Why you should vote DA - Helen Zille

DA leader calls on uncertain voters to put her party to the test

Siyabadibanisa - We are Bringing People Together

Note to editors: This speech was delivered by Helen Zille at the Oliver Tambo Hall, Khayelitsha at the final national rally of the DA's election campaign.

Fellow South Africans

Ke Nako.  Lixesha Ngoku.  Isikathi manje.  Die tyd is nou.

On Wednesday this week, you have the power to change our country for the better. We have worked so hard for this day. 

Seven weeks ago, we launched our campaign at the Walter Sisulu Freedom Square in Kliptown.

I said then that this local government election is about bringing a better life for all South Africans. Your municipality's job is to deliver the services that make life better. Water, electricity, sewage, roads, transport, refuse removal. That is why it is called Urhulumente wasemaKhaya. It reaches right into your home and touches your life. 

And if your municipality does its job properly, it attracts investment and grows the economy to create jobs, so that we can tackle our country's greatest problem which is poverty. 

Ingxaki enkhulu yelizwe lethu yintlupheko.  Ons land se grootste probleem is armoede. The DA has the best plan to grow the economy. We make it easier to create a job and get a job. Sosenza lula ukwenza amathuba emisebenzi.

In the past seven weeks, we have travelled across South Africa talking to people about how to improve their lives. Early in the campaign, I visited the home of Ms. Xole Zondi in Mphophomeni, KwaZulu-Natal.  The municipality has not fixed the sewage system, so the street and the houses get flooded with human waste.  Dis vieslik om te beleef.

I went to Booysen's Park in Port Elizabeth, eBhayi, where citizens live in fear of gangsters and drug-dealers because there is no Metro Police service.

I've campaigned in Buffalo City, Eastern Cape, which is close to "total collapse" because of corruption and in-fighting.

I was in Calvinia, Noord-Kaap, met my vriendin Patricia de Lille waar ons verduidelik het hoe ons die plaaslike ekonomie kan red sodat werk geskep kan word. And we went to Springbok where people go without water for months at a time because the municipality hasn't fixed the water pipes.

In Northdale, Pietermaritzburg, the rubbish is piled high in the streets because the municipality doesn't collect it. In Ikageng, Potchefstroom, I saw small children playing among soiled nappies, rotten food, dead animals and human waste. It is a threat to their health and their lives.

I have been to the Segopye Village in Limpopo where people walk 20 km to collect water from the river in wheelbarrows. In nearby Seshego, 2,500 families share two taps. There is no electricity or refuse removal, and people use bucket toilets that they enclosed themselves.  

I have been to the Botshabelo informal settlement in the Free State where the potholes are so big that taxis cannot drive there.

I visited Walmer township where people live in shacks next to half-built RDP houses because the money for the project disappeared.

Everywhere I go, I tell people:

Genoeg is genoeg.  Kwanele Kwanele. You don't have to live like this. Dit hoef nie so te wees nie. Anina kuhlala ngoluhlobo. You can make a different choice at this election. 

Ningenza umahluko kolunyulo ngokhetho lwenu. U het die keuse.

Your future is in your hands. Ikamva lenu lise zandleni zenu.

And everywhere I've been I have offered people the vision of another South Africa that is within our reach. I call it the DA difference.

And it is a big difference. Ngumahluko omkhulu. Dis voorwaar ‘n groot verskil.

The DA difference brings clean water, sanitation, waste removal and electricity to all.

The DA difference builds confidence in the future, so that people start and grow businesses, and create more jobs.  

It is a place where politicians serve the people, because they know the people have the power to vote them out if they are lazy or corrupt. 

It is a place where the poor are supported and given opportunities to escape poverty.

Dit is ‘n plek waar dinge werk.

It is a place where people have hope. Yindawo apho abantu banethemba khona kwi DA.

It is the South Africa that the DA is building through hard work in villages, towns and cities across the country.

Of course we are not perfect. Asigqibelelanga nje. Ons is mense en ons maak foute. We are human and we make mistakes. Singabantu. Sineemposiso, njengabanye. And, when we do, we try to fix them. Ons leer van ons foute en ons probeer dit regstel. Siyafunda kuzo.

But our record speaks for itself.

Every independent study shows that Cape Town is the best Metro in the country by far for service delivery.

And that Midvaal offers people a better quality of life than anywhere else in Gauteng. 

And the DA-governed Baviaans is the best municipality in the Eastern Cape for service delivery and revenue collection. 

We have received the awards from the national government. All the evidence shows that life gets better, step by step, where the DA governs.  Iinkonzo zifikelela ku wonke wonke.

We don't yet govern municipalities in all provinces. But we will make good progress on May 18. In the new councils we win, we will work day and night to meet the same high standards. 

Fellow South Africans, in this election we are offering you local government that delivers for all. But we are offering more than that. It is summed up in our slogan: One nation, one future. Een nasie, een toekoms. Isizwe esinye, ikamva elinye.

It is the commitment to reconciliation between all South Africans that Nelson Mandela made in 1994: a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

We are the party that is working hard to build on Madiba's legacy.  Asisoze siwalibale nanini amaqhawe omzabalazo.  We will always honour them.  We are bringing people together.   Abanye mababohlule.   Siyabadibanisa abantu.

That is why forward-looking South Africans, from different parties and backgrounds are coming together in the Democratic Alliance.

People like Memory Booysen of KwaNokuthula, Plettenberg Bay.

Memory joined the ANC in the late 1980s because he wanted to fight for freedom. He rose through the ranks to become the Chairperson of the Greater Plettenberg Bay branch and Chairperson of the Youth League.

When he got a job in the Mayor's office, he found out that the ANC had a different understanding of what freedom means:  freedom to loot and freedom from accountability. He found out about corrupt deals, and personal enrichment. Phantsi ngorhwapilizo phantsi!

At first, Memory believed that the party could be saved from itself.  So he tried to change it.  He became an ANC councillor and tried to bring change from inside. 

But Memory found out the hard way what happens to people who tell the truth in the ANC. They pushed him out.  He received death threats. He was eventually expelled on false charges.

Memory's political journey then took him to Cope. Like many others, he believed this new party could become a credible political alternative to the ANC. But sadly, this did not happen.

Last year, Memory joined the DA.  He is now our mayoral candidate for Bitou and our growth there is nothing short of amazing. Like many other towns and cities across our country, we can now win Bitou.

With people like Memory, and all of you, the DA is building one nation, with one future.

Isizwe esinye, ikamva elinye.

Een nasie een toekoms.

Sechaba sele seng, bokamoso bo le bong.

Let me tell you about another inspirational political journey.

As a high school pupil in Port Elizabeth, Basil Kivedo followed Nelson Mandela's treason trial. He remembers being struck by Mandela's famous words from the dock:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

By the time Basil reached university, he was a radical anti-apartheid activist. He became an active member of Steve Biko's Black Consciousness Movement and took part in the 1976 uprising.

In 1980, Basil was jailed for his political activities, spending a year in solitary confinement at the Victor Verster prison. When he was released, he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Basil is now a member of the Democratic Alliance. In fact, he is our mayoral candidate for the Breedevallei municipality.

I asked Basil how he had ended up with the DA. He told me how much he admired Nelson Mandela's values. And he told me how disillusioned he had become when he saw those values being undermined by the ANC.  As time went on, he realised that the DA's vision of an open, opportunity society was the same vision that Nelson Mandela had spoken about from the dock in the Rivonia trial, all those years ago.

There are many others similar stories that DA members can tell.  Because thousands of people who love our country, and believe there is a future for everyone, are coming together in the DA.  Together we want to achieve the better life for all.

Fellow South Africans, this may prove to be a historic election.

We stand to make gains in towns and cities across the country because we have a vision and a plan, and because we are bringing people together. And we are improving people's lives, wherever we govern. 

No other party can match us when it comes to diversity and delivery. No other party is as committed to reconciliation and redress as we are.

More and more people recognise this.  And more people are realising that, if you continue to vote for the party that has failed you, it will continue to fail you.

This is why we are growing and winning.  Ons groei en ons wen.  Siyakhula, siyaphumelela. 

Many councils hang in the balance. These include the major urban centres of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth. There is a chance of winning an outright majority in Cape Town.

But there is no guarantee. It is only possible if every person who wants a better life for all, comes out and votes DA.

At this election, every vote really does count. When we say your vote can win it, we mean it.
If you are uncertain about how to vote on Wednesday, let me say this: give the DA a chance.  Put us to the test. Lend us your vote for the next five years. If we do not improve your town or city, you can take your vote back and give it to someone else at the next election.

So, whatever you do, make sure you vote on 18 May.

As you go into that polling station, listen to your heart beat.  Mamela isingqi sentliziyo yakho.  Luister na u hart.

Iza kuthi DA DA DA DA.  Listen to your heart with your head.   Mamela intliziyo yakho ngengqondo yakho.  Luister met u verstand.  En stem DA.  Vote DA.   Votela iDA beka u-X wakho kwi DA.

Because the DA delivers for all!

Sisebenzela uwonkewonke.

Re isa ditshebeletso ho bohle.

Thank you very much.  Now let's go out and win.

Masiye kuphumelela.

Ons gaan nou uit om te wen.

Issued by the DA, May 14 2011

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