• National Office Bearers of the UDM
• UDM Provincial, Regional and Branch Leaders
• UDM members and supporters
• My fellow South Africans
THANK YOU AND WELCOME
We are in the home straight of Elections 2014.
To the election teams of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), who have worked tirelessly to make this event a success, thank you for the hard work. You have made us proud.
As this will be my last visit to this area before 7 May, I wish to thank you, the people of the surrounding communities, for always welcoming the UDM in your midst.
Despite the mountainous challenges you face on a daily basis, you still came to listen to us. You have shown your willingness to walk this road with the UDM; to walk this road to economic freedom and a better life for all.
THE FALLACY OF WEALTH AND PROSPERITY – THE PAST 20 YEARS
The UDM acknowledges the impact of the colonial and apartheid legacy on the South African economy.
However, some time down the line, we must be realistic and take stock of what went wrong in these past two decades.
It is a bitter irony that our radios and televisions are filled these days with the poorly veiled ANC propaganda, which is served up as the success stories of government.
But let me ask you this, have you actually seen any of these “wonderful changes” in your lives here on the platinum belt?
If one thinks of the promise of a good life, that Madiba and his peers paved the way for, one is left with a bad taste in your mouth.
The unfortunate reality is that people, like yourselves, are forced to leave and go further-and-further away from your places of birth in a desperate search for a decent income and therefor a decent life.
The brutal socio-economic circumstances that South Africans face, make it impossible to safeguard the gains of our freedom.
Poverty makes a laughing stock of our struggle icons’ legacy.
What is the use of being free, if you are unable to do something as basic as putting food on the table? What is the answer to the silent question in your children’s eyes? Sorry my child, I can’t provide for you, because I can’t even provide for myself.
You find yourselves in this undignified situation because of the poor policy choices, economic mismanagement and the unmitigated corruption of the ruling elite.
The ANC cannot dodge the fact that they made this mess.
Whilst the denialist comrades sit in their cosy houses in Sandton, you are made to suffer in the cold, dusty shanty towns with no hope of that wealth ever reaching your lives.
Does that sound right to you? Is this freedom?
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
You have a choice.
You can continue on this same path or… you must do something different.
Should you make your mark for the UDM, you can be assured of sending a team of people to government that have your concerns at heart.
There are many solid ideas, plans and strategies contained in the UDM manifesto, that talks to education, safety, health, good governance, the environment and other important matters.
However, given the unique distresses of this community, I want to focus on an issues that are particular to your lives.
The UDM commits itself to make mining topic one of the major points of discussion at the Economic Indaba which the UDM proposes. Some of the matters to be discussed are:
• the question of ownership of land, mines and mineral wealth.
• the allocation of mining rights to the ruling elite and its implications.
• socio-economic conditions of the workers and the communities that settle close to where the jobs are.
• the controversial issue of mineworkers’ access, or lack thereof, to a provident fund worth billions of rands.
• the unions’ investment arms and the pay-out of dividends to workers who have contributed to the fund.
• the appointment of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate how these workers’ monies had been invested, especially in cases where the workers were retrenched, had retired or passed away.
In eleven days we will go to the voting stations to make our mark in favour of the political party of our choice.
South Africans must take charge of the future of our country.
We must take charge of our futures.
We can no longer afford to sit with our arms folded whilst the majority of our people live in abject poverty – future generations will judge us harshly, because we let things slide on our watch. Punish the ANC for their failures.
On the 7th of May, you will have an opportunity to bring change to your lives. To bring that change, vote UDM!