TMy fellow South Africans,
If we want to make this critical election count, then we have to understand, very clearly the choice we face next month at the polls.
It’s simple: We either choose to save our country from the downward spiral we’re in, or we choose to save the fortunes of a dying party, the ANC. That’s the choice on 8 May. Everything else is just spin.
We don’t have the luxury of time to sit this one out. If we don’t act collectively against the ANC now, we may not have this opportunity again. If we don’t turn the tide now, our country and our economy may not survive long enough to try it again.
We are facing a perfect storm of immediate threats to our country. We have almost 10 million unemployed adults. We have an economy that cannot even break through 1% GDP growth. We have a spiralling public sector wage bill and spiralling national debt. And we have a power utility that is bleeding money and can’t keep the lights on.
Any one of these challenges on its own is enough to destabilise a country. But we have to deal with them all at once. And if we have learnt one thing these past two decades, it is that this ANC government is simply not up to that task.
We need a brand new start under a new government that is prepared to make every bold decision needed to turn things around for us.
We need a new government that is prepared to send corrupt politicians to jail. We need a government that is prepared to stand up to the unions. We need a new government that consists only of capable and committed people, and not deployed party loyalists. We need a new government that recognises businesses and entrepreneurs as the heroes in the fight against unemployment, and not the enemies.
In short, we need a new government that looks to the future, instead of being stuck in the past. There is only one party in South Africa that can build and lead such a government, and that is the DA.
There is only one party that has proven itself in government and boasts an unmatched track record of delivery on issues ranging from housing and land reform to education and job creation.
There is only one party large enough, with a footprint that covers the entire South Africa, and with public representatives in every single area.
There is only one party that constantly fights for the rights of all South Africans, including minority groups.
There is only one party that conducts its own internal business without chaos, without violence and without endless court challenges.
And there is only one party that passionately defends our Constitution and the Rule of Law, and advocates for a country in which every citizen stands equal before the law.
That’s why this election has to be a choice between renewal and hope under a new DA-led government, or more of the same corruption and decay under this old ANC government.
It is a choice is between chaos and order – between criminality and the Rule of Law. It is a choice between tearing down our country to feed the greed of the ruling mob, or building South Africa into a safe, prosperous and inclusive country that is shared by all.
You can find evidence of this choice all around us. Right now, large parts of South Africa are reeling from so-called shutdown protests. We saw this in Alexandra in Johannesburg. We saw this in Tshwane. We saw violent protests in Khayelitsha. We saw marches in Midvaal.
What do these places have in common? They are all governed by the DA. And behind all these actions you will find the hand of the ANC, trying its best to cause chaos and disorder in the run-up to the election. They are waging a poorly disguised campaign of ungovernability across multiple DA-run cities at once because they hope this will distract voters from their own failures.
It is sheer desperation that causes a party to act in this way. And this is not the first time they have done this. Back in 2016, when they lost Gauteng metros to DA-led coalitions, the ANC could see the writing on the wall. They weren’t only losing politically, they were losing financially too. They were losing access to tenders and procurement contracts. The feeding trough was closing down for them, and so the ANC mob set Tswhane alight.
They also knew that what happened in metros in 2016 would surely be repeated in provinces in 2019. And this is why the DA-run parts of Gauteng are burning again, along with parts of DA-run Cape Town. This is what it looks like when a failed liberation movement faces the prospect of losing power.
And throughout all of this, President Ramaphosa is pretending that none of it is happening. As the country burns at the hands of his party, he continues to float around South Africa in his own little bubble, seemingly isolated from the crimes of his party and from the failures of his government.
He continues to sell the idea that he has nothing to do with the ANC of Magashule and Mabuza, and that he has nothing to do with the ANC that plundered Eskom to the point of collapse and dragged our economy to the edge of the cliff. He presents himself as something entirely different to that ANC.
But he is not. They are one and the same. He even operates in the exact same shady way as his predecessor, as we have seen in the evidence of dirty Bosasa money flowing to both him and his son. He is the ANC and the ANC is him.
I know some will tell you that you have all sorts of other magical choices on the ballot paper. They will say you can somehow sidestep the rest of the criminal ANC and vote only for Cyril Ramaphosa. This is completely untrue, of course. If you make your mark next to the ANC, then you get everything the ANC stands for.
Regardless of what you may think of Cyril Ramaphosa, a vote for the ANC will give you Land Expropriation Without Compensation. A vote for the ANC will give you the disastrous National Health Insurance. A vote for the ANC will give you SADTU in schools and deployed cadres on the boards of SOEs.
Then there are others who will tell you that you need to vote for a small party that looks just like you, talks just like you and only cares about the exact same things as you do. This is also a big mistake, as a vote for such a party will do nothing to stop the ANC and replace them with a credible government.
These parties are often on the political extremes, and they mobilise races against each other. They thrive on the divisions that exist in our society. They drive wedges between us and force these divisions even wider.
That cannot possibly be the future of our country. Our only hope as a nation is if we remain united – strengthened in our diversity. And so we need to find common ground and rally around the values that unite us, not those that push us apart and drive us back into separate corners.
That is why the future of this great country lies in coalition politics, and more specifically, a DA-led coalition government. I have said on many occasions that the DA is prepared to work with any party that shares the core principles around which we want to build South Africa. These are non-racialism, the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, zero tolerance for corruption, a Capable State and a market-driven economy.
Everything else can be worked around or negotiated. We don’t have to agree on every single thing. But with those core principles in place, we can build a government and a state that can truly serve the people and act in their interest.
But if we’re going to do this, we are going to have to do it now. We can’t afford to waste any time, and we can’t afford for any precious votes to be wasted.
Yes, the DA is not perfect. No party is. The DA may not fulfil every single need you have. No party will. But the DA is honest, accountable, capable, caring and big enough to challenge the ANC. And that should be enough reason to put your trust in us.
Lend us your vote next month, and we will do all we can to pull South Africa back from the brink. We will do all we can to right the wrongs that this ANC government has committed.
We will do all we can to get our economy back on its feet and creating precious jobs – jobs that can be accessed fairly by all South Africans, regardless of their connections or party affiliation.
We will do all we can to keep communities – both urban and rural – safe from harm through a professional and honest Police Service
We will do all we can to protect the interests of our country and its people by securing our borders and ensuring effective border control.
We will do all we can to root out all corruption, and send those politicians found guilty to jail for 15 years.
We will do all we can to speed up the delivery of services to all communities across the country.
That is my pledge to you today.
If the DA should let you down and fall short of your expectation, then you must take your vote back again. Because that’s where the power of our democracy lies. But first give us the chance to prove ourselves.
I assure you, a DA government will work harder than anyone else at building one prosperous and safe South Africa for all its people.