Note to editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Human Settlements, Solly Malatsi MP, during the State of the Nation (SONA) Debate in the National Assembly this afternoon.
Honourable members, let me start by condemning the inhumane living conditions of farmworkers all over the country. We also condemn the senseless murders of farmers, including the family of four that was brutally murdered in Mpumalanga yesterday.
We live in the era of false prophets and pastors.
If they are not tricking people into eating grass, they are misleading congregants into using DOOM to receive blessings.
One of those false prophets was on this podium last week Thursday, preaching the gospel of deception.
Mr. Zuma is the modern day False Prophet Hananiah who we were warned about in the Book of Jeremiah.
Every year he comes to this podium with a new scripture of false promises that he never fulfils.
And just like the false prophet Hananiah who lied to the people of Juda that he was sent by the Lord to conquer King Nebuchadnezzar, he is the master of deceit.
I would like to remind Mr. Zuma just like Jeremiah did to the False Prophet Hananiah:
“The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.”
Honourable members, as my leader Hon Maimane said last week in the real state of the nation address:
“It is deeply unjust that millions of black people remain dispossessed of the land where they were forcibly removed.”
Those forceful land dispossessions are not just apartheid scars. They represent lingering wounds that will make it difficult for all of us to live the dream of reconciliation.
From generation to generation; many of us whose ancestors’ land was dispossessed are overloaded with the heavy burden of the bruised dignity of our people.
It is the lost generation, the millions of young people without access to opportunity, that carries this heavy burden the most.
Our grandparents are tenants on the land of their birth.
Many of us are now squatters on the land of our ancestors.
We don’t have title deeds to affirm ownership of the properties we live in.
And none of us are landlords on the land that was unfairly taken from us.
And let us be clear, it is not “white monopoly capital” or a “third force” or some fictional “counter-revolutionary” that has perpetuated this.
It is the ANC’s clumsy and expedient approach to land restitution that has done so.
One such example is the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014 that was declared “invalid” due to lack of “proper consultation” by the Constitutional Court as indicated by Mr. Zuma last week during his address to the ANC caucus in this House.
What Mr. Zuma didn’t tell his colleagues is that the DA was one of the first parties to raise its concerns about the validity of public process of the Bill.
Yet once again the ANC used its majority to defy sanity by forcing the Bill through parliamentary processes.
So while Parliament will now need additional resources and time to correct another error by the ANC, land restitution will continue to move at a tortoise pace.
If you scrutinise every botched land restitution settlement, you will find an ANC cadre at the centre of robbing the real beneficiaries.
ANC cadres who have stolen the futures of a generation of young people.
The most recent culprit is Minister Nkwinti who has allegedly abused his position to facilitate the transfer of the Bekendvlei farm to his cadres.
This is despite the fact that they didn’t have any ancestral claim to the land nor experience in agriculture.
The ANC would rather put friends first and South Africans last. It is why we have a lost generation, millions of young people who have lost hope of ever finding a job or the dignity that this provides.
Today we have the ANC lamenting the fact that many beneficiaries prefer cash instead of land.
Many do so because the ANC government fails to provide consistent “after settlement” support to beneficiaries to enable them to make productive and sustainable agricultural use of the land.
Once again, it is not “white monopoly capital” or a “third force” or some fictional “counter-revolutionary” that does this. It is the ANC.
It is you who continues to assault the dignity of landless people through your mishandling of land reform.
It is you who continues to rob the lost generation of their opportunities for a better life, to cultivate their skills and therefore their ancestral land.
Where the DA governs, we understand the importance of acting swiftly to settle longstanding land claims.
This is why as recently as last week Mayor Patricia de Lille finalised the transfer of 6ha of land worth R120 million in Constantia to its rightful owners.
Honourable members, it makes no sense whatsoever why beneficiaries of government housing have to wait for long periods to get their title deeds once they have been handed their houses.
These delays in giving them title deeds prolong their stay in poverty when they could be leveraging their properties for economic prosperity.
Where the DA governs we prioritise the speedy handover of title deeds to empower our people.
This is why the City of Cape Town has handed over more title deeds than any other metro between the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years.
And this is why the City has now eradicated the backlog of 25 000 historic title deeds for transfer to residents in Nyanga, Langa, Gugulethu, amongst other areas.
While we do this, the ANC continues to fail in this regard. According to statistics from the National Department of Human Settlements:
• Kwazulu Natal handed over only 245 title deeds out of a target of 2 445 for the 1st quarter of 2016/17 financial year.
• Limpopo handed over only 306 title deeds out of a target of 4 250 for the same financial year.
So while Mr Zuma and his family are secure in comfort through the proceeds of corruption, millions of poor South African are insecure in the discomfort of poverty.
Millions of young South Africans, the lost generation, have been abandoned, without the opportunity for a better life.
To ANC governments, service delivery is a once-off showboating crusade to seduce voters.
Every time there are elections and by-elections, ANC municipalities miraculously find the budget and zeal to deliver services instantly.
But as soon as the elections are over, service delivery returns to its unpredictable state.
The ANC provides factional services delivery. Those who didn’t vote for them are punished for voting for the opposition.
Where the DA governs service delivery is not a tool for partisanship.
It is an instrument to restore and sustain the dignity of our people throughout our term of governance.
Where the ANC governs, they do so with hubris because they don’t respect voters.
It is that hubris that informs the President’s false prophecy that “the ANC will govern till Jesus comes.”
Where the DA governs we do so with the humility that an opportunity to govern is a privilege of the highest order to serve our people.
Where the DA governs we do so with the compassion of a caring government, unlike the ANC that refuses a moment of silence to commemorate the tragic of 94 lives under an ANC government.
Where the DA governs we condemn corruption wherever it happens. We punish its perpetrators. And we don’t victimise whistleblowers.
Where the ANC governs they protect corrupt cadres.
They even elevate corrupt leaders to Parliament.
Some of them were the architects of collapsed provincial governments like the former Premier of Limpopo.
Some of them squandered taxpayer’s monies on artworks from MacDonalds like the former MEC of Human Settlements for Gauteng.
Honourable Speaker, no government is perfect. Nor will it ever be. However, a government that respects the oath of public service acknowledges its wrongdoings where they exist; apologises for its misdeeds and self-corrects all the time.
Where we govern, we try to live up to these ideals at all times.
And while the ANC can try to unleash its misfiring attempts to destabilise DA governments in the metros, you will never succeed against the will of the people.
You tried to unsettle the DA government in the Western Cape through Operation Reclaim, and you failed.
You tried to take over Midvaal through an illegal move to merge it with Emfuleni municipality, and you failed.
You keep trying to abuse the powers of national departments to frustrate DA governments, and still, you fail.
Hon. Speaker, might will never conquer right; no matter the size of its majority nor desperate means.
Because you will never ever stop an idea whose time has come. And this is the time voters have chosen for the DA to govern.
We are governing in Cape Town. We are governing in Midvaal. We are governing in Tshwane. We are governing in Nelson Mandela Bay. We are governing in Johannesburg.
Not even the doomed gospel of the ANC’s false prophets will stop us from taking over the Union Buildings in 2019.