Note to Editors: The following remarks were made by the DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, in Mshayazafe, KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, on the first leg of the national Vision 2029 Tour.
My fellow South Africans,
Thank you for welcoming me to your province, to your city and to your community here in Mshayazafe.
Mshayazafe really is one of KZN’s forgotten communities. Forgotten by the ANC, forgotten by the KZN provincial government, and forgotten by the city council and its ANC ward councillor.
Looking around at the conditions here in Mshayazafe, it is clear that this community is not important to the local ANC government. Serving the community and upholding your dignity is not a priority.
Because, if your community really mattered to those elected to serve you, we would have seen some kind of progress here over the past decades. We would have seen development. We would have seen services. We would have seen a better life for your children.
But there is no progress here in Mshayazafe. This community is still the way it was back when the ANC municipality used it as a temporary transit camp. If they haven’t come to take care of you in all those years, they’re not going to come now.
If they haven’t come to build you proper toilets for decades, they’re not going to come and build toilets now. They expect you to be satisfied with these terrible pit toilets that have only been drained once in the ten years since they were built. This is shameful.
If they haven’t come to supply proper water connections in all these years, they’re not going to come and do so now. They think that a few standpipes are good enough for you. They are wrong.
If they haven’t come to provide safe electricity connections to most of the houses here, they’re not going to come and do so now. So instead, many of you must rely on dangerous and illegal connections to get power.
It is 2015, and Mshayazafe has been left behind. Forgotten. They still want your vote, but they think they owe you nothing in return.
But let me tell you who has not forgotten you.
There was a time when the DA couldn’t set foot in many parts of KZN. People would say “This is ANC territory” or “This is Inkatha territory”. And while they fought over these territories, you, the people, were simply ignored.
But three years ago, the DA started its first branch in this area. And since 2012, you have had someone called Councillor Hlengiwe Biyela on your side here in Mshayazafe. And let me tell you, Councillor Biyela has not forgotten about any of you.
The list of things she, alone, has managed to do for this community puts the local ANC government to shame.
She stopped the illegal renting out of rooms in the municipal transit camps by reporting it to SAPS.
She fought for a gravel road to link the area with the Main Road.
She got the broken street lights fixed, making your community safer at night.
When refuse wasn’t collected, she saw to it that the bags were removed and the skips were cleared.
And she had the storm water drains cleared to prevent flooding in this area.
If it wasn’t for Councillor Biyela, none of these things would have happened. And she is just one person. Now just imagine what could happen here in Mshayazafe, in KwaMashu, in KZN, under a DA government?
I can tell you what would happen. You would get what other DA-run communities get.
In the municipalities where the DA governs, you find the highest access to water. You find the highest access to flush toilets. You find the highest access to electricity.
DA-run governments don’t tolerate corruption and they don’t tolerate wasteful spending of public money. This means all public money gets spent on serving the people – on maintaining schools and hospitals, on building roads, on bus routes, on street lights, on libraries, on broadband internet, on sports fields and on the basic services that, according to our Constitution, are your fundamental human rights.
The DA’s vision for South Africa is of a country where every child, no matter where he or she is born, has a chance to create a future that is full of hope and meaning. In this vision, a child born here in Mshayazafe will have the same opportunity to realise his or her dreams as a child born in a leafy suburb in one of the big cities.
I often speak of the DA’s three core values – Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity – because these are the values on which we hope to build this future South Africa and realise our vision.
If we can convince enough people to use their vote to fire a useless government and to hire one that can do the job, then this vision will soon be a reality.
Change is coming to South Africa. It is coming to the Metros of Gauteng, where the ANC has been pushed below 50%. It is coming to Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, where the ANC has also been pushed below 50%.
And it is up to you to decide whether that change will come to Ward 55, Mshayazafe, in KwaZulu-Natal too. The power to change this community – to fix it and clean it and make it safe – lies in your hands only.
If you don’t, no one else is going to do it for you.
In a democracy like ours, voting for the government you want isn’t simply your right. It is, in fact, your duty.
Today, I give you my word: if you do your part, then I will do mine. Together we will make Mshayazafe and South Africa great.
Speech by Mmusi Maimane, Mmusi Maimane is Federal and Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance