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• UDM Deputy President, Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa
• Provincial UDM Leaders of our host province, the Eastern Cape,
• UDM leaders of the OR Tambo Region
• Cllr Luxolo Namette, Deputy Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality
• UDM Councillors
• Members and supporters of the UDM
• Ladies and gentlemen, those here present and those watching at home

1. Welcome

Welcome to the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) ceremonial launch of our election campaign, and our manifesto, for the 2021 Municipal Elections.

Even though we are thankful for the rain, to those who are present, thank you for braving the weather to be here.

The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) timetable dislodged most political parties, but here we are, launching our manifesto under these difficult circumstances.

A big thank you goes out to all the people that contributed to the success of today’s event.

There are too many to mention by name, but you did a massive job under very difficult circumstances! Thank you for your hard work!

I quickly want to mention that there are some discrepancies with the UDM candidates’ lists and names that appear in wrong slots on some of the IEC’s published lists.

The EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) Secretary General confirmed the same to me last night, as well as he President of the ATM (African Transformation Movement) this morning.

I have heard that the AIC (African Independent Congress) and the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress of Azania) have also concurred.

The UDM has already submitted our complaint over these lists with the IEC and we qualify them as technical glitches on their part.

Insofar as the plea from our ward candidates to be assisted with posters, we have some good news!

The UDM will be footing the bill.
You are requested to WhatsApp your high-resolution head-and-shoulder photographs to our National Treasurer, Ms Thandi Nontenja, via your local regional leadership.

2. UDM victories

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in saying: “Happy Birthday UDM”, as we recently celebrated our 24th birthday on the 27th of September.

Yet another achievement is that this will be the fifth municipal elections in which the UDM will participate since our inception in 1997.

The UDM and its leaders have always operated from a non-partisan position, with a view to achieve social cohesion and transforming South Africa into a Winning Nation.

Over the past 24 years, these are some of the highlights:

• The UDM was instrumental in agitating for the abolishing of immoral floor-crossing legislation, which is no longer on our statute books.

• I was a founder member of the Thuthuka project in collaboration with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and others. This project developed study guides in English, math and accounting and produced more black chartered accountants.

• When the Mandela family requested my assistance in the preparation for Madiba’s final farewell, I accepted without hesitation.

• During the Conference of the Parties to CITES 17 (CoP17), we assisted with the planting of 35,000 indigenous trees in the Zulu Kingdom whilst under the reign of His Majesty the late King Goodwill kaZwelithini, as part of the fight against climate change.

• When our soldiers threatened to rebel due to bad service conditions in the South African National Defence Force, we stepped up to the plate when former President Jacob Zuma and then Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu asked for assistance and successfully quelled the threatening uprising.

• I served on the National Defence Force Service Commission when mandated to do so by the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

• When Covid-19 hit our shores, I raised around R750,000 in donations to purchase PPE (personal protective equipment) for around 32 health centres and hospitals in the Eastern Cape.

• We recently joined forces with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) leader Zwelinzima Vavi to mediate, with fruitful results, in the dispute between Cape Town taxi associations.

• During the KwaZulu-Natal mayhem I assisted a group of business women to fundraise for food parcels for adversely affected families in KwaNongoma, with the delivery made to His Majesty Misuzulu Zulu kaZwelithini.

• UDM Deputy President Nqabayomzi Kwankwa’s African Parliamentarians Association for Human Rights (AfriPAHR) have been doing sterling work in Africa.

He was recently appointed as the Africa-representative to the steering committee of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

• Since 1999, the UDM advocated for the changing of the rules of the party-political funding.

The ANC (African National Congress) and the DA (Democratic Alliance) dug in their heels and refused to budge for many-many years.

We are now vindicated as parties are forced to declare their donations.

We now also know why they were so reluctant to share that information, and one wonders, what that picture would have shown over the years.

• When President Ramaphosa asked me to serve on the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commiss