Keynote Address by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP and President of the United Democratic Movement
at the UDM 26th Anniversary Celebration and welcoming of new members in Gqeberha
on 21 October 2023 at the Nangoza Jebe Hall (Centenary Hall), New Brighton, Gqeberha
Check against delivery
• Provincial UDM Leadership in the Eastern Cape
• Public Representatives of the Party
• UDM members in Gqeberha
• Traditional, faith-based and student leaders
• Ladies and gentlemen
We welcome you to this 26th Anniversary of the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) founding and welcoming of new members in Gqeberha.
These past twenty-six years are a testimony to the perseverance of the Party to play a meaningful role in South African politics. We did so with limited resources, and we plan to continue playing this role despite the lack of resources.
South Africa is a country in crisis. The main contenders are joblessness, crime, lawlessness and violence, economy, loadshedding, water, poverty, incompetence and corruption as well as the influx of people from all-over seeking refuge and resources from the state.
The taxpayer has footed a R1 billion bill to finance the Zondo Commission and yet its Report is gathering dust in Parliament. It is no surprise that this is occurring as we all know that the ruling party has been fingered in this Report.
One thing is certain, those named in the Zondo Commission Report cannot be trusted to bring South Africa out of this quagmire as they have been involved in scandals such as Bosasa, Chancellor House and the Guptas.
One-party dominance breeds corruption and the affected people of South Africa are sick and tired of being swindled.
The 2024 National and Provincial Elections are therefore an ideal opportunity to rid this nation of the real State Capturers.
For twenty-six years the UDM has been consistent in its stance of batting on the wicket of the ethics of good governance.
We started banging the drum of anti-corruption back in the day when we were labelled, vilified, and called with all sorts of names.
The UDM has been vindicated over the years and we have had several great successes along the way.
2. Palestine/Israel conflict
There is a different kind of Cold War afoot in the world. In Africa we see democratically elected governments being removed from power by military force. The Israel/Palestine conflict is continuing. The international community has failed the people of these warring nations.
In addition, it is a pity that the United Nations has been paralysed, especially the Security Council, where the United States of America (USA) veto any decision, it perceives to be anti-Israel.
We should commend Nelson Mandela, and others, for their efforts to sway South Africa towards a peaceful resolution at the time when the African National Congress and the National Party were at war and assisted with military support.
Both rivals opted to face each other at the roundtable and talk about what is needed to achieve a peaceful resolution, and it worked.
No one country, such as the USA, can be relied upon to find workable peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict. No country understands their conflict better than they do.
The UDM would urge Israel and Palestine to stop killing each other and to look at the South African model for peace, where black and white South Africans today live and work in harmony.
3. Coalition and the UDM
The UDM believes that it is imperative to address the backlogs and imbalances of the past, as well as the infrastructure collapse and unemployment.
Many companies have delisted, disinvested or moved their headquarters, whilst the development of black South Africans have been neglected. I cannot think of any black manufacturers existing post-1994.
A Marshall Plan for South Africa must be implemented, thus rearranging our budgetary priorities to address these inequalities.
We will therefore be willing to form coalitions with parties who subscribe to this concept.
4. South Africa at a glance
Frustrations in South Africa are at an all-time high.
This nation is fed up with the lack of accountability, the over-all lawlessness and uncertainty in the country.
The current insecurity in the country scares off both local and international investors.
Unless these underlying issues are addressed, none of the attending matters, such as our economy, education, health, etc., can be addressed.
Most of our people live in informal settlements, amongst the litter and rats. They don’t have jobs.
Level 6 loadshedding has become a regular feature of our lives.
The money that was supposed to properly develop Medupi and Kusile was syphoned off by the ruling party and wound up at Luthuli House via Chancellor House.
The corrupt largesse of the elite has crept farther and wider. Worst still is that the Comrades in Corruption do not see anything wrong with their actions.
Government services are in disarray.
Infrastructure maintenance is non-existent, and its development is falling behind. So, the list goes on.
South Africans can no longer trust in the so-called self-correcting nature of the ruling party.
Furthermore, their foreign and economic policies are conflicting and confusing; they are forever changing and lack discipline.
Any one political party that thinks it is going to make a difference on its own is living in a fool’s paradise.
The UDM must pull up its socks and ensure that it plays a meaningful role in working with all concerned South Africans to produce concrete change in this country.
5. Townships and rural South Africa
It is a tragic fact that townships and rural South Africa has been neglected since 1994. Their services and infrastructure were never developed and brought on par with developed areas.
Instead, the little infrastructure that had existed was left to decay.
The straight-jacket budget allocations have relegated people living in these areas to second-class citizens.
6. Vocational training is needed
The importance of vocational training has been ignored for far too long, and greater investment in industrial capacity building and skills training for our people is needed.
This must be done to revitalise this country’s manufacturing capacity and job creation efforts. Enervating the erstwhile industrial zones and border industries would bring much needed employment closer to the people.
7. Taking South Africa back from the State Capturers
As revealed by the Zondo Commission, the immediate obstruction in taking South Africa back from the State Capturers is the fact that some leaders and parties have their hands in the cookie jar.
The resources that were to be spent on the development of the nation, were stolen by the corrupt few.
Corruption, maladministration and State Capture have destroyed the gains of our freedom.
8. 2024 is an opportunity
But it is possible for South Africans to take this country back from the State Capturers in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections, as well as the succeeding Municipal Elections.
Post elections, the central government must place greater focus on addressing the decay of our towns and their infrastructure.
9. Welcoming new members
We are happy that leaders of faith-based organisations are starting to have their voices heard once again as the moral fibre of our people are under siege.
Politicians making laws seem to have forsaken some important traditions and religious culture.
People are questioning who gave our lawmakers the mandate to forsake morality and good.
Our children are exposed to drugs and crime at an early age and our laws are not enforced properly to protect our people. The role of traditional and faith-based leaders is being actively undermined and negated by the powers that be.
Time is running out.
We must work hard, focus on recruiting and spreading the UDM-gospel in Gqeberha and its surrounds.
Whether there will be coalitions next year or not, the UDM should retain its character of a party that works for the people.
Let’s take SA back from the State Capturers as it cannot sustain the continuous looting of the hyenas.
We need a new government in 2024 and re-prioritise the challenges this country faces to ensure that it becomes an investors’ paradise.
Let us hit the ground running as the National and Provincial Elections are around the corner.
I thank you.