Baie welkom aan u almal!
Namkelekile Nonke. Kuluvuyo kum ukuthetha apha kwi-Kongres yaseNtshona Koloni namhlanje.
It is a pleasure to speak at the DA’s Western Cape Congress in Cape Town today. It is wonderful to be able to say that the DA in this province is the most united, strong and focused it has ever been.
Today sees the emergence of a new Provincial Leader in the Western Cape. But unlike the internal elections of the ANC, this change is not the result of infighting, bribery, corruption, threats and victimisation.
Precisely the opposite. Ngo kuqinisekeleyo. Singabachaseleyo.
Theuns Botha het, na twaalf uitdagende, soms uitputende, maar lonende jare aan die stuur van die provinsie, teruggetree vir ‘n nuwe provinsiale leier. Die DA Onder-Federale Voorsitter, Ivan Meyer, staan nou obestrede vir die leierspos van die een provinsie waar ons regeer.
Om onbestrede te staan is in sommige opsigte makliker as om teengestaan te word, maar in ander opsigte baie moeiliker, en dit bring ‘n besonderse verantwoordelikheid mee.
Maar eers ‘n woordjie aan Theuns, wie formeel aangespreek word as Minister Botha, wat hierdie provinsie tot hiertoe gelei het. Toe hy destyds verkies is, sou dit onmoontlik gewees het om in ons verbeelding die hoogtes wat ons sou bereik vooruit te sien.
Ons was ‘n party in stryd met onsself. Ons was op ‘n afdraende pad. Wanneer dit gebeur, as dit deur die hele wereld soms met politieke partye gebeur, dan vergeet hulle van die kiesers. Dit het met ons ook gebeur, tien jaar gelede, en dit het ook gou in ons verkiesingsuitslae getoon. Maar stap-vir-stap het Theuns en die span wat hy gebou het, die nodige moed bewys om mense uit‘n absolute gepolariseerde situasie saam te bring in the rasionele nie-rassige kern van hierdie party. Hy het werk daarvan gemaak om ou verdeelthede te oorbrug en op ons waardes gekonsentreer om ‘n oop, geleentheid samelewing vir almal te bou.
He built a team -- uTheuns Botha umphathiswa wakhe iqumrhu -- and he would be the first one to say it was a team effort -- not just with a few insiders, but across barriers -- between the Province and the Regions, and particularly with “national”.
He paid a high price amongst those who wanted to maintain the bitter divisions. But he was right to take a stand. And the election results are the best testimony to these efforts and we pay tribute to him today. The most recent by-election result on his watch, when the DA for the first time won Ward 88, the ANC’s last ward in Mitchell’s Plain/Philippi is an apt symbol of his term in office. I have deliberately not spoken about a legacy because you only do that when someone retires. He is a young man, and there is still a long political road ahead of him. I want to thank him for his unflinching support to me, both in the Party and in the Western Cape Government as well.
Nou verwelkom ek graag vir Ivan Meyer wat aan die einde van die Kongres, tensy iets heeltemal onverwags gebeur, as ons nuwe provinsiale leier uitgewys gaan word.
Dis nie ‘n gepaste plek om advies te wil opdis nie. Laat ek volstaan deur te sê: Bou voort aan die rasionele, nie-rassige kern van hierdie party. Bou voort aan die span. Niemand in hierdie party het ‘n groter begrip van die Regstaatkonsep as juis jy nie. Staan vas teen die magsmisbruik van die Magstaat. En hou aan met bou aan hierdie provinsie as ‘n praktiese voorbeeld van wat ons bedoel met die waardes van versoening, regstelling, verskeidenheid en dienslewering in ‘n oop, geleetheidssamalewing vir almal. Mag die Here altyd met jou wees in hierdie veeleisende uitdaging. uThixo akusikelele.
This congress also sees our party expanding its Provincial Executive to become more inclusive.
Unlike the ANC Western Cape congress in February last year - that saw Marius Fransman and his allies outmanoeuvre Mcebisi Skwatsha through the usual dirty tricks - here there will be no foul play or vote rigging today.
While our internal elections are hotly contested, and there is a lot of lobbying, they are also democratic, transparent, peaceful and positive. That is a huge achievement in itself.
And this is why the DA in the Western Cape is stronger, more united, more diverse and more determined than ever before. If anyone wants to compare the DA with the ANC, they need to look around them, right here, right now.
The ANC in the Western Cape, as in the rest of the country, is at war with itself.
uKongolose uxabana esilwa yedwa.
Dit is onmoontlik om die lidmaatskap van faksies te ontrafel omdat getrouheid so vinnig verskuif. Alles rus op selfbelang, die vergryp van mag vir selfverryking saam met die van politieke trawante. Dit is selfs nie eens meer mag vir magsonthalwe nie. Nkandla, waar ons President se privaatwoning nou reeds teen R238-miljoen van belastingbetalers se geld opgegradeer is, illustreer dit duidelik. Sy optrede gee een en almal wat in ‘n magsposisie is ‘n lisensie om uit te buit. En wanneer ‘n party se waardekern sterf, dan is ineenstorting net ‘n kwessie van tyd terwyl daar gestoei word vir voorrang by die regering se voerbakke om hulself dik te vreet.
This internal battle in the ANC is actually what many of the so-called service delivery protests across South Africa are really about. Although people have genuine grievances, the public violence associated with protests is largely a symptom of the ANC’s faction fights.
In the Western Cape the “ungovernability campaign” of the ANCYL is a symptom of their strategy to oust the ANC’s provincial leadership.
Tony Ehrenreich, ANC leader in the City Council, summed it up best when he described the riots as being driven by “people who want to make a name for themselves” within the party’s ranks so that they position themselves for power.
There are many examples in history of parties that forgot about the people because they were involved in an internal battle for power. We must never forget that it once nearly happened to us. But only a tragic few, such as Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the ANC are prepared to put people’s lives at risk to advance their internal agendas. Political assassinations are becoming part of our political landscape in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal.
But when innocent people, going about their daily business are targeted, it is a particular tragedy and a grave danger. Today it is fitting for us to remember and pay tribute to the memories of the people who have lost their lives in the associated violence of the ANCYL’s “ungovernability campaign” in the Western Cape, and the ongoing strike action.
These people, our citizens, include Golden Arrow Bus Driver Sandile Hoko, 20-month-old Nhlanhla Ngalo, Khayelitsha resident Daniel Sass, and truck driver Xolela Poncho. And this week we saw the murder of Mpumelelo Xakekile, a metro policeman, who was shot dead at point blank range, along the N2 while he was doing his duty. And early this morning I received a report that two police officers, on late night patrol in Imizamo Yethu, were shot in the head at point blank range. The woman constable died. Her male colleague is brain dead and the hospital is waiting for the family to say whether they should switch off the machines.
What kind of society murders the very people who are there to protect them? Kulusizi kakhulu ngabantu abaswelekileyo ngenxa yesiPithiPithi.
Killing a policeman is a crime of another order. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day for us. My own life has been saved on at least three occasions by policemen. It is an abhorrent crime to kill one’s protectors. Let us have a moment’s silence in memory of all of them.
In the midst of this tragedy, I am pleased to say that the majority of decent, peace-loving people of the Western Cape are taking responsibility. They realise they have the power. We must read the election outcome in ward 88 as a resounding rejection of the ANCYL’s ungovernability campaign and the failure of the ANC to call its youth to order.
Die kiesers se boodskap was duidelik: “Genoeg is nou genoeg. Kwanele kwanele! Ons is ordentlike mense en ons verwerp julle geweld en intimidasie taktiek . Ons gaan julle herinner dat ons, die kiesers, die mag het. Ons sal daardie mag gebruik om julle uit te stem.” En hulle het. Dankie aan die span wat dit reggekry het.
Dit was die einde van die formele onregeerbaarheids-veldtog. Dit was ‘n wonderlike voorbeeld van kiesers wat werklik hul krag gebruik het om baatsugtige politici op hul plek te sit.
But we must be very careful, after all our by-election successes. The greatest risk we face in this province is complacency.
I always say that in politics, you are at your most vulnerable after your greatest victory. When you think you are safe, you are at your weakest. In the past decade, our organisational effort as a party has probably been disproportionately directed towards the Western Cape because it was the Province we could potentially win. And we succeeded in becoming a party of government to implement our policies. More and more, we are now focusing our attention elsewhere.
But -- and this is the most important thing I am saying to this Congress today -- We must never assume we will automatically keep on winning here. Voters in the Western Cape do what voters in mature democracies do: they change their minds if their party becomes complacent and self-serving.
Power brings great temptations and great risks. Let us be humble and remain true to our values and always put the people first.
Sometimes we have to take tough decisions that cause controversy. And then we have to explain, honestly, why we believe these decisions are right and in the public interest, although we must always be prepared to listen to other views.
Take education: while the ANC is destroying education in the provinces it governs, particularly Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, it tries to divert attention by focusing on the proposed closure of 27 schools in the Western Cape. Minister Donald Grant has been applying his mind very diligently to each and every case, and the submissions made in the public participation process.
He will be taking a final decision and making an announcement soon. In the case of every single school, he will decide on the basis of what is best for the education of the children in that school; On the alternatives available to them and the quality of those alternatives. His guideline is simply this: their prospects for a decent education must be better afterwards than it was before. That is our commitment today. It is also our commitment to build far more schools than we close. We already have just that during our term in office.
If children’s education can be better served in another school, we will make the right decision and not run away from the controversy generated by political opportunism. Ons het rugrate van staal. Ons buig nie met elke windjie nie. In fact, the ANC has tried to blow up a hurricane on this matter because it is so desperate to find issues to use against us.
But as usual, its petticoat is showing. Sy onderrok hang uit. Umqolo uphandle.
What very few people know is this: Over the past decade, the ANC has closed thousands of schools in the provinces it governs. Without following the exhaustive public participation processes that we have.
According to statistics from the national Department of Basic Education, more than 1,000 schools were closed in ANC-governed provinces over four years, between 2006 and 2010.
And, starting from the year 2000, the South African Institute of Race Relations puts the figure at 2,388 schools. The provincial breakdown is: 1,116 closed in the Free State; at least 648 in North West; at least 590 in the Eastern Cape; 215 in Mpumalanga; 173 in Limpopo; and 111 in Northern Cape. During this period, 49 schools were closed in the Western Cape, most under the ANC's control in the Province.
In fact, the only period during which the Western Cape Education Department closed more schools than it built was during the period of ANC rule. How is that for skynheiligheid, hypocrisy. Inkohliso!
Those are the facts. But the media and commentators do not think this hypocrisy is particularly noteworthy because it seems rather small compared with the huge lies and corruption that have become the ANC’s brand. The public expects hypocrisy from them, so it isn’t news anymore. When a President spends R238-million of public money on his private residence, why should people get upset about a bit of hypocrisy about the closure of schools?
We have seen similar misrepresentation in the release, by Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, of the 12th Commission of Employment Equity (CEE) annual report. This report is simply not credible, and is obviously being used as a platform to fight political battles.
It claims to be based on figures that we have not yet submitted because the deadline is only at the end of this month.
And what is more, the statistics are carefully constructed to make the Western Cape look bad. The report gives new meaning to the well-known saying that: There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
We investigated the findings of the report, because our own statistics gave a completely different picture. Our investigation has concluded that the report combines statistics for local and provincial government -- and then draws the wrong conclusions about the Province.
When one removes the local government statistics, the actual workforce profile statistics for the Western Cape government's four upper occupation levels show that we have met and even exceeded our targets.
Let’s use gender as an example (because I am always accused of being sexist!!). In the four top employment categories for the province, we have met our target for African women and are apparently "over-represented" both when it comes to coloured women as well as white women -- and we are apparently “under-represented: when it comes to white males.
But perhaps the real irony of the CEE report is the fact that, Limpopo is praised as one of the "best" performers and "progressive in terms of race".
The meltdown in education in Limpopo has been well documented. This bankrupt province ran up unauthorised expenditure of R2.2-billion, but learners are still without basic resources including textbooks, two months before the end of the school year.
A report authored by the former administrator Dr Anis Karodia alleges wide scale corruption and irregular expenditure committed by employees, who were appointed because of their political connections and not for their skills. No wonder there is no money for textbooks.
A simple question arises from this: do the Limpopo learners and their parents agree with Minister Oliphant that their government is the most "progressive" in the country?
No-one can take Minister Oliphant’s comments seriously. And in any event, I prefer to use independent statistics to make my point.
Just this week, the South African Institute of Government Auditors (these are independent auditors who audit government departments and entities) gave their ranking for all departments, national and provincial, for good financial management aligned to service delivery.
And let me tell you that out of the top 20 departments countrywide, 9 are from the Western Cape Government. Top in the country, with 97,16%, is the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (Minister van Rensburg). In joint second place, with 95,1% is the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and the Department of Transport and Public Works. (Minister Anton Bredell and Minister Robin Carlisle). Others included in the top 20 are the Western Cape Parliament, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, the Western Cape Department of Education, the Western Cape Department of Health, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Western Cape Department of the Premier. The Western Cape Department of Education was voted the most consistently performing department over three years. (Minister Donald Grant).
So you see, we are combining excellence with equity, which is as it should be if we want to serve the people. And I want to pay tribute to the excellent officials who carry out the mandate of the people who voted us into office. Without good, professional staff, no politician can achieve anything.
The same applies to a political party. And that is why I want to thank Han-Marie Marshall van Zyl and her magnificent team across this province. You are the main reason that we win by-elections in almost impossible circumstances. I always try not to single things out, but sometimes it is necessary. Will all those involved in the Grabouw Ward 11 By-Election please stand up: Christelle Vosloo, Jaco Londt, Cllr Tshaka. Jully het “Operation Reclaim” ‘n bloedneus gegee. Dit was eintlik ‘n uitklophou. I can go to “war” with people like you.
When I want to take an evaluation seriously, I look at what the voters are telling us, not Mildred Oliphant.
Let’s look at Cape Town, the place where we first came to power: Dit spreek boekdelet dat Kaapstad deur die uHABS-indeks (Universal Household Access to Basic Services Index) geïdentifiseer is as die voorste metro in die land sover dit die verskaffing van sanitasie-, vullisverwydering-, elektrisieteit- en waterverskaffingsdienste aan inwoners betref.
We can also look at our other uitblinkers -- Swartland and the West Coast District Municipality foremost amongst them.
There are also those who are not doing well, based on the shaky coalitions and other enormous problems. But we are doing out utmost to assist and support. We are here to help you. And we must just keep committed to continuous improvement.
Because we are just getting started, ultimately we aim to win more provincial governments and eventually govern South Africa so that communities across the country can benefit from the opportunities and services a DA government delivers.
But the ANC’s ungovernability tactics are only just starting as well. They will not sit back and let it happen. We have seen how they are even prepared to sacrifice their children’s future for political advantage.
One of the worst examples was the Northern Cape community who kept 16,000 children out of school for 3 months to back their demands for the mayor to be changed.
While the ANC only understands the politics of factionalism, of disruption, and of ungovernability, the DA has a plan for every province in this next election. It is a plan to defend our constitution, build genuine non-racialism, grow the economy to achieve many more jobs, and work for genuine redress, reconciliation, diversity and delivery for all.
There are many people in other parties who also want to achieve these things. And I say to them: we belong together. Sibanye ngokokuzalwa. Ons hoort saam.
Let us therefore come together to build a new majority, win elections, and save our beloved South Africa. Masi simbise ilizwe lethu esilithandayo. Ons moet ons geliefde land red.
Thank you very much. Enkosi Kakhulu
Province Or State