and father.
This belief informs the future that the DA has to offer the people of Ekurhuleni.
I am proud to stand here today to announce the DA’s list of candidates that will bring change to every ward and every community in Ekurhuleni.
The DA has run the most democratic, transparent and open candidate selection process of any party in South Africa. Whereas other parties candidate selection processes has resulted in its members trying to destroy entire cities, our process has produced people who are fit for purpose and respected by our communities.
These candidates are a reflection of the rich and diverse makeup of Ekurhuleni: our youngest candidate is 20 years old!
Our diversity is not just racial diversity, it is about diversity of experience as well. Our candidates bring to the city the actual lived experiences of everyday people.
Our candidates are from all different walks of life, but we stand united in our diversity ready to implement policies that will create jobs, cut corruption, deliver services and bring the change we need to move Ekurhuleni forward again.
The challenge that the DA has accepted – to do the work that turns the dreams people have for their own lives into dreams that are realised – is not an easy challenge.
It is about more than good intentions. With the depth of diversity, talent and experience, the people who have put forward as candidates to our communities will turn these good intentions into real, tangible change that will move our city forward again.
The full list of candidates can be obtained here.
Audio can be obtained here.