The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is dismayed by the failure of the South African Constitution to protect and change for the better the life of law-abiding citizens.
The Constitution has failed to bring about change that was much anticipated before 1994. The South Africans are enduring hardest times since the Constitution was ushered in1996. Poverty is at its worst. The rate of unemployment is alarmingly high. The number of graduates who are unemployable is rapidly increasing. The disadvantaged or marginalized citizens are still living under the poverty line and they do not have shelter above their heads. The currency of the country is very weak. The infrastructure in the country has collapsed. Law-abiding citizens are not feeling safe even inside their homes. The politicians and government officials are looting state resources and there is nothing that is done to curb the slippery slope which the country has been experiencing since the advent of democracy.
The signing of the world-wide much commended Constitution into law 27 years ago gave false hope to people, guess what, after 30 years of independence, these people have not yet tasted the fruits of freedom. The skilled workers had emigrated to other so-called countries and they still continue to leave the country.
Though there are some great strides that have been achieved, they are overshadowed by social ills engulfing the country. The big question is, what is the use of having the so-called good Constitution if it does not give a better future to the people? In our continent Africa, there are countries such as Tanzania or Rwanda that have used their constitutions for the betterment of their citizens.
The UDM over the past two decades has been advocating and calling for a second CODESA that will attend to issues that could not be exhausted during CODESA 1. The economy of the country is still skewed as it favors the haves than have nots. Something needs to be done and done urgently.
Nowadays, it is not surprising to find citizens who claim that the situation was better during the era of the erstwhile racist regime because of what they are going through. The stalwarts and heroes or heroines of our struggle for freedom are turning in their graves.
South Africa needs a constitution that will bring about positive change, that is, integrity, dignity and prosperity for all.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General