Fellow South Africans

We are here today to talk about the challenges we face as a Nation and we wish to send a strong message to Government. Our Nation finds itself on the slippery slope of corruption, lawlessness, anarchy and dissatisfaction. We must capture the lost ground of the past 22 years.

We are frustrated. We are tired. We are hungry. We don’t have houses. We don’t have jobs. Election promises that were made, such as free education, have not realised. Our resources are syphoned out of the Country at the expense of our people. The agencies, that are there to protect the interest of the public, are being openly abused and/or undermined.

We want things to be better. We want our people to be happy and to be proud South Africans.

The big question is: can we trust the current establishment to lead the nation out of this quagmire? For instance, instead of delegating representatives of Government to talk to dissatisfied citizens, they dispatch the police. The Marikana example, and other related incidents, remain the tragic products of this style of leadership.

Must this country wait for the ruling party’s congress next year for them to elect new leadership whilst the country is burning in the meantime. Even if they choose new leadership, there is no guarantee that those new leaders will be able to address the current challenges.

If not for the work of the opposition parties in Parliament, the situation would have been worse; but it can no longer be the opposition parties alone, being tasked to find solutions.

Don’t you think it is each of our responsibility, as citizens of the country, to work together in finding solutions? All sectors of civil society should participate in a dialogue.

During the negotiations, after the Municipal Elections of 2016, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the United Democratic Movement and the United Front, agreed in principle that it is necessary for the Nation to meet.

In this regard, we proposed that a National Convention should be held as a platform to discuss the problems facing South Africa today. Some of the issues we need to talk about date back to the Codesa era.

We can no longer afford a situation where discussions around South Africa’s problems devolve into a talk-shop or yet another useless bosberaad. Should there be an emerging consensus at the proposed National Convention that there is a need to change legislation, it should go straight to Parliament for ratification.

We must not lose momentum. We must harness the energy we’ve generated thus far, and use it to find solutions to the current challenges. For anyone who is interested in reading more about the concept of the National Convention, the proposal that the UDM sent to other political leaders yesterday, is available on https://udm.org.za/road-map-towards-south-african-national-convention-udm-perspective/.

Thank you

Delivered at St Alban’s Cathedral, Pretoria