The ANC only knows our people when it benefits them

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Note to editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Member in the NCOP, Jacques Julius MP, during the State of the Nation (SONA) Debate in the National Assembly this afternoon.

President, Deputy President, members and fellow South Africans.

Dit is nou al een jaar vandat ek hier gestaan het en vertel het van die bloubokkie en sy gal. Die ANC het hulself daaraan afgevee.

Ek wil weer vandag die ANC vertel van ‘n tweede beroemde boek geskryf deur Dalene Matthee, Fiela se Kind. Hierdie boek het temas van ras, klas, identiteit, emansipasie, onreg en geheime aangepak, maar vandag wil ek praat oor onreg.

Benjamin, die hoofkarakter, was ‘n weggooi lam tot Fiela hom gevind het. Sy ouers het hom weggegooi. Nege jaar later het die Van Rooyen familie hom geëis as hul verlore kind. Op die ouderdom van drie, het hulle na agt dae ophou soek na hom en toe hulle hom weer gevind het, was hulle net geïntereseerd in hoe bes om hom te misbruik. Hulle het hom as hul eiendom gesien en soos ‘n slaaf behandel. Nie net was hulle onverantwoordelik nie, maar hulle was ook gulsig.

This is exactly how the ANC treats the lost generation of South Africa.

This South African knows not the emancipation a title deed brings, never owning the land they live on. Our people do not progress because of vast tracts of government-owned land kept safe for redistribution only to the well-connected, secure in comfort.

Madam Speaker, despite all the bravado about returning the land to the people of South Africa by the ANC and President Zuma, nothing new was said on land restitution during this year’s State of the Nation Address.

The issue of land has been an arduous task for the ANC over the years. The ANC committed itself in 1994 to transfer 30% of agricultural land to Black South Africans by 1999. When not meeting this target, they moved it to 2014. This target was also not met by the ANC.

By 2016, only 8% of agricultural land was transferred to Black South Africans – falling way short of the ANC’s own target.

The ANC further committed itself to the settling of all land claims by 2005. By 2016 there are still 7419 land claims outstanding and about 20 000 are yet to be finalised.

Thus, the ANC did not meet a single target on land that they have set for themselves. After 23 years of not meeting your targets, how can you still expect South Africans to trust you this time?

Yes, President Zuma, in your own words “It will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve true reconciliation until the land question is resolved.” You actually meant to say that due to the ANC not meeting its own targets on land, true reconciliation would not be resolved! The ANC have forgotten the people of South Africa!

Showing no respect for the discontentment of ordinary and forgotten South Africans, the then MEC for Agriculture, Mosebenzi Zwani – now Minister of Mineral Resources, made a deal with the Gupta-owned company, Estina, where they were the primary beneficiaries of a lucrative dairy farm project in the Free State even though they had no agricultural experience!

Further, the current Land Reform Minister is alleged to have received a R2 million bribe to facilitate a deal in which his friends could benefit from the Department’s R97 million purchase of the Bekendvlei Farm. It is all about the ANC and the people last!

The DA will prioritise a full audit of land ownership and those who receive agricultural land will be supported with the necessary skills or qualifications before they begin farming which will include financial and technical support.

Speaker, last year I predicted here at this podium that my colleagues, Mayors Msimanga, Trollip and Mashaba, in Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg respectively will be governing DA metros. Well, they are doing just that!

The previous ANC administration in Tshwane had incurred about R2 billion worth of debt which the DA administration discovered soon after being elected to govern the executive and administration capital of South Africa. Previous Mayor Ramokgopa enjoyed a R30 million per year discretionary slush fund to spend without fear of consequence.

In the first 100 days of government, the DA’s Mayor Msimanga, stopped all excessive and frivolous expenditure on lavish catering, banquets and parties, and luxury cars to save money for service delivery.

Corrupt officials are now being pursued. The ANC did not do this – because it is their cronies that are corrupt.

In Johannesburg, the DA administration identified 2000 title deeds for residents who had been waiting for decades under the previous ANC administration. Further, Mayor Mashaba resurrected the anti-graft unit which was ineffective under ANC governance. In Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, the DA administration has now implemented strict debt control measures to begin recovering some of the R2 billion owed to the Municipality.

We have shown that DA governments are working for the people – always reminded that the people come first! In an economy with a youth unemployment rate of almost 50%, we need a government that is committed to job creation, stops corruption and delivers better services. The DA is committed to becoming that government.

Maar, Fiela het mos gesê, “En kom die reën die jaar op sy tyd, blom die Lange Kloof en staan kos vir mens en dier in oorvloed en vergeet jy die droogte.”

The ANC only knows our people when it benefits them. They have failed us as a nation and when we seek answers, they use violent racist rhetoric to divide us. When life is abundant, they forget the suffering and sacrifice we had to undergo for this hard-won democracy of ours. They do not know us in poverty, they do not know us in inequality, and they certainly do not know us in unemployment.

I thank you.

5 YEARS LATER, WE'RE STILL WAITING FOR JUSTICE

The Farlam Commission Report was released over 2 years ago, but nothing has been done since then to provide closure on the greatest tragedy of our young democracy.