• Programme Director
• Nactu Leadership
• Nactu Members
• My fellow South Africans
On behalf of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), I thank you for the opportunity to share the stage with the National Council of Trade Unions on this very important day.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND WORKERS
The past few years has seen a new dynamic in our political discourse that harks back to the time before our new democracy.
The Marikana Massacre on 16 August 2012, was an incident of the most use of lethal force by South African security forces against civilians since the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960.
Twenty one months hence, the ruling party adds further insult to this egregious injury.
First Minister Fikile Mbalula tried to ply the African National Congress’ (ANC) pretense of caring and then President Zuma’s scheduled outing was cancelled due to “violence in the area”.
Instead of visiting the area when it mattered, and listening to workers’ concerns, the ruling party sent their police to harshly suppress the masses – a blatant use of state resources to defend the ruling elite’s interests in the mining industry.
It is impossible to comprehend the arrogance with which the ruling party treats our people. Where were government’s leaders when the danger signs showed? Where were they during the aftermath?
The words of the ruling party’s North West provincial chairman Supra Mahumapelo illustrates the ANC’s disdain. He said: “We do not want to draw unnecessary attention… We do not want to give anarchists a platform to advance their agenda.”
What kind of leadership provokes violence and then calls our people “anarchists”? Do you even recognise this ANC anymore? Would you judge these so-called leaders to be of the same cloth as the leaders of the struggle?
They seem to be nothing more than impostors who masquerade in the name of the people.
The original agenda, which is to improve the lives of all South Africans, is a carcass from which these hyenas has grown fat and then left it to rot.
GOVERNMENT’S RELUCTANCE TO INVEST IN THE ECONOMY TO CREATE JOBS
The irony of celebrating Workers’ Day is that most of our people don’t have work. The rest of the 364 days of the year should each be called: “Jobless Day”.
The paradox of the South African economy since 1994 has been jobless growth, even when this country has had a sustained growth for ten years. The ruling party’s policies have failed to grow our economy at the rate required to create jobs.
After a careful analysis of South Africa’s economic challenges and opportunities, reinforced by comparative analysis of successful policies in other countries, the UDM has a practical realisable plan.
The basic philosophy of the UDM is that “Government Must Do More”. While the UDM recognises the valuable role that markets should play, it is of the firm belief that government must play a key role in creating a stable policy environment and developing the economy for the benefit of our people.
“Government Must Do More” means that a responsible government:
• cannot depend on market forces alone.
• cannot fail to decisively intervene in the economy whilst the quality of life of its citizens deteriorates, South Africans cannot find decent work, millions live in abject poverty and suffer because of underdevelopment.
• has to ensure that our political freedom translates into economic emancipation.
It is time for change. May the 7th, can be the catalyst for that change, but this cannot happen if you don’t take action.
The ANC has failed abysmally to unite South Africans and make nation building the priority.
The UDM remains committed to creating a political home for all South Africans, a place where we can all share our freedom together.