Launch of Western Cape Premier campaign to fix the Western Cape
16 February 2018
Almost three months ago, on the 18 November 2018, I addressed the people of our beautiful country and asked them to join me in an effort to restore the hopes and dreams, that we all shared, when we defeated apartheid and became a democracy in 1994.
I wanted to speak directly to the hearts of all South Africans, who I know and believe are GOOD people at their core.
I take this opportunity to speak directly to the hearts of all South Africans again.
I remind all South Africans that our democracy is grounded on a constitution for GOOD, and that it requires of us all to build a country that confronts and heals the past and moves peacefully into the future.
I remain guided by it.
The things I believe in, and have fought for my entire life, remain my guide.
My values remain steadfast.
Politics as usual has failed too many South Africans and our people have lost faith in politics and politicians.
God-forbid they should lose faith in our democracy because the people in politics have not lived up to the privilege and responsibility to serve.
It is time for a new political order.
Duty and service runs through my blood so I would be honoured to serve my country and my province, which I love, as the Premier of the Western Cape.
I am motivated by the same level of outrage at the state of our country, and the inequalities in our Province, as I was 50 years ago when I was outraged by the cruelty and illegality of apartheid.
And I am responding to the call to act.
GOOD will put people before politics.
GOOD will be on the ground – not just sitting in parliament.
GOOD will build a better country and a better province for the next generations.
We will look after families and educate our children.
GOOD will be a movement of action.
No more “blah blah blah” and a lot more action.
GOOD will clean up our country, our province and our politics.
We will make change happen for the greater good.
Over the past two years I was exposed to a kind of politics that tested my beliefs.
I am happy to say that I still believe in good.
I believe in a good South Africa.
And I believe in a very GOOD Western Cape.
Where every child will be born in a good hospital where good doctors provide good healthcare.
Their home will be a good house in a good community where there’s a good school.
They’ll get a good education, a good foundation, with good values, to live and learn and play and grow and know what it means to be good.
In a good Western Cape there will be good opportunities to get a good job that offers good reward for good work.
To live a good life, and share, live and care and know what it means to be good.
In a good South Africa we will fight corruption.
In a GOOD Western Cape we will fight the power of deep-pocket vested interests.
Increasingly we are seeing that these interests can determine the spatial, social, economic and environmental future of our people.
For far too long we have lived with political and government agendas that have been determined by those who have the power of money.
Money is what too many politicians and political parties are greedy for.
Money and land should not be able to buy our future, as is currently the case in our province which is being sold to the highest bidder.
Racial division, prejudice, poverty and inequality continues to exist in our society.
We need GOOD People to stand up against racism by doing what is good because we will know what it means to be good.
My great fear is that our next generation of young South Africans will carry forward with them, the tensions that exists between difference races in our country.
We will not allow racists to speak for us.
Today, we are inviting you to join us in disrupting our current political culture.
A culture and system that treats you as voting sheep to elect a few, who go on to act like elites, but who will forget their promises to you in the years between elections.
I am not asking you to give me your vote.
I am asking you to lend me your vote.
If I fail to deliver on my promises you MUST take your vote back and give it to someone else.
Your political power is not for sale and it must not be taken for granted.
Use your vote to bring about the change we need in the Western Cape.
I am making a call for you to do something good.
To join me in doing something good for our country.
When good people do nothing, evil prospers.
In my 24 years of serving in elected office I have witnessed the goodness of all South Africans.
Politicians, and politics, so very often suffocates that inherent goodness.
We want to end that with a new style of politics where the youth and the experienced, men and women of all races, are united at the forefront of making change happen for the good.
We are calling on GOOD youth - the future of our country - to stand up and choose a GOOD future for themselves.
It was Tata Madiba who said:
“A GOOD head and a GOOD Heart are always a formidable combination.”
Since Tata Madiba left us, no single leader in our country has shown any real leadership, nor embarked on any meaningful reforms, to bring about reconciliation and unity in our country.
Today is an invitation for South Africans and “Wes-Kaapenaars” who believe in the good to join me.
Why did I leave the DA?
The past two years have been a tough time for me personally, but I have taken a lot of comfort from thousands of South Africans who have sent me messages of support, prayers and encouragement.
I am sincerely grateful for every single one of them.
On the 31st of October I resigned as a member of the Democratic Alliance and as Executive Mayor of the great city of Cape Town.
By that time I was the longest serving Executive Mayor of the City and the only Mayor, post-apartheid, to complete a term of office and be re-elected.
I am extremely proud of what we achieved in my 7 years at the helm of the city and it was a great honour to be able to serve the people of Cape Town.
In 2016 I was the face of the DA’s campaign to be re-elected to govern the City and the DA campaigned in Cape Town, and across the country, on the back of those achievements.
In Cape Town we were rewarded for our record of delivery, in the 2011 – 2016 term of office, with a resounding win and two-thirds of the vote.
Even though we had achieved a lot, I was the first to admit that there was still so much to be done to redress the centuries of oppression and exclusion.
I vowed to focus on addressing the apartheid spatial plan of our city which persists and which pushes poor, mostly black and coloured families, to continued exclusion.
It was at this point that a cabal within the DA, clearly opposed to fixing the apartheid spatial plan, turned against me.
For two years I endured a vile and relentless dirty-tricks campaign to get rid of me as Mayor of Cape Town and to damage my reputation.
I have spent my entire life fighting for a society that is just, fair and caring and I will never rest until this is achieved.
I fought against the might of the apartheid regime.
I fought against the powerful ANC elite when I exposed the corrupt arms-deal.
The attack on my character, reputation and values by the DA cabal is nothing like I have ever experienced.
The DA borrowed deeply from apartheid era tactics – sham investigations with pre-determined outcomes, false criminal charges and forged documents.
Their conduct shocked me.
It was so obviously motivated by malice and hate.
It was hatred so deep and irrational that it was de-human.
I had to fight back.
I had fight for my rights and for your rights because these were under attack.
Many years ago, Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko and myself merged forces to build a real alternative government to the ANC.
We agreed to work together based on our common vision of redress, reconciliation, diversity and delivery.
But, it became clear that the project Helen Zille and I agreed on in 2010, to create a viable alternative to the ANC, was no longer underpinned by the values we agreed on and on which the DA campaigned.
The DA had abused me.
I was in an abusive relationship and the abuser could not be rehabilitated.
I was there when the democratic South Africa was negotiated and I was there when the Constitution was written.
I know my rights. I fought for those rights.
I turned to the judiciary to enforce and protect my rights against a DA that was hell-bent on removing me as Mayor.
My faith in the courts was not misplaced. The Western Cape High Court ruled in my favour 3 out of 3 times.
These Court judgements confirm that the DA did not uphold its own constitution and worse, was not upholding the Constitution of South Africa.
Let me be clear, I was not fighting to hold onto the Mayoral chain.
I was fighting for my right to be treated honestly and fairly.
I was fighting for the rule of law.
I was fighting for my human rights – the rights I had fought for most of my life.
If our rights and rule of law are not protected and defended then when they come for you – there will be nothing left to protect you.
Through its conduct, the DA exposed to me that they are not a party that truly believes in constitutionalism and the rule of law, they do not believe in truth, they do not believe in redress and they do not believe their own four core values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity.
My entire life I have fought against corruption and against injustice.
My principles could just not bend to the whims of the racists that have taken over the DA.
- Those who refuse to see that the face of poverty in South Africa is a black woman;
- Those who want to maintain apartheid spatial planning;
- Those who refer to transformation as a swear word; and
- Those who want to put buffers around black neighbourhoods.
I can never subscribe to the views of these people.
This is not the South Africa that I, and so many others, fought for.
As I said at the beginning of my speech:
The things I believe in, and have fought for my entire life, remain my guide.
My values remain steadfast.
But the party I was with were not steadfast to theirs. When I wanted to delivery on election promises, they wanted me out of the city.
The DA offered me seat in parliament.
The DA offered me a position in their provincial cabinet as a minister.
The DA offered me their premier candidate position.
Would you offer a corrupt person these kinds of positions? Of course not.
The DA are liars!
I left the DA because they are not committed to the values I believe in.
When I look back on the last two years after the DA changed direction, I can see that the split was inevitable.
No marriage can be exist if the partners to the marriage have different values and principles.
It can only last so long.
Whilst I was fighting for under privileged, others in the DA are fighting to entrench and advance more privilege.
This is happening because there is a deep, divisive factional battle between the social democrats and the conservatives – the so-called neo-liberals - in the DA.
In Cape Town, the conservatives have taken control, with approval and support from the DA’s Federal Executive.
Rather than be captured by the conservative faction and sell my soul to the devil, I walked away to maintain my dignity and everything that I fought for all my life.
I am a proud victim of this battle. My exit was inevitable.
It is this fight in the DA that gives the Western Cape and its people a bad reputation, because people say that our province is full of racist people.
I don’t believe that this is the case.
There are many in the DA, but they don’t speak for the people of the Western Cape.
For as long as the DA remains in government, our province will carry the reputation of being part of a racist agenda.
I predict that shortly after the elections, South Africa will begin to see the first stages of destruction of the DA, the ideological differences run too deep for it to save itself. Already we can see that split beginning.
In the long run, the DA will either have to merge into a larger political formation, or will be reduced to a minority party in parliament.
This will depend on which faction wins the battle for the soul of the DA.
I left the BAD to start the GOOD.
I am proud of what I achieved for Cape Town and want to take those successes to every town and city in our province.
I know many people want to say, ag, she is just a woman, and achieved nothing without the men in the DA.
Or that I am just a coloured aunty and I could not have achieved anything on my own.
You have to feel sad for those people, because their view of the world is so small, fragile and racist.
I have been watching these men copying my speeches and I’ve seen men trying to claim credit for my, or my team’s, work.
I thank them, because this is high praise and flattering.
It is indeed wonderful recognition of the importance of the GOOD work that we have been doing over the years.
But I also feel sorry for these laptop boys, because they just end up embarrassing themselves by showing that they don’t know more than a by-line or two when trying to claim credit for the work of others.
Mmusi Maimane recently tried to claim credit for the court case that I started and led to fight Eskom to allow Cape Town to procure renewable energy directly.
No DA or ANC political leader had the idea or the courage to do this.
Now some of them are claiming it as their own, but Mmusi proved he doesn’t know what he is talking about when he referenced the wrong court.
The ANC’s Blade Nzimande and the DA’s JP Smith have also been trying to claim credit for the implementation of Cape Town’s Rail Enforcement Unit.
This has been a great success - since the enforcement was deployed, the safety of Cape Town’s trains and commuters has improved for the first time in years.
However, neither one of these men even attended the Rail Summit in February 2018 where the various parties, invited and led by the GOOD Secretary-General Brett Herron, developed and committed to this plan.
The DA try to claim credit for our GOOD work in preventing e-tolling in the Western Cape.
They forget that it was myself and Brett Herron - a very smart and qualified lawyer who actually has his degree – who led that fight and stopped people in the Western Cape having to pay to just use the roads that their taxes already paid for.
If those DA laptop boys in Gauteng now want everyone to believe this is their idea, why did they not do also do the same thing and help the people in Gauteng defeat e-tolls there when they had the chance?
I suppose taking credit for the work of others is something that small men do.
Perhaps they have no work of their own work to crow about.
Believe me, I have no problem giving credit to women or anyone who delivers.
Here, as clear as day, is the difference between the DA and GOOD leadership.
The DA talks the talk, but GOOD Leadership walks the talk.
As my father always said, actions speak so much louder than words.
Let us look at the actions the DA took in managing the drought and costs of water for Cape Town.
The DA Promises “One South Africa for all”, but it punishes the poor and rewards the rich.
In late 2017, when the worst impacts of our 1 in 300 year drought were kicking in, the city’s water engineers became very concerned.
We needed to cut water consumption to make our dwindling supplies last longer, but
we also still had to get enough money in to pay for the costs of providing water,
we needed to get more money to allow us to explore additional water supply options in case the next winter rains failed.
Our call to the citizens of Cape Town to cut consumption was a huge success – Stellenbosch University researchers said it was the single most effective mechanism for managing the drought.
But the reduced water use meant reduced income from water tariffs.
The experts amongst the administration proposed a drought levy on homes worth more than R1 million so that we could cover the operating expenses for continuing to provide water.
This drought levy was to be in place until the rains came back and we were out of the woods.
This proposal might seem unfair, but many of Cape Town’s households live in extreme poverty.
I am very proud of how we reduced unemployment in the city, but as is the case across South Africa, many people simply have no job prospects under the current government.
If we implemented a uniform cost, regardless of the ability to afford it, very low income households would have to choose between water or no food for their families.
The DA Caucus however, mobilised by a white man who regards transformation as a “swear word”, rejected the proposed drought levy charge and instead came up with another “solution”.
Craig Kesson and Xanthea Limberg initially had about 30 desalination plants in their water plan for the City, but in late 2017 I redirected our efforts on to groundwater and water efficiency plans that were cheaper and more effective.
I knew our citizens simply could not afford these expensive desalination plants.
Weeks later however, the DA removed me from the water programme.
Ian Nielsen took over and immediately announced that more desalination plants would be coming to Cape Town.
This move contradicted the advice we had received from World Bank and National Treasury experts.
To fund this, the DA Caucus implemented a more permanent new “pipe levy” on to ALL homes and grossly increased the water costs.
This after opposing he drought levy!
These new charges exponentially increased costs for residents. Unforgivably, it resulted in low income households now pay more per litre of water than high income households.
The reason is that the water costs assume that just four people are linked to each water metre.
In leafy white suburbs where many of the DA leaders live, this is more or less true, but for the majority of Cape Town, the number of people living on each property is far higher.
This is just one example of the social and economic injustice being perpetuated by the ruling party in the Western Cape.
Entrenching and exacerbating inequality and poverty is not the path to a GOOD future for our country.
Quite simply, the DA Caucus chose to make poor people pay more for water than rich people.
The DA talk about equal opportunity for all, but their actions prove that these are just empty words.
The DA and other political parties will come asking for your vote based on all sorts or promises, but you can see from these examples that they don’t really mean it.
The day after elections, you will be long forgotten while they fight amongst themselves for seats and power.
We want to assure you, the people of the Western Cape, that real change can happen when political power is used correctly.
We saw that progress and the improvement of lives is achievable with GOOD political leadership and courage.
The Western Cape is a beautiful province filled with the beautiful diverse people of our country.
But in many of our towns and cities,
We know our economy is growing too slowly;
We know far too many people, especially young people, remain unemployed;
We know that far too many people are living in poverty in the Western Cape;
We know crime makes our families and neighbourhoods unsafe and the root causes of crime – drugs and gangstersism - are destroying families and the and our communities;
We know climate change is making its presence felt through drought, heatwaves and water insecurity.
We know in coastal areas, the unjust allocations of fishing quotas has denied many families access to sustained employment. Too many families are suffering.
We know electricity supply is also increasingly precarious, and this uncertainty and risk is hindering the vital economic growth that we depend on to create more jobs. This is especially true in our smaller towns in agricultural areas.
Corruption and cadre deployment, such as we are seeing in Eskom, have put us in a dark place, but we know that GOOD change is not beyond our reach.
We know GOOD change is possible because we have proven it.
Everyone deserves the opportunity of a GOOD job, a GOOD home, a GOOD life.
In Cape Town we were able to show during the past 7 years, what real, GOOD change can be achieved with GOOD, forward-looking leadership.
We want to take the GOOD success story of what we were able to achieve in Cape Town and replicate it in every town in the Western Cape.
But as I said there is so much more that needs to be done.
In GOOD we will not embrace those who oppose progress and transformation.
A GOOD Government will fight every day to work for what still needs to be done.
A GOOD Government will fight for Spatial Justice, for towns and cities:
Where Public Land is used for public good so that redress & restitution are accelerated;
Where formal housing is delivered faster and in better locations.
Where land and title is given to residents living in Informal settlements.
Where families who have been longstanding government rental stock tenants, in good standing, have the opportunity to own their home.
Where trains are safe and working and e-Tolls are not implemented.
A GOOD Government will fight for Economic Justice:
For a province with towns and cities create the conditions that attract investment, and where inclusive economic growth includes SMME’s;
Where state pensions and social grants increase by at least by the annual inflation rate;
Where towns and cities have fair water and electricity tariff costs.
Where municipalities implement ethical credit practices that distinguish between those who can afford to pay for services but do not, and those who can afford to pay but do not, and ensure they assist those who need it.
Where corruption and cadre deployment is stopped by prosecuting politicians and sending them to prison, not the provincial legislature.
A GOOD Government will fight for Social Justice:
Where we, together, build a non-racist and non-sexist society.
Where effective policing and social services work together to reduce crime by dealing with the root causes of crime – poverty, drugs and gangsterism.
Where education is recognised as the key to prosperity.
Where the gap of digital divide is narrowed by subsidised internet access in lower income neighbourhoods and lowered data costs throughout the country;
Where the feminisation of poverty is eliminated.
A GOOD Government will fight for Environmental Justice, where:
We have more, cheaper renewable energy.
Water security is achieved through equitable sharing & changing our relationship with water.
Where fishing rights are allocated more equitably to those who depend on them.
We deserve a GOOD Economy and our children deserve a GOOD future.
We can make this GOOD future by fixing our towns and cities, by fixing the Western Cape and South Africa.
District by district, town by town, city by city.
You know that I always stick to my principles.
What I promise you, I can deliver.
And, I will not be breaking my promises.
I will not be abandoning my principles.
GOOD will not be changing our values.
We made a call for GOOD people to come forward and they have.
We have a team who believe in and uphold the values and principles of GOOD.
In GOOD, we have made sure that all of our plans and policies are based on proven, tried and tested solutions.
In fact, we have first-hand experience in very successfully implementing many of these solutions right here in the Western Cape.
We know they work.
We have had enough of empty promises and political blah blah.
We need real solutions to fix our real problems.
Lend us your vote.
Lets Fix South Africa.
Lets Fix the Western Cape.
And, our policy positions are not for sale to the highest bidder.
Issued by Cameron Arendse on behalf of GOOD, 16 February 2019