The ANC of today is not Nelson Mandela's ANC - Helen Zille

DA leader says while progress was made under Mandela and Mbeki, the good story has ended in 2007 when Zuma took over

Together for Change, Together for Jobs

Note to Editors: This is the speech delivered by DA Leader Helen Zille, at the Launch of the DA's 2014 Manifesto in Polokwane, Limpopo today. A copy of the DA Manifesto can be found on the DA Website www.da.org.za

Fellow South Africans, Inhlekani!  Ndi-Matsi-Hari! Thobela! Molweni nonke! Goeie more aan u almal, Dumelang, Sanibonani.

It is wonderful to address you here in Polokwane today. 

We are up and running and ready to fight a historic election campaign. Change is in the air.  

Can you feel it? Niyawuva uMoya? Oo-a-wootlwa Moya? Ons kan dit aanvoel!

There is a new mood sweeping our country.  Despair is making way for hope. The political formations of the past are changing.

We must seize this moment. We dare not fail because so much depends on the courage of every South African to choose change.

Nelson Mandela's passing reminded us of the invincible spirit of the South African people. We were reminded of our ability to work together and triumph over adversity.

Masikhumbule uMadiba, Masibambaneni, simanyane, sibe yimbumba yamanyama.

We have come so far since the dark days of Apartheid. In those times, our country was deeply divided. People were oppressed. They suffered under an inhumane government. 

We will never forget the people and organisations who struggled together against Apartheid. We are proud to count many of them in the DA's ranks today.

Some of us have a background in the liberal opposition to Apartheid. Others were part of the Black Consciousness and Pan Africanist movements. Others were members of the UDF and the ANC. And many more, who were not then involved in the struggle against apartheid, are with us now, equally committed to building one nation with one future. 

Isizwe Esinye, Ikamva elinye. Een nasie, een toekoms!

In those days, we had our political differences. But we put them aside to work together for justice. That is why I hid ANC activists in my house in the 1980s. It is why I worked as a journalist to expose the murder of Steve Biko by the security police.

In those days, we worked together for change. 

And that is what I remember when I think back to those early days of democracy. 

Sasebenzisana. Ngoku masihlanganeni, sakhe isizwe esitsha. 

Laat ons weer saam werk: Laat ons hande vat om ons land te bou.

We all know that freedom brings great responsibility. Tata uxanduva lwakho!

The new government that came into office in 1994 had an enormous challenge: to reverse the injustice of the past and create a better life for all.

Those early days of democracy were not perfect. There is no perfect government anywhere in the world. But things did change for the better. Let me repeat: things changed for the better. 

Under Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, South Africa made progress. They had a good story to tell. Banebali elingcono abanokulibalisa! Suid-Afrika se storie was een van vooruitgang.

Basic services like water, electricity, sanitation and housing were rolled out. The economy started to grow. Unemployment dropped and many people's standard of living rose. Measures to fix the injustices of the past were introduced. 

In those days, most people believed that South Africa was going in the right direction. But then the tide turned. Izinto zijikile kubi. Die gety het gedraai.

Things changed, right here in Polokwane, in December 2007. At its elective conference that year the ANC elected a new leadership. President Mbeki was recalled from office months later. And then, charges against Jacob Zuma on 783 counts of corruption were dropped.

That was the moment when a great political movement lost its sense of direction. It was hijacked by leaders who care more about themselves than the people they are meant to serve. 

UKongolose kaZuma ubalibele abantu.  Endaweni yobomi obuncgono babantu bonke, zinkhokeli zodwa ezixhamlayo. Qha!

The ANC of today is not Nelson Mandela's ANC. They are two different parties, which just happen to have the same name. "A better life for all" has become "a better life for some". The good story ended in 2007.

Since Jacob Zuma was elected President, 1.4 million more South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Nearly 8 million people do not have work, or have given up looking.

Think of the opportunities we've lost over the last five years. 

Think of the mine workers right here in Limpopo, and in Gauteng, who wish to work in dignity and provide for their families, whose jobs are disappearing as the mines close down.

Think of the millions of hard working people who have seen their money wasted. Public money that should have been used to deliver services to the poor has been wasted on corrupt projects like Nkandla. R200-million of public money for one private house, while many people don't have a house at all!

The Auditor General has found that corruption and maladministration cost South Africans R30 billion last year. Think about that. Think about what we could have done for the poor with that money.

Think of how another one million South Africans have given up looking for work under President Zuma.

And then think of what we can do if we work together for change, together for jobs. Abantsundu nabamhlophe mababambisane kutshintsho oluza nemisebenzi yokwenene. Die DA staan vir elke Suid-Afrikaner wat wil saamwerk vir verandering wat werk skep. Vir al die mense, nie net die met politieke bande nie.

The manifesto we release today is a ‘manifesto for jobs'. Because every proposal in it aims to get millions of South Africans into real, permanent jobs created in a growing economy.

Think of it. Kanicinge! A South Africa where the economy can grow at up to 8% per year. A South Africa where businesses create six million sustainable jobs and bring unemployment down to 11%.

Change is possible. Jobs are possible. Six million real and permanent jobs are within our grasp if we seize the moment at this election. Dit is moontlik.

Job creation is only possible if we cut corruption. Phantsi ngorhwapilizo, Phantsi!!

We will stop politicians and their families doing business with government. Tender processes will be opened up to public scrutiny. 

These are not just promises. We have already taken these steps where we govern. This is why DA governments receive the cleanest audits, get the best scores for service delivery to the poor, and have the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The bottom line is that clean government is essential to beat poverty. uRhwapilizo lwenza abantu bahlupheke ngakumbi. Korrupsie maak arm mense armer.

Like corruption, crime is killing our economy. People don't feel safe because they have lost faith in the police to protect them. And, more and more, people feel that they need to be protected from the police. The police brutality of the last five years reminds us of a darker time in our nation's history.

Of course there are very many brave and hard-working policemen and women out there. We pay tribute to them for their courage under fire. A DA government would swell their ranks by putting 250,000 properly trained police officers on the streets. And we will fight gangsterism and drugs by bringing back specialised police units and re-instating the Narcotics Bureau.

Once a government has committed itself to cutting crime and corruption, it can get on with growing the economy and creating jobs. And that starts with our children's education.

The DA has a plan to bring about equal education opportunities for all within a generation. It can be summarised with the six T's: Teachers, Time management, Textbooks, Testing, Technology and Training.

A DA government will train 15 000 more teachers each year. We will make sure that every child has a textbook for every subject, on time, every year. And we will focus our attention and resources on schools in poor communities. We will require everyone in education to be present, punctual and prepared to do their jobs, every day.

Since the DA was elected to govern the Western Cape in 2009, the number of underperforming schools in our poorer communities decreased from 85 schools to just 23 in 2013. 

All of us know young matriculants who are struggling to get a job and do not have the money to study further. There is something very wrong with this. If you work hard at school and you want to study further, then a lack of money should not hold you back. 

The DA will work to increase the National Student Financial Aid Scheme budget to R16 billion so that no student is denied an education because they cannot afford it. That is our commitment to every young person.

Every young jobseeker knows that getting work requires experience. But how do you get this experience if you can't get work? We have to break this vicious cycle that keeps young people out of jobs.

The DA's solution to this problem lies in creating one million internships for young job-seekers. Already, where we govern, young people in need of experience are placed in industries and businesses from which they can start climbing their career ladders. We want to extend this programme to the whole country.

And everyone's chance of getting a proper job will improve as the DA's economic plan is rolled out. Job Zones will offer flexibility around labour relations and tax incentives for job creation. Our Youth Wage Subsidy will benefit 423 000 young people in its first three years. We will invest 10% of our GDP in roads, railways, ports, and water and communications infrastructure, including fast, reliable internet.

We will also provide seven million Expanded Public Works Programme opportunities as a step up the jobs ladder for work seekers. And let me make it quite clear: These seven million work opportunities are over and above the six million real and permanent jobs that businesses will create in a growing economy under a DA government that knows what it takes to attract investment. 

EPWP work opportunities have an important role to play in poverty relief. But there is no substitute for a real, permanent job. This is why we place such strong emphasis on job creation through entrepreneurship. We will make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses and support them to succeed. 

I am proud to have with us today Mayor Bongani Baloyi, who leads the DA's Midvaal municipality in Gauteng. Midvaal has the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng because it is focused on creating the right economic conditions for small business development.

We will turn South Africa into a nation of entrepreneurs by prioritising support and training for small businesses, and cutting the red tape that strangles innovation and job creation.

This red tape also stops businesses from growing. Recently a start-up geotechnical firm in the Western Cape secured a multi-million rand tender to conduct a geological survey for the port dugout in Durban. This was a fantastic opportunity for a small company. 

But it nearly lost the tender because it had struggled for three months to obtain a "Letter of Good Standing" from the Department of Labour. The Red Tape Reduction Unit in the Western Cape assisted them in getting the letter within three days. 

It is amazing what is possible when you work together for jobs. Can you imagine what we could do if we had DA provincial governments working with a DA national government? Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created just by cutting red tape. Sifuna umanyano nentsebenziswano. 

You see friends, inefficiency is the enemy of growth and job creation. And our economy is too inefficient. That is why we will break up inefficient state monopolies and distribute shares to ordinary citizens. That is part of what the DA calls real Black Economic Empowerment.

The DA supports broad-based Black Economic Empowerment that creates jobs for more people, not just a few billionaires. We support broad-based BEE because the Apartheid government denied millions of black South Africans access to economic opportunities. And we still live with this legacy today.

But for the DA, BEE must open opportunities for everyone who suffered past discrimination, not just those with political connections. 

Sidiniwe ngohlohle sakhe.

And BEE needs to work for job creation, not against it. BEE under a DA government will incentivise companies to create new jobs, implement training schemes and give workers a stake in the companies they work for.

The DA's commitment to putting right the wrongs of the past, while retaining the productivity of our farming sector, is the bedrock of our proposals on land reform. We will get land reform working by getting rid of corruption, speeding up processes, setting time limits and reducing uncertainty; by supporting share equity schemes that give farm workers shared ownership of the land they work, and by providing proper support for emerging farmers. We will put an extra R10-billion into ensuring successful, sustainable and productive land reform. We must also ensure that our farms remain productive because we all need food.

And we will give security of tenure, and title deeds, to all beneficiaries of housing development projects in urban areas.

Our manifesto gives you the facts of the DA's position on BEE, Land Reform and social grants.  Don't believe the lies of our opponents. We will not take away social grants. But we also believe that people would rather have a real, permanent job than have to depend on grants.

The DA has always supported social grants as a means to alleviate poverty, and we continue to do so. We believe that social grants need to help lift people out of poverty, not keep them trapped there. This is why we will implement a social grant system with built-in incentives, to encourage young people to get their matric and study further, so they have the skills they need to get a proper job. All young people want to climb the ladder of a good career. Grants are there to help you get onto that ladder.

I cannot do justice to our entire manifesto in one speech. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be taking our offer to every South African in villages, towns and cities all over the country. You can contact us for a copy of the manifesto or download it from www.da.org.za. Compare our plans to cut corruption and create six million real jobs with what the other parties are offering. And consider our track record of delivering to the poor where we govern.

Think about the brave and courageous leaders who helped build a democratic South Africa, a country where all have the right to vote for the party of their choice. And remember that we didn't fight for a one-party state. We fought for the right to choose. We will never give up that right. Asoze salinikezele elolungelo. 

Ons sal nooit ‘n een-party staat in Suid-Afrika toelaat nie. Ons sal nooit ophou om vir geregtigheid op te staan nie.

A new generation of leaders like Lindiwe Mazibuko, Mmusi Maimane, Tim Harris, Yusuf Cassim, Mbali Ntuli and many others, are emerging in the DA because they believe South Africa can live up to the ideals that Nelson Mandela was prepared to die for. 

Sonke singamaAfrika, njengam! Ons is almal Suid-Afrikaners! 

The future we are building is a place where talent, innovation and hard work are more important than political connections.

A place where every individual has the power and the freedom to become the best they can be.

This is our offer to you.

Give us a chance to make South Africa a better place. A chance to get our country back on track. 

Stand with the DA on 7 May.

Ema liDA ka dee 7 tsaMay.

Yima neDA nge zi7 zika May.

Staan by die DA op 7 Mei.

Stand with us, Together for Change, Together for Jobs!

Issued by the DA, February 23 2014


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