My fellow South Africans,
It’s great to be here in KwaZulu-Natal and to see so many committed South Africans who want to be part of a new chapter for our country. You are the future.
Today we officially launch our manifesto for change in this province. Abangane, Sifuna ukushintsha manje! We want change, and we want it now!
You see, this province is well ahead of its time in terms of true democracy. It has seen the democratic change of power from one political party to another. KwaZulu-Natal has tasted change, and it is this democratic change in power we are working towards come 8 May 2019!
That is why the DA will work with all political parties in this province who share common values of a market-based economy that creates jobs, a lean and capable state that delivers services for all, zero tolerance for corruption, and the upholding of the Constitution that guarantees its people their rights, including the right to own property.
We recoginse the potential of this great province, and what it could become with a government that works for all its people.
Fellow South Africans, democracy is built on the contestation of ideas. We must be able to debate even the most difficult topics in order to refine our values and mature our democracy.
And we must be wary of those political parties that arise because they support a particular race, or culture, or language group. We cannot build One South Africa for All if we support political parties that only speak for some.
I want to make it unequivocally clear, again, that I reject all forms of discrimination, be it on the colour of your skin, the language you speak, or the God you worship.
There have been parties in this very province that seek to divide us on such bases. Some discriminate against Indians, and while others fuel hatred of particular people because of their ethnicity. And often this leads to violence – which has spread across this province at an alarming rate.
Again, we call upon all public representative to advance peace and denounce all forms of violence – whether political or not. The people of this province still bear the painful scars of violence in the name of race, culture and ethnicity. We must stand together and never let such violence occur again.
We are now just two months away from the most important election in the history of our country. As always, there are people who want to tell the DA what it can and can’t do; where it can and can’t win. But I promise you today: The DA will prove them wrong again, as we have done in every single election.
We will bring the change that our country so desperately needs. Change that brings jobs. Change that brings hope. Change that builds one South Africa for all its people.
And if there’s one place that needs this change, it is KZN. The potential of this province is immense, and particularly now that there is a direct BA flight from London.
But right now that potential is being wasted.
It’s being wasted through a sugar tax that is killing the sugar industry here in KZN, and threatening thousands of jobs. Introducing new tax upon new tax will not save our economy. You cannot tax yourself to prosperity.
The potential of this province is being wasted by the lack of property ownership for its people. Title deeds deliver certainty and freedom. Let’s make the people of KZN property owners, both in urban and rural areas.
The potential here is being wasted by unreliable and costly electricity. We cannot be held hostage any longer by Eskom. Let us invest more in wind, solar and gas power, and let us allow our cities to buy their power directly from independent producers. That’s how we free up our local economy to create jobs.
Let’s make this province a manufacturing hub in our country. Not far from here is where the beautiful John Drake shoes are made. KZN needs more stories like this. Through tax incentives, we can make this province a major exporter of manufactured products and a massive creator of jobs.
Townships like uMlazi don’t have be dormitories of unemployed youth. Let’s change that. Let’s put a job in every home. I want to introduce a year of voluntary national civilian service that will allow young people to get valuable on-the-job experience in fields like healthcare, policing and education.
Let us fix healthcare in KZN, because this government has truly failed its people. If you get sick in this province – and particularly if you have cancer – there is very little this government can and will do for you. The oncology crisis here in KZN is another Esidimeni tragedy waiting to happen.
I also believe we need to take certain functions away from national government and put these in the hands of our provinces, because they are best placed to respond to the needs of the people. I believe provinces like Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape will be better off managing their own rail and ports, and we should therefore dissolve Prasa.
I also believe we should introduce provincial police services to better serve our people and keep them safe. I’m talking about a police service with intelligence close to communities, and not miles away in a Pretoria headquarters.
Fellow South Africans, let us rebuild this province as a place of opportunity. Let us rebuild the economy that was destroyed by this ANC government. The same ANC that still fears Jacob Zuma so much that they not only dropped his corruption charges but also, under Cyril Ramaphosa’s government, the corruption charges of his son.
They have welcomed back the criminal Jacob Zuma, just so that the president won’t be booed at his own party’s rally.
Fellow South Africans, we need change and we need it now.
There is only one party that can bring this change, and that party is the DA. I can say this with certainty, because we have proven in the Western Cape, in several metros and in many municipalities across the country that we have what it takes to build a better future for all our people.
The DA is a party that gets things done. We don’t talk. We don’t promise. We do.
We have shown where we govern services are delivered faster. Where we govern, more people have jobs. Where we govern, more people stay in school and write matric. Where we govern, more people have access to quality healthcare and so they live longer. Where we govern, more people have access to basic services. Where we govern, money isn’t stolen from the people through corruption.
And we have a plan to do the same for the rest of South Africa. In this Manifesto we have a blueprint to build the country of our dreams. This is not a document filled with wild fantasies and impossible promises. This is solid, achievable plan that will deliver the change we need.
It is a plan that will bring jobs – at least one job in every home – because it will bring in investment and support small businesses. It will also ensure that these jobs can be accessed fairly by all South African, and not only those with the right connections.
It is a plan that will keep all our people safe in their homes, on their streets, in their schools and at their places of work. We will turn SAPS into a motivated, trained and well-equipped crime fighting unit once more.
It is a plan that will secure our country’s borders and rid Home Affairs of corruption. Anyone wanting to come into our country legally and register themselves will be welcome to do so. But there will be no chance for those who want to come here illegally, because no country in the world can afford this.
It is a plan that will dramatically speed up the delivery of basic services to all communities across the country by looking after public money and only spending it on the people.
And it is a plan that will stamp out corruption at every level of government. Zero tolerance is the only way. Any politician found guilty of corruption will go to jail for 15 years, and this includes former president Jacob Zuma.
That is the South Africa the DA wants to build.
Any party that shares the DA’s vision for a South Africa built around the need of the people and not the greed of politicians is welcome to join us. Together we can bring the ANC below 50% in KZN.
Fellow South Africans, our country is ready for change. This great province is ready for change. But there will be no change under this ANC government. The only change can come at the ballot box on 8 May.
Join me in bringing change to our country.
Join me in helping to put a job in every home.
Join me in making our country and our communities safe again.
Join me in kicking out the corrupt for good.
Join me on 8 May as we turn towards the future and start building One South Africa for All.