statement by National Deputy-Secretary

To leave the political party that you have been part of for many years is never an easy decision. We gave serious thought to this and in the end realised that if we truly want to contribute in building the future of South Africa, we cannot do it in the National Party. We as councillors have decided to leave the National Party and join our forces with the UDM in order to contribute in developing true multi-party democracy and one nation in South Africa.

We have come to realise that the National Party served its purpose and is no longer the vehicle to take South Africa into the next millennium. We believe it is necessary to pay tribute to the National Party for the role that it played in bringing South Africa to the negotiation table which resulted in our first real democratic elections. However, it is also quite clear that the National Party can not contribute towards establishing real multi-party democracy because of its inability to be an effective opposition party. The National Party is failing dismally in its attempts to make inroads into ANC support and is therefore not in a position to prevent South Africa from slipping into a one party state. The UDM, on the other hand, is the only party in South Africa that has the ability to prevent a landslide victory for the ANC in the next election.

We, councillors from Benoni and the Johannesburg South East MSS, bring to the UDM experience which in total amounts to 92 years in local government as well as provincial and national government. We are mindful of the tremendous responsibility we as South Africans carry in helping to shape the future destiny of our country. What it now means is that each of us will have to throw in our full weight behind the UDM to achieve success at the polls in 1999.

Looking at the total political spectrum the UDM is the movement that came into being in the post apartheid period. We believe the UDM was born out of a genuine need by all shades of South Africans to come together, to put the past behind us and to dynamically work towards the future. The UDM is the only party that is looking at the challenges facing our country. A party that says we must get crime under control, house the homeless, create an environment which will create an opportunity for the development of the unemployed and wants to see South Africa developing to its full potential through the rich diversity of its people. The UDM provides hope to the people of South Africa as the only workable alternative. It is realistic and pragmatic in its approach and puts national interests before personal political gain.

The Democratic Party also has its roots in the apartheid era. Recent successes of the DP in traditional NP strongholds create the impression that the DP is moving into the laager with the NP. This can only lead to further polarisation with disastrous consequences. We believe that within the near future the DP with its newfound sectoral support will find itself in exactly the same political cul-de-sac where the National Party is today.

All South Africans who are concerned about the future of the country must therefore unite under the banner of the UDM and march proudly into the next millennium.