Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity
We stand together with all South Africans who share a community of values embodied by these words:
Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity
In particular, we believe:
South Africa is a special country because of our people and must take our rightful place among the great nations of the world;
Ours is not yet the fair society envisioned in the Constitution. Our historic mission is to establish, for the first time in our history, a fair society which will enable the South African people to unleash their talents and ingenuity so that they can realise their full potential. We call this the Open, Opportunity Society For All;
The inalienable rights of every South African are recorded in the Bill of Rights;
The Bill of Rights is a victory over South Africa’s unjust past. Apartheid was an evil system which denied generations of South African citizens the freedom, rights and opportunities to improve their lives and fulfil their potential. South Africans, working individually and collectively through many different organisations, freed themselves when they defeated the system of Apartheid;
The injustices suffered by previous generations harm those who follow. The effects of the past are therefore still felt by many born after 1994;
We cannot undo the past, but as a nation we have a duty to redress any disadvantages caused by our past, so that all South Africans may make equal use of their opportunities;
A prosperous future for South Africa can only be assured when every South African child receives a quality education, and when all adults have sufficient skills for dignified employment.
The South African people
Our party is uniquely founded in faith in the South African people. Through our individual and collective efforts, and enabled by a capable state, the South African people hold the power to make our country a shining beacon for Africa and the world;
We stand with the hardworking, freedom-loving people of our country who want to live and raise their families in safe communities, support each other, work hard, play by the rules, reap the rewards for their efforts and build a country where all of us, regardless of our backgrounds, make progress together;
Strong people and strong social structures such as families, in all their different manifestations, flourish in strong communities. We have a duty to do everything in our power to strengthen and support the building of durable social structures that promote cooperation in our communities, for history has shown that when South Africans work together, we are unstoppable;
Families, however uniquely structured, help build successful individuals and provide them a foundation with which to make sense of the world and to realise their full potential as individuals;
A successful nation must have strong family structures, no matter how they are constituted, because no government can replace the role of family;
When individuals are deprived of the opportunity to work, their independence and dignity, as well as their ability to provide for their families and those they care for, is undermined. Therefore, our country needs an economy capable of creating work.
Freedom and opportunity
Freedom is not a favour from government, it is a right. The freedoms intended by the framers of our Constitution were hard won for us all, are precious and must be guarded;
Throughout history, the responsible exercise of freedom has been the only true engine of progress. The South African people must therefore have the maximum amount of individual freedom consistent with law and order. This includes the freedom to earn a living and accumulate wealth in the way of our choosing, live where we want, love who we want, say what we believe, develop our talents and pursue our dreams;
Access to opportunity gives life and meaning to our hard won freedoms. We believe every South African must have the chance to succeed in life. That is why we believe in spreading opportunity as broadly as possible.
A fair society is one in which our achievements are determined by our own choices and hard work, not by the circumstances of our birth;
Integral to a fair society are the requirements that opportunity is plentiful and not concentrated in the hands of the few, that everyone has the means to make use of their opportunities, that the strong do not exploit the weak, that we are free from unfair discrimination and that we remove the barriers erected by Apartheid which are still felt today;
For South Africa to be fair, justice must be applied to all in a consistent and equal manner;
A society cannot be fair if there exists large-scale inequality. A fair society requires a growing economy and access to opportunities for all South Africans.
The government is accountable to the people. Its purpose is to enable the South African people to use their freedoms. It has no power except that which is assigned to it by the people and the Constitution. The government must reflect the will of the people and our elected representatives must be directly accountable to the people. Those to whom we entrust our nation’s highest offices have a sacred duty to live up to that trust;
Government must always act honestly, transparently and in the best interests of all South Africans;
All South Africans pay tax, and every cent of government money belongs to the South African people. Taxpayers’ money should be spent for the benefit of the people, not the connected few;
To represent the needs and wishes of all South Africans, government needs to be close to those who are affected by its actions. Officials and representatives in government must be put into these positions by the people whose lives their positions affect, thereby ensuring that the people can hold them accountable for their actions;
Government must always stand ready to help those who need it, but its primary function is to empower the people to make use of their freedoms, so that they may progress in their own lives;
Central to empowering South Africans is ensuring that they are free from the deprivations that rob them of their ability to use their opportunities. This requires:
A system of social security to protect people from extreme poverty;
The delivery of high quality basic services;
Excellent education and healthcare;
A functional criminal justice system to keep people safe;
A growing economy to enable people to access jobs, and
Measures to level the playing field of opportunities, as quickly as possible, for people who today are still at a disadvantage because of the injustices of the past.
Issued by the DA, March 9 2015