2017 was the first year in our democracy in which the African National Congress (ANC) did not govern South Africa’s major cities. Overall the ANC’s power has been curtailed and lessened, which will possibly bring with it changes in our 2019 political landscape.
If the ANC has seen decline over the past few elections, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has also not done itself any favours in 2016/17. The Cape Town DA government failed spectacularly in the most basic of service delivery management and is now facing the severe threat of dry taps as early as March or April next year. The crisis is made worse by their party-political infighting. The coalitions in Johannesburg, Tshwane and in Nelson Mandela Bay, allowed by the Economic Freedom Fighters without responsibility for the problems caused by minority rule, are stuttering under the DA’s unbending “baasskap” attitude.
The right to govern is not absolute and it is not determined by blind commitment to tradition; the right to govern is determined by the democratic right of voters. With our eyes on the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, we encourage the people of South Africa to choose their leaders well – not for popularity; not for personal gain; not for tradition; not for emotion; but for the ability to manage strong governments – governments that will deliver!
Now is not the time to relax our efforts for improved and excellent government! Not only should we continue fighting state capture and expose corruption in all its forms, but the United Democratic Movement (UDM) will also show South African voters that it is a reliable, worthy, and able political alternative.
In line with its National Executive Committee’s decision, taken at the beginning of December 2017, the UDM will identify members, and recruit similarly minded individuals as potential Party candidates (in all corners of South Africa) for the 2019 elections. The details of this programme will be advertised in the media early in the New Year. We plan to host workshops for these potential UDM candidates in June/July 2018 so that they will be ready to present the UDM as a viable alternative political home for all South Africans. If we succeed in participating in government, this team shall be prepared to speedily address the backlogs and imbalances of the past to stay the march towards a second revolution.
2018 is therefore a year in which the UDM means to work hard towards transforming South Africa into a Winning Nation. We therefore wish all South Africans a happy and prosperous 2018 and I call on my fellow UDM members to till the soil, and to showcase the talents of the UDM and its potential to either govern in coalition or on its own.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President