The Multi-Party Charter has overtaken the ANC in Gauteng – Vote DA to make it win

17 Nov 2023 in News

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen during the lodging of a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission.

Fellow South Africans and residents of Gauteng,

The DA’s submission of a Human Rights Commission complaint against Rand Water today, is yet another indictment on the ANC for the state of decay in the Gauteng province.

We have heard how corruption, maladministration, and neglect between the ANC nationally and provincially, including at Rand Water, have compounded into the most severe water crisis this province has ever seen.

In places like Tsakane, KwaThema, and Duduza in Ekurhuleni, there has been no water for more than two months in 2023 alone. In Soshanguve in Tshwane, water cuts have persisted for as long as 6 months. And here in Johannesburg, residents confronted Day Zero in October 2022 as a dangerous combination of load shedding and water infrastructure collapse, shut down water systems to allow for reservoirs to refill.

And water shedding often has deadly consequences. While residents in Germiston have reported contracting illnesses due to prolonged water outages, the Gauteng MEC for Health recently revealed that 392 operations have been cancelled across 16 public hospitals this year alone. The very lives of Gauteng residents are at stake because of incessant ANC corruption that has cut of water from millions of residents every single day.

Gauteng is not being water shed because there is no water. This week the Vaal Dam is 72% full. But the infrastructure to send that water to Gauteng’s homes has been broken by this provincial government under the ANC. Water shedding in this province is not an environmental problem. It is not something that befell this province by chance. It is an ANC-created problem.

Under the provincial government, Rand Water’s scheduled R32 billion CapEx programme to restore its assets and renew infrastructure for water provision is now ten years late. At a national level, the National Department of Water and Sanitation’s R26 billion Lesotho Highlands Water Project has not yet gotten off the ground due to contract irregularities and a slew of corruption allegations.

The National Department of Water and Sanitation’s website states proudly that “Water is life, sanitation is dignity”. If this is true, then the ANC has robbed the residents of Gauteng of both life and dignity by taking away their water.

And this is why we are at the South African Human Rights Commission today to remind Rand Water and the ANC, that we will not allow them to take away the constitutional right to access to clean drinking water from the people of South Africa, and from the people of this province.

We will not allow entire communities to go for months on and without water because money meant for the restoration of water pipes was siphoned into the pocket of a connected ANC cadre.

Nearly three decades of ANC provincial government in Gauteng has made life far, far worse for its residents, and has created a near impossible environment for a provincial economy to grow.

Where businesses and factories once flourished and where jobs were once abundant, Gauteng is now bleeding investment, being drained of skills and expertise, and what’s left of once beautiful cities such as Johannesburg are either exploding or going up in flames. And the facts speak for themselves.

The most recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on Tuesday this week has once again shown that South Africa’s only growing provincial economy does not sit in Gauteng, it sits in the DA-run Western Cape.

The Western Cape remains the province with South Africa’s lowest unemployment rate at 20,2% – a full 13,5 percentage points lower than that of Gauteng. The Western Cape’s unemployment rate has also decreased by 4,3% in the last year alone, whereas the unemployment rate in the Gauteng province has remained unchanged since the same time last year.

That means that at the mercy of rolling blackouts, incessant water shedding, and infrastructural collapse, Gauteng’s provincial economy has flatlined.

Gauteng used to be South Africa’s economic heartland, but it is fast becoming South Africa’s economic wasteland. In a city like Johannesburg, it is ANC corruption and cadre deployment, disastrous policy decisions, and severe maladministration that have whittled away at this once thriving province and at this once thumping provincial economy.

In stark contrast to Johannesburg’s decline, the recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey also revealed that DA-run Cape Town created 205 000 new jobs. That is more jobs in one city compared to all of South Africa’s other metros combined.

This is because where the DA governs in Cape Town and the Western Cape, immense infrastructure budgets are passed and spent on maintaining pipes and water reticulation services to keep water in residents’ taps, and the province and the city are working tirelessly to bring an end to load shedding to keep the lights on and keep Western Cape residents working. But the Western Cape story can, and must be replicated here in Gauteng.

It is fitting that we have laid this complaint on the eve of the Independent Electoral Commission’s first voter registration weekend, because it is by voting in next year’s election that Gauteng residents can bring an end to the ANC decay and collapse that has become endemic in this province.

And as voters prepare to register this weekend to cast their ballots in the election next year, I have some exciting news to share with the residents of Gauteng.

I can today confirm that according to the DA’s latest internal polling, which is backed up by polling conducted by both the Social Research Foundation and the Brenthurst Foundation, the Multi-Party Charter has overtaken the ANC as the largest political movement in Gauteng. These polls currently have the Multi-Party Charter polling at 45% in Gauteng, just 6% from a 50+1 majority, while the ANC’s support has plummeted to just 37%.

For the first time in thirty years, residents of this province have a real chance at electing a new majority government in 2024, but every Gauteng resident will need to register to vote it into power.

This means that the voter registration weekend on the 18th and 19th of November has never been more crucial for the future of Gauteng, and the future of its residents who desperately want a life of opportunity and dignity.

A new Gauteng provincial government led by the Multi-Party Charter can rid this province of the ANC corruption and maladministration that has brought Gauteng to its knees, and usher in a government that spends money on perfecting basic service delivery, restoring electricity and water infrastructure, fixing towns and cities, and bring back investment and jobs as we resuscitate Gauteng’s economy.

If Gauteng residents want an end to load shedding, if they want an end to water shedding, if they want to revitalise and repair their towns and cities, and if they want a growing provincial economy that provides jobs, they must come out in their numbers to register to vote this weekend.

Gauteng has an immense role to play in the future of our country, and it is up to the residents of Gauteng to empower themselves, by registering to vote, to make the dream of a better Gauteng and a better South Africa a reality.

I am calling on all South Africans to use this voter registration wisely to register to vote in election 2024. We can bring change and a new government to Gauteng, and to South Africa when South Africa goes to the polls next year. With a viable alternative to unseat the ANC next year, I am urging all South Africans to use our democracy to empower themselves to elect a better future for our country. Only the registered can vote, and each and every one of us must register to vote for the real and tangible change that is now on the horizon as the Multi-Party Charter gains momentum in Gauteng, and in South Africa.

Gauteng is a beautiful province. It is one of the richest slivers of the entire African continent with boundless potential. But it just needs the right government to unlock it.

As a viable political alternative is now on our doorstep in the Multi-Party Charter, let us get out and register to vote to rescue Gauteng, and save South Africa!

Thank you.

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