Good day, Mr President,
National Chairperson, Michael Beaumont, Provincial Chairperson, Sello Lediga, and members of the Senate in absentia.
Thank you for this nomination to be the Premier Candidate and to take our offer for a better Limpopo to the people who desperately need the Limpopo Province to succeed.
Members of the media, thank you for joining us this morning.
Let me start by acknowledging the key achievements of this vibrant rural province of ours. And by vibrant, I mean by the levels of growth experienced and the many issues that we have driven that have won over the hearts of many people in this province.
The team of talented regional leaders and portfolio managers have been working tirelessly to ensure the people of this province have a viable alternative leading towards the 2024 national elections.
A little over a year ago, Limpopo was the first of the 9 provinces to reach a 100-branch milestone with a membership base of 24 533, proving that indeed there is an appetite for an alternative that will remove our people from the clutches of the ANC-led government.
On the 26th January 2023, we contested our first-ever by-election in the province, in ward 10 Moletjie, just a stone’s throw away from Seshego. We emerged as the biggest winner in the highly contested Ward, placing ActionSA in third place after taking votes from the ANC and EFF, without a branch.
This weekend just passed, we concluded a successful Voter’s Registration campaign that witnessed a high turn-out of young voters. It is evident that ActionSA has begun to inspire voters, who for a long time, have stopped voting because of their disillusionment with the governing party’s failure and corruption. It is the new spirit of hope that is exemplified by ActionSA that young people are returning to active politics and reclaiming their place in society.
My premiership of this province will focus on the following critical factors that are features of Limpopo Province.
Ladies and gentlemen. I stand before you today to pledge that through your trust in me, I will work towards ensuring that there is:
Quality education for all South Africans.
Quality health care.
Good governance & Fight against corruption.
Economic Prosperity and Justice.
High rate of employment
Fight against crime.
Water and electricity.
We need government those cares, brings hope and meaningful change.
Water Provision Crisis
We have observed a systematic collapse of services around the province. What the ruling party in government has set as Service Delivery priorities, are in fact used as conduits to siphon state resources.
Sekhukhune region has the 4 biggest dams in all of Limpopo, but the households in that region have never had running water since the dawn of democracy, while unspent R170 million earmarked for water provision in Sekhukhune was returned to the Treasury this last financial year.
The people of Mopani and Giyani in particular, were offered a multi-million-rand water project that never materialized but in return, its costs unjustifiably escalated to R4 billion which ended up in the pockets of corrupt network of ANC-linked people.
One will remember that we, together with our legal team, have been calling for transparency on the Giyani Water Project- we even made an application in term of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to the Department of Water Affairs and Lepelle Northern Water and it pleases us that the SIU has finally lifted the lid on this scheme and exposed unspeakable corruption.
When ActionSA ascends to the Union Buildings in 2024, we will bring back dignity to the people of Limpopo who suffered severe political torture and political indecisions for 29 corrupt consecutive years.
Political change can never come on its own because there is no political will to address people`s concerns, and that change of attitude must be prescribed through concerted exertions by all who wish to see change. I will be leading the drive to ensure that water services authority plan projects according to the needs on the ground and not according to how much kick-backs could be derived from implementing a project, and budgets shall be predetermined according to community needs and not thumb-sucked.
Many people are imprisoned by their own submission that nothing could be done to save them from the misery of mismanaged municipalities and power the ANC is yielding currently. Under and ActionSA Limpopo government that will not be the case.
The current party in government has exhausted its relevance in society and the intended beneficiaries of services from government are currently on the receiving end and terrorized mentally and psychologically by what is happening around them. People must begin to realize that they deserve more and have the power to direct the outcome of elections with their votes. We have a choice of either continue living and following that deceitful dream of better things under the ANC rule or pronounce that henceforth our fate shall no more be in its hands but in our collective power as informed voters.
I’m bringing in a worthy political alternative as ActionSA under my leadership, especially for the disgruntled who have lost all hope.
Corruption in Limpopo has become so cancerous and endemic. It is no surprise that the greatest bank heist took place within these borders. The VBS scandal that has robbed thousands of unsuspecting vulnerable pensioners of their life savings, while the connected politicians within the ranks of the ANC and EFF, who are key players in this looting, are placed in the highest offices that are meant to safeguard our democracy, epitomises the levels that corruption has permeated into the fabric of our public institutions.
We will mercilessly pursue all perpetrators of corruption.
Our memories still serve us well: We will never forget that the province of Limpopo was destroyed by the business transactions disguised as tendering. The indiscriminate looting led to the province to be placed under administration, and it has never recovered as the looting continues to date.
This also robs legally registered and honest businesses in the province of fair and honest business transactions as we all know that tenders are only awarded to linked comrades, friends and relatives of those in power.
I want to assure the people of Limpopo that under an ActionSA government, contract will only be pursued in the event that the state cannot perform the functions in-house.
Corruption remains public enemy number 1.
Royal Traditional Leadership
Limpopo province is 94% rural, with most of it under Royal leadership. Regardless of this undeniable fact, Royal leaders remain spectators in political decision-making space on matters affecting their welfare and areas of responsibility under the ANC rule.
Ladies and gentleman, most of our people reside in rural areas, however, little to no development has come their way post-Apartheid.
We will review the funding model for rural municipalities and ensure that these municipalities get the necessary budgeting according to their outstanding needs that have been neglected over time.
Need for infrastructure development is necessary to bring better living for those who reside in rural areas.
Bringing development to rural areas will bring job opportunities for residents, limiting their need to migrate to urban areas to find jobs.
We will establish a better working relationship with diKgoshi, where we will grant them clear roles and responsibilities in our communities, by amending certain regulations.
Prior to hosting our inaugural policy conference from the 12th to the 14th of September 2023, we engaged with hundreds of ordinary South Africans who aided in guiding us on how to design and structure our policies to fit them.
I can confidently say that the work we do every day is one that we have been sent by our people to do.
Limpopo hosts three border gates with neighbouring countries Zimbabwe and Mozambique, serving as the focal point for the influx of undocumented immigrants. This has rendered Limpopo susceptible to heightened instances of drug trafficking, increased crime rates, infrastructure limitations, and a myriad of other challenges. Given the serious concerns expressed by the residents of Limpopo, we are particularly troubled by the lacklustre response demonstrated by Provincial authorities in addressing these issues.
The consequence of this lack of concern is a dereliction of government's fiduciary responsibility, leading to worrisome outcomes that leave citizens without proper recourse. In response to these challenges, ActionSA is committed to supporting communities through official platforms in their efforts to combat illegal immigration and unregulated spaza shops. Many of these shops are operated by illegal shopkeepers in hazardous conditions, posing risks to consumers. We will work to address these issues and advocate for the well-being of the community.
It is widely acknowledged that border control has completely collapsed, resulting in a state of chaos. It is vital that we urgently undertake concerted efforts, with targeted intervention from the Department of Home Affairs, to prevent Limpopo from becoming a haven of lawlessness where people are undocumented.
The Health System
The health services have literally collapsed in the province and riddled with unimaginable corruption, with no medication at clinics and the rural poor feeling the effects more than anybody else. You cannot even find pain-killers at clinics and the lives of our people are put in serious jeopardy while millions of rands end up in the pockets of politicians through corrupt tender practices.
Just in June, Ramathuba’s Health Department issued a Coal Supply tender to hospitals in the province, even to those hospitals that have no Coal Facilities (boilers) and have never used coal before. Under ActionSA rule we will prioritise these health facilities issue out tenders on a needs basis and not opportunistic politically informed motives.
We will prioritise provision of life-saving medication to improve life expectancy of people of Limpopo. Right now, it’s a messy hell at the clinics and hospitals and we will zoom into it as one of our priorities. These clinics must be open 24 hours because they are at the doorstep of the poorest, and that is what we are going to ensure happens as ActionSA.
There will be no future for our province if the lives of the people are being taken for granted by an uncaring government. We will turn around these public facilities to ensure those intended to be served by these clinics reap the benefits of the health system.
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND DRUG ABUSE
This is an immediate issue and doesn’t need the guff of budgetary constraints and excuses. It is a stigma and needs to be de-stigmatized now and not later as the erosion of capable youth is on a high drive and needs to be halted soonest and cannot wait for April 2024 financial year.
Lack of youth rehabilitation facilities in Limpopo, after youth engagement with drugs and being enslaved as a result, after losing all hope of the future due to mismanaged country that created no employment opportunities for them, my premiership will not be an uncaring government as it is happening now with the governing party.
I will ensure creation of rehabilitation facilities in all local municipalities to put a halt to the brain drain due to drugs addiction. We would advocate this as a norm for affected youths that needs help.
Why address the illness before tackling the root cause? People are talking about jobs now and yet the young people that such jobs are created for are slowly dying, and by the time environment in the country improve, there will be no more youths around.
I want these facilities now. The infrastructure is there because I will advocate for opening dedicated and special rooms in all clinics around the province as an immediate solution, and resultant throughput shall be reduced crime levels because addicts’ resort to premeditated crimes to sustain and fund the addiction habit.
Drug addiction is currently slowly spilling over to students at tertiary institutions of learning and having a devastating effect on the future of the Limpopo province. Most graduates still remain jobless and will find solace in drowning their sorrows in drugs, and the intellectual drain shall intensify. The province shall become futureless as the youth would have been destroyed by drugs addiction.
Like I said earlier on, under my premiership, I will ensure all municipalities have rehabilitation centres in the long run. I shall propagate aftercare services to maintain sobriety, regain and develop youth to their full potential as we will incorporate an element of in-house training of those in rehabilitation centres.
Dealing with addicts and leaving out drug dealers within rural communities and townships will not solve the problem. Drug dealers are at most known and freely walking our streets with impunity as they realized the lawless state of our province and the country. Under my leadership, we will expose them and flush them out by expelling them out of the villages to save the future of this province and the country.
We have the multimillion-rand Zebetiela Citrus estate in Capricorn region, owned by Bjatladi community after successfully claiming that land, which used to have an annual turn-over of R120 million, which should have made every household in that community owning this project a millionaire, but has now fallen apart because of inefficient support services to land reform beneficiaries, and this Estate finally collapsed this year under the watchful eye of the current government. Hundreds of millions of Rands went missing and the households left penniless.
There is also a highly profitable sub-tropical Levubu valley in Vhembe region, which previously exported produce to the collective value of $400 million annually, and now redundant and about to collapse completely, because of lack of support for these land reform beneficiaries. These projects could enrich rural people of Vhembe and Capricorn, but the opposite happened under the ANC led government`s watch.
There are also Lepellane irrigation scheme, Krokodilkop irrigation scheme and Olifants river irrigation schemes in Sekhukhune that have collapsed completely even though department of Agriculture is there to service them. These brought income to families and offered job opportunities to surrounding areas and boosted Sekhukhune area economy. One scheme at Krokodilkop had contracts with Willard and Simba to supply potatoes for production of chips, employing hundreds of locals.
ActionSA will re-model these once viable business entities and make them once more productive and fully operational and ensure that the tangled beneficiaries in these rural areas enter the mainstream business arena.
CRIME AND RULE OF LAW
There are criminal syndicates in Limpopo and allegedly colluding with corrupt police officers.
The re-introduction of Scorpions as law enforcement agent is long overdue and must be re-introduced to effectively deal with criminal syndicates. We will influence the national parliament to bring this unit back and be independent from SAPS. Most of the current law enforcement agencies do not have a bite because they are compromised and controlled by SAPS as to who to investigate and who should not.
On the other hand, I urge traditional leaders and community leaders to establish policing Forums that deal specifically with identification of drug lords and thieves and criminal activity in villages and townships with the aim of taking them to book through involving police officers and follow the court cases to the letter.
Most critical, why build one police station 20-50 km away from the people while there are office spaces in Townships?
The number of heavy-duty trucks cross-crossing throughout the province, damaging road infrastructure will have to slowly come to an end. We will revitalise the railway system to make the transporting of goods easier, less time consuming, and safer for road users.
Ladies and gentlemen, one has to acknowledge that economic development is a crucial aspect that will take some time to redress after our people have faced an agonising twenty-nine (29) years of injustice, unemployment, lack of access to housing, clean running water, and more.
We need to strengthen support for Arts and Creative industry, through our Opportunity Fund.
My fellow people of Limpopo, we are a generation that can change the status quo and if we do not act, our constitutional rights will wane in the midst of hope for change of attitude by the ANC led government towards the poorest people of this province.
I’m here as premier candidate to lead you to a prosperous Limpopo for our grandchildren to be proud of. Follow me together with ActionSA and you are guaranteed of a leader who knows the dynamics of rural development context and its pending solutions.