The ANC showed today that it is beyond the point of no return. Jacob Zuma’s speech at the party’s 105th birthday celebrations was the tell-tale last gasp of a dying organisation. It is an out-of-touch and divided party that is unable to self-correct, and is past the point of no return.
Following the ANC’s results at the polls in August last year, one would have expected a humble and introspective reflection on the past year, and a meaningful commitment to effect real and substantive internal change. Rather, we were force-fed another rose-tinted “good story” by a President who has overseen the party’s decimation over the past 7 years. While the rest of the country is looking forward, the ANC can only but fondly recall its former glories.
While the ANC celebrates in lavish style today, we live in a country where 9 million of our people are without work, and have given up any hope of finding a job. We live in a deeply unfair and unequal society, where the colour of your skin still determines your chances of succeeding in life. And this is only worsened by the ANC who run a dishonest government, putting their friends first and the people of South Africa last.
The people of South Africa do not trust the ANC anymore, and last year’s election results showed just that. After almost 23 years of democracy, words and empty rhetoric are simply not enough. Long-winded recitals of “good story” statistics do not create jobs or feed hungry South Africans.
While the focus of 2017 will be on the election of the new President of the ANC, South Africans are beginning to realise that no reform in the ANC is possible. Whatever happens in December 2017, the ANC will remain committed to corruption, insider trading and unemployment. The DA is the only hope for a better South Africa.
Our country requires bold and authentic leadership that will take us forward again.
Leadership that affirms constitutionalism, and fires leaders who do not uphold it.
Leadership that is focused on the economy, including a coherent plan to create work for our people.
Leadership that will govern well, focusing on delivering services to our people and not stealing money.
Leadership that offers a better plan for redress, which empowers all South Africans not just the ANC elite.
And leadership committed to building a reconciled nation, where redress and economic development does not rob one race at the expense of another.
The accelerating implosion of the ANC, coupled with the real example of positive difference that is being delivered by opposition-led governments across the country, holds the potential to redefine our politics. The DA enters 2017 excited and ready for the potential ahead.
Where the DA governs, our number one focus is on creating jobs for the 9 million South Africans without work. South Africans are beginning to feel the DA difference, because where we govern, you’ll find the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the highest access to basic services for poor South Africans, and a zero-tolerance of corruption.
Following the 2016 Local Government Elections, the DA now governs over 30 municipalities in 6 provinces, delivering to 16 million residents with a budget that equates to over 50% of the total municipal budget allocation. Our governments have already began to cut corruption, create jobs and opportunity, and deliver better services, and will continue to do so in 2017.
The tipping point is fast approaching, as South Africans of all races are beginning to realise that where the DA governs, there is opportunity and a better life for all.
While the ANC talks, the DA does. And come 2019, we aim to occupy the Union Buildings to revive the national project of building a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa for all who live in it.
By Mmusi Maimane