Joint statement Mbhazima Shilowa and Bantu Holomisa

Today marks yet another milestone in our journey towards political realignment.  Our announcement takes forward the discussions which started after the 2009 elections when it became apparent that South Africans yearned for a viable alternative.

This process had stalled, in part, as the Independent Democrats (ID) joined the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the internal ructions with the Congress of the People (COPE).   Recently, more than 800 delegates representing COPE branches from eight provinces that were left out of COPE’s recent National Congress held a summit in Bloemfontein to map the way forward.   The summit mandated Mr Mbhazima Shilowa to engage with the United Democratic Movement (UDM) to take the realignment debate forward.  The result of the talks between the two delegations was that these branches will support and mobilise for the UDM in the forthcoming general elections.

The process of integration and preparing an effective elections machinery across the country is currently under way with joint meetings at provincial levels.  A national structure to oversee this process has been put in place.

The long-term plan is to work for political realignment and this entails that we will work with other progressive formations in the future.  No party in South Africa can ever win an election unless it appeals to the vast majority, especially the poor and unemployed who do have not access to basic services.

As outlined in the UDM’s manifesto it is imperative that we focus on the following issues:
• Good governance.
• Economy
• Quality education
• Feeding SA – food securing and rural development
• Quality health care
• Safety and security
• Protecting the environment and
• Election reform

We call on all South Africans, especially those who voted COPE in the last elections, to rally behind the UDM in the forthcoming elections.

While Mr Shilowa will not be party to such integration for personal reasons, he supports the process and will actively work for its success in the short, medium and long term.

This is our country let’s take charge and not allow corruption to destroy the gains of our freedom.

Thank you
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP        Mr Mbhazima Shilowa