NEWS & ANALYSIS

Those who deprive you of water belong in jail, not govt - Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says ANC in ECape using access to water as an electoral tool

Those who deprive you of water belong in jail, not government

Note to editors: the following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Zinyoka Village, King William's Town, Eastern Cape. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

My fellow South Africans,

Water is a basic human right, guaranteed in our Constitution. Failure to ensure that all South Africans have access to clean drinking water is a failure of the core function of any government.

But even worse than a failure to deliver clean water is the deliberate withholding or sabotage of a community’s water supply for political purposes. And we have every reason to believe that your community has fallen victim to this.

These water tanks here were meant to be a temporary solution to a temporary supply problem. But almost two years later they remain your only source of clean water, with the regular taps standing dry more often than not.

During this time we’ve seen the very worst of the ANC’s patronage politics, with drivers of water trucks allegedly instructed last year by ANC leaders to withhold water from those residents who didn’t vote for the ANC.

Some of the water tanks were deliberately placed inside the homes of ANC voters, giving them the power to refuse water to non-ANC voters, which they regularly do.

It is hardly surprising that this business of only delivering water to ANC houses came to a sudden end when the then independent candidate and now DA councillor reported it to the media and it got splashed onto the front page of the Daily Dispatch.

It is equally suspicious that the water in your municipal taps seems to flow in the build-up to elections, but then stops shortly afterwards. One has to ask why this would be the case.

Why should it take two years to fix a broken pump so that your municipal water supply can be restored? The only people who benefit from this situation are those who have the lucrative contract to truck water into this community week-in and week-out.

This ANC government has sunk to new lows. Deliberately withholding water as punishment for voting for the opposition is one of the worst crimes a government can commit.

Water can never be used as a political tool. Anyone who deliberately deprives people of this basic human right deserves to be in jail, not government.

No one deserves such a government. The people of Zinyoka Village certainly don’t.

You deserve a government that cares about your wellbeing. A government committed to improving the life of each and every member of the community. A government that doesn’t wait for election time before it turns the taps on.

You deserve a government with policies and programmes that will open opportunities for you and your children right here in Zinyoka Village.

As we speak, the ANC is busy with its own policy conference in Gauteng. But we all know nothing good will come from it. And what is the point of this conference anyway, when their policies are all made in Saxonwold and Dubai?

My fellow South Africans, the future of this country will not involve the ANC. We are already busy preparing for a post-ANC South Africa, where a coalition of different parties led by the DA will bring about real change.

This future is not far away. In two years’ time we will elect new national and provincial governments. The ANC know they stand to lose these elections because of the way they have neglected people like you and allowed your money to be stolen by their rich friends, the Guptas.

They can see this change coming, and there is little they can do to stop it. The power is now in your hands, not theirs.

If you want a government that brings real development and jobs to the Eastern Cape, a government that fixes rural schools so your children have a chance in life, a government that spends every cent of the people’s money on the people, then you will have to choose this government yourself.

I am here to tell you today that the DA can do these things for you. But don’t just accept what I say. Instead, look at what the DA has done where we already govern.

In DA-run towns and cities, life is better than under an ANC government. It is better because we don’t tolerate corruption, we don’t tolerate waste and we know what it takes to attract and support job-creating businesses.

If you are prepared to lend the DA your vote in 2019, we will bring that kind of government to the Eastern Cape, and here to Zinyoka Village.

Issued by the DA, 1 July 2017