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DA: Zille: Extract from a speech by the leader of the Democratic Alliance at Bela Bela in Limpopo (11/09/2009)

11th January 2009


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Date: 11/09/2009

Source: Democratic Alliance


Title: DA: Zille: Extract from a speech by the leader of the Democratic Alliance at Bela Bela in Limpopo

The DA keeps its promises


Yesterday the ANC released its manifesto for this year's election. As expected, it contained many fine words and laudable sentiments. The true test is whether or not they will be implemented.

After fifteen years in government, the ANC has left a trail of broken promises. Remember what the ANC promised five years ago.

In 2004, the ANC's slogan was "A people's contract to create work and fight poverty". But the ANC has not kept up its end of the contract. There are still over 4.1 million unemployed people in South Africa, two out of every five South Africans still live below the poverty line.

In 2004, the ANC said that it would build more houses and eradicate informal settlements. And yet the housing backlog remains at 2.1 million.

In 2004, the ANC promised to put more policeman on the streets and to ensure that they were better resourced and managed. But instead of employing more police officers to protect our citizens, it employed more people to sit in offices.

In 2004, the ANC promised to improve the education system by building more classrooms and employing more teachers. And yet, nearly 1.5 million children don't have a classroom to learn in and the teacher-pupil ratio increases every year.

In 2004, the ANC promised to improve the public heath service. And yet, our public hospitals are falling apart. Queues are getting longer. Hospital conditions are getting worse: 42 000 babies die unnecessarily in South Africa every year.

The ANC also promised to fire incompetent ministers in the last election. But they never get fired; they just get re-deployed. That is why we still have someone like Manto Tshabalala-Msimang in cabinet.

I could go on but we would be here for some time. The bottom line is this: The ANC makes big promises in every election and then fails to deliver.

Why is this? The reason is simple. The ANC do not see government as a site of delivery. It sees it as an employment bureau for party loyalists, families and friends, and a means of dispensing patronage through tenders and contracts. This inevitably results in the "shell state" or "vampire state" where leaders hide behind populist rhetoric to advance their own interests and those of their closed circle of cronies. These societies have all the superficial trappings of power (such as blue-light convoys) - but none of the substance of democratic governance. The clearest example of the outcome of the closed, crony system is Zimbabwe - despite the fine-sounding rhetoric in ZANU-PF's election manifesto.

The DA has a different vision for South Africa. It is of an open, opportunity society where every person is given a fair chance to make a success of their life. In such a society government is entrusted to create ever-expanding opportunities for all, not ever-diminishing opportunities for the well-connected few.

This is the philosophy we are putting into practice where we govern.

In our 2006 local government manifesto for Cape Town, we promised an economically growing city. And that is what we have delivered.

Cape Town's gross geographic product (GGP) increased by over 12% from R116.6 billion in 2005 - when the ANC governed - to R130.77bn in 2007, under DA rule. Unemployment declined from 20.7% in 2005 to 17.9% in

We promised an efficient city. And that is what we have delivered.

Within a year of taking over the city, we cut debt by nearly R1bn. That allowed us to extend the capital available for service delivery by 15%.
And we have put the money to good use: for example, we have begun supplying electricity to informal settlements that fall under Eskom's jurisdiction - such as Happy Valley and Site B Khayelitsha - but which
Eskom and the ANC has refused to electrify.

We have tripled the investment in infrastructure that benefits the public, especially the poor, and supports the economy from an average of R1bn per year between 2002 and 2006 to R3.1 bn in 2008.

We promised a safe city. And that is what we are delivering.

Crime in the CBD has gone down by 90% in the last five years. Capetonians now feel safer: 3 500 residents have moved back into inner city apartments.

We have set up specialised units in the Metro Police on substance abuse, metal theft, land invasion and displaced people. We have established partnerships between the Metro Police and community volunteers who patrol neighbourhoods in Khayelitsha.

We promised a sustainable city, with more houses and fair housing allocation procedures. And that is what we are delivering.

We have integrated seven housing lists into a single list, which has allowed us to verify the validity of all claims.

And we are creating more housing opportunities. We have doubled the average annual rate of housing delivery, from the ANC's average of 3000 per year between 2002 and 2006 to an average of 7000 per year between 2006 and 2008.

We also promised a clean city - clean and transparent in government, clean and beautiful in appearance. And that is what we are delivering.

Under the ANC a minimum 30% BEE quota applied to tenders, which was used to advance the economic interests of the ANC's friends and cronies. In
2006 the DA scrapped the policy and implemented an open equity programme that encourages greater numbers of bidders to apply. The result has been a 10% increase in the number of contracts awarded to BEE companies.

Cape Town is clean both figuratively and literally: In 2007, Cape Town was awarded the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism's annual Cleanest Metro award.

The DA is fulfilling its election promises made to voters in Cape Town in our 2006 manifesto. And we are keeping to our word in all the other municipalities that we govern across the country.

Our national manifesto, which we will launch next month, is based on our package of carefully costed and mutually reinforcing policies that give practical expression to our vision of the open, opportunity society for all.

In this kind of society, citizens are equipped with the tools they need to exercise their freedom, take advantage of their opportunities, and develop their full potential.

Our manifesto will spell out exactly how we plan to create the open, opportunity society for all.

Our track record in government shows that we can put our manifesto into action, and that we will put it into action.

We can deliver on our promises, and we will deliver on them.

The DA is the only real alternative to the ANC.

We can create the open, opportunity society for all. We must and we will!

One nation. One future!



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