My fellow South Africans,
It is great to be here today in Gauteng. This wonderful province is home to South Africa’s greatest melting pot of cultures, talent and creativity.
Here you will find the Cradle of Humankind, as well as the beating economic heart of our nation. Both our history and our future are inextricably tied to Gauteng.
Even back then, people recognised that Gauteng was a place of opportunity and dreams. But these are dreams that still remain unfulfilled for most. And it is our task to change this.
We are here today to offer our plan to put Gauteng back on track.
We are here today to affirm our commitment to building one South Africa for all its people.
One South Africa, united and strengthened by our incredible diversity.
One South Africa where every man and woman can access the opportunities he or she needs to get ahead in life, and where every child can dream of a future that is better than their today.
A South Africa built on non-racialism and the pursuit of equality of rights. And let me tell you that this equality doesn’t mean taking away from others. It simply means extending it to all.
We are here today to say that this South Africa we want to build is well within our reach. And we will start by bringing a DA government to this province of Gauteng.
Back in 2016 they told us we couldn’t do it. They said we were dreaming if we thought we would govern in Johannesburg, or Tshwane, or Nelson Mandela Bay.
But they were wrong then, and they are wrong now. Because today Tshwane is blue, Johannesburg is blue, Midvaal is blue, and come 8 May Gauteng will be blue!
I know the people of Gauteng want change. The latest polls in the province show that support for the ANC has dropped to well below 50%. And the reason for this is that the majority of Gauteng residents have already experienced a DA government in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Midvaal. They know the difference the DA makes, and they won’t go back to the ANC.
This means Gauteng is ready for a new government – a coalition government led by the DA and built on a foundation of our values.
We will work with any party that shares these values of a market-based economy that creates jobs, a lean and capable state that delivers services for all, zero tolerance for corruption, and the upholding of the Constitution that guarantees its people their rights, including the right to own property.
Change is coming to Gauteng, fellow South Africans. And our vision for South Africa – to put a job in every home – will soon become a reality in this province.
We will do to Gauteng what we did to the Western Cape ten years ago. We will clean the province out, department by department. We will dismantle the system that gives jobs to connected pals. We will end cadre deployment in this province.
And in its place we will put a government that is capable, caring and corruption-free.
When Gauteng turns blue, only the best fit-for-purpose individuals will serve in government. We will build a lean and efficient administration, so that more public funds can be spent on the people of this province.
When Gauteng turns blue, it will have a caring government. There will never again be a tragedy like the one that took place under the ANC at Life Esidimeni, or where boys and girls drown in pit toilets at school. This province cannot be the Gauteng in the Miriam Makeba song by the same name – a place where our children die.
This ANC government almost lost Gauteng in 2014. And how did it respond to this? How did it win back the confidence of the people? By inflicting one of the worst tragedies of our 25-year democracy on its most vulnerable citizens – the mental health patients in its care.
Policy confusion in the ANC has meant our country will continue to limp along at 0,8%. Yet the President's only plan is to nationalise everything.
We need change not only here but in national government. This week I tabled a 10-point plan for the first 100 days of government with the following interventions:
Table the Jobs Act, Fiscal Responsibility Bill and ISMO Bill;
Immediately place SAA under business rescue;
Begin the rollout of a Voluntary Civil Service Year;
Introduce specialist Teacher Training Colleges and a National Education Inspectorate to ensure that teaching and other standards are met;
Increase the child grant to the food poverty line of R547 per month;
Begin to implement a 6-point Small Business Development Plan;
Cut Cabinet to 15 Ministries;
Initiate key interventions to professionalise the police force, including the provincial control of police.
Deploy SANDF troops to our borders; and
Decentralise control of ports, harbours and Metrorail services and their budgets to metro councils.
When Gauteng turns blue, unemployment will immediately start to fall, and we will put a job – at least one – in every home.
We will open wide the doors of this province to investors, to small businesses, to entrepreneurs. It will become a place of opportunity, growth and jobs.
When Gauteng turns blue, it will become a manufacturing hub, exporting its products across the world. Let us make this province a Special Economic Zone with the incentives for job-creating businesses to come here and thrive.
When Gauteng turns blue, it will have a government that is prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver economic freedom to its people. And that includes giving the people title deeds to their properties.
Mayor Mashaba’s administration has already made home-owners of more than 6000 families in Johannesburg, and we want to accelerate this even more. There is no reason why people should have to wait for years for title, as the ANC has made them do.
This province will have a government that understands the importance of a quality education in setting our children up for success. Let us create these places of exceptional education right here in our communities so that our children don’t have to board an endless stream of taxis heading for schools elsewhere.
Let us test charter schools in this province, so we can begin to close the gap between the children on the outside of our economy and those who grow up on the inside.
Let us offer parents real choice in where to send their children to school. Because choice is freedom.
When Gauteng turns blue, this province will have a government that works for the people and conducts its business out in the open. No tenders will be awarded behind closed doors, and no politicians will do business with the State.
Government must be of the people, by the people and for the people. But it should also be accessible to the people.
Let us do with the Union Buildings what the Americans have done with the White House. Let the people come and see how their government works. Let’s offer tours of the Union Buildings. I want to meet there with ordinary South Africans – nurses, teachers, police officers.
Fellow South Africans,
In just two and a half years, the people of Johannesburg and Tshwane have already seen the difference a DA government can make. In both these cities corruption, waste and mismanagement are being rooted out.
Mayor Msimanga turned Tshwane’s R2 billion debt into a surplus within his first year.
Mayor Mashaba has launched investigations that have led to hundreds of arrests and dozens of dismissals and suspensions of corrupt officials.
Under his watch, this City of Johannesburg has also created over 100,000 new jobs.
That is the DA difference. And that is what we now need to bring to this great province of Gauteng.
Because if this province works, then our country works. And it will take a DA government to unlock its potential.
But to do so, we need you to do your bit on the 8th of May.
Use the incredible power of your vote to kick out this government that has only brought you misery, suffering and corruption, and replace it with one that can build a better tomorrow.
And yes, it will be through a coalition government, because that is the immediate future of politics in this country. The days of one-party domination have come to an end.
But as long as a party shares our vision for a country that works, a country that is safe, a country free from corruption, a country with secure borders and a country where basic services are rolled out faster and to more people, then we will work with them.
Change is coming, fellow South Africans. And you need to be part of this change.
The DA has a plan for change. And we also have a leader in Solly Msimanga who has shown he has what it takes to build a better future for the people of this great province.
Fellow South Africans, please welcome on stage the next Premier of Gauteng, Mr Solly Msimanga!
Together we can put our country back on the right track. Together we can bring jobs and hope back to Gauteng. So let’s go out and paint this province blue on 8 May!