My fellow South Africans,
You should always demand accountability from your government, but even more so when they come round here asking you to re-elect them. That is when you must hold up what they promised you against what they delivered.
If a party has been in government for 25 years, and they ask you to entrust them with another five years in office, then you have every right to demand to see 25 years worth of progress.
That is the deal you entered with them. In return for your vote, they must keep the promises they made to you. If they told you about housing opportunities or service delivery improvements or access to jobs, then this is what you should judge them on. This is what you should base your decision on when it comes to voting.
I can assure you that here in Welbedacht, Chatsworth, you have not received a fair deal from your government.
These conditions here in Welbedacht, and particularly this transit camp, are not what you were promised. How long ago were you told that this was a temporary measure, and that proper housing would follow? It’s been ten years that you have been stranded here with no help from your government. And now they want your vote again?
The 400 families living here have been abandoned by this ANC government. And the only time you ever hear from them is right before an election. Is that good enough?
This will not happen under a DA government. Without even being in government here, we have already done more for this community than the ANC could manage with all the resources of government at its disposal.
From clearing up the surrounding bush and ensuring a closer taxi drop-off point, to fighting for the delivery of toilets and electricity, the DA in opposition has been more effective here than the ANC in government. So when they come begging for your vote once more, remind them of the promises they made to you – promises which they had no intention of ever keeping.
But as much as this election should be a referendum on the past 25 years of ANC government, it should also be about the next 25 years. What should Chatsworth look like? What should KZN look like? What should South Africa look like? And what kind of government can best realise this vision?
Let me start by saying what this government should not look like.
It can’t be a government that divides us into separate corners based on what we look like or the languages we speak. Here in KZN you have suffered for too long under racial and tribal politics. We need to reform our politics to speak of values, to speak of policies and to speak of big ideas, rather than of race. We need to build one united South Africa.
It can’t be a government that kills economic growth and chases away investment through destructive, outdated policies. We need a government that can reform our economy – a government that knows how to attract the kind of investment that creates work. A government that is able to put a job in every home.
It can’t be a government that uses its position to enrich itself. It can’t be a government that rewards its friends and families with jobs and tenders. It can’t be a government that does lucrative business with itself. We need a government whose only business is its service to the people.
It can’t be a government that sees municipalities as mere centres for tender adjudication, and who treat municipal budgets as their own ATMs. It can’t be a government like the ANC local government here in Ethekwini which is more interested in giving Jacob Zuma recording deals than delivering basic services to communities like yours.
When you go to your voting stations next month to make your mark, you need to think about the past 25 years, and what you got from your government during all this time. But you also need to think about the next 25 years, and the change you would like to see here in Welbedacht, in Chatsworth, in KZN and in South Africa.
If you’re unhappy with your government, you have every right to protest against them. But there is only one proven way to protest effectively, and that is with your vote. If they have lied to you or sold you empty promises year after year, then punish them with your vote. That’s the only protest that delivers results.
Use your vote to hire a government with a proven track record of delivery wherever it governs. Use your vote to hire a government that does not tolerate any form of corruption. Use your vote to hire a government that fights for the rights of all South Africans.
Fellow South Africans, there is only one party that can be this government, and that is the DA. There is only one party with both the policies and the track record to improve the lives of all South Africans.
If we should ever let you down, then use your vote to fire us too. But first give us a chance to show you what a South Africa could look like under a DA government. One united, prosperous South Africa for all.