ANC is throttling democracy – Michael Cardo

DA MP says Ramaphosa's train to nowhere the perfect metaphor for our stalled state

The ANC is throttling democracy

19 March 2019

Honourable Chairperson

At the dawn of our democracy 25 years ago, there was so much hope.

Where South Africa had once seemed to be on a collision course, we were steered – by brave and bold leadership – onto the right track.

We chose non-racialism over racial nationalism.

We chose the supremacy of a constitution over the sovereignty of Parliament.

And we chose market-driven prosperity over the dead hand of state-led, command-and-control economics.

But somewhere along the line, the ANC government took a wrong turn. It began to backtrack on the promise of 1994. It reneged on the social contract of non-racialism, constitutionalism and market-led growth.

Today, instead of forging full steam ahead, South Africa is stuck on the tracks. Our democracy has been derailed. The engine of economic growth has been throttled to a standstill. And, thanks to the ANC’s chronic mismanagement of Eskom, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday, President Ramaphosa experienced this quite literally. Having joined ordinary citizens on their daily commute, his train from Soshanguve to Pretoria got stuck. It took over four hours to complete a 50 km journey.

This incident was the perfect metaphor for the stalled state of our democracy.

Every day, South Africans face hardships caused by ANC corruption and maladministration, which cost the fiscus R30 billion annually. ANC corruption is why the lights don’t work and trains don’t run on time. ANC corruption is why we have crumbling public infrastructure and inadequate service delivery.

President Ramaphosa can tut-tut in mock sympathy all he likes. He can talk a big game about cleaning up after “nine lost years” of ANC-inflicted chaos. He can make idle threats about heads having to roll.

But we all know it’s one big con, because the ANC stands for Absolutely No Consequences. It’s the reason why some of the worst offenders from the Zuma era of state capture are back on the ANC’s election lists.

Instead of pursuing a better life for all, ANC cadres are obsessed with barging their way onto the gravy train. Here, they gorge themselves on tenders, kickbacks, empowerment deals and Bosasa-sponsored booze and braai packs.

Meanwhile, those in the second- and third-class carriages are left to fend for themselves.

That is why 10 million South Africans can’t find work.

That is why more than half of all South Africans live below the poverty line.

And that is why 14 million South Africans go hungry every day.

The election on 8 May is the voters’ chance to get South Africa back on track.

The DA has a plan to turn South Africa into a thriving democracy. We will build One South Africa for All, by fighting corruption; creating fair access to real, long-term jobs; fixing the South African Police Service; securing our borders; and speeding up the delivery of basic services.

We will address the electricity crisis by splitting up Eskom and enabling municipalities to purchase power directly from producers.

We will reboot economic growth and investment by guaranteeing private property rights. We will overhaul our visa, exchange control and labour policies to attract skills, capital and tourists. We will exempt small businesses from certain labour and BEE regulations.

On 8 May, South Africans face a choice between the corrupt, backward-looking ANC and the honest, future-focused DA.

A vote for the ANC is a vote for more empty promises. It doesn’t matter who leads them, they’re the same old party and they’ve had too many second chances.

Don’t reward ANC failure with your vote because nothing will change.

On 8 May, vote DA.

Issued by Michael Cardo, DA Shadow Minister of Economic Development, 19 March 2019