[You might want to use fewer examples – names are alphabetically listed according to surname] We think of, amongst others, Helen Joseph, Chris Hani, Albert Luthuli, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Robert Sobukwe, Desmond Tutu and of course in 1990 the Father of our Freedom, Mr Nelson Mandela, walked out of Victor Verster prison a free man.
The Eastern Cape takes a proud place in this history. In almost every town and remote rural areas you can find traces of the heroes and heroines who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom.
FW de Klerk followed Botha’s rule and during the early nineties we at last felt the winds of change. In 1994 we, at last, crossed the “Rubicon”.
We recently celebrated 20 years of our new democracy. It is remarkable that we came so far in such a short time.
We will never forget the oppression of the past. It serves as a reminder to never allow that history to be repeated.
2.2. THE PRESENT
The tragedy of the last years of ANC rule is that this nation is sinking deeper into the quagmire of corruption, poor service delivery, maladministration and no regard for the rule of law.
Our hard won liberties are systematically being destroyed with the socio-economic circumstances of our people making it impossible to protect the gains of our freedom.
It is even worse that institutionalised corruption has reached the highest office in the country. We are led by a man who refuses to be held accountable and whose vocabulary extends to one phrase: I did not know.
In addition, the executives (nationally and provincially) practice corruption as a sport – where one strives to best the other in a game where taxpayers’ money is misused.
They are shameless. The ruling elite’s arrogance is a slap in the face of a nation. They cavort around, whilst many people go to bed hungry; our children receive a second-hand education and our townships, as well as villages, belong in a 3rd world country.
In particular, the Eastern Cape is heavily under-budgeted. The infrastructure of the two homelands – and the townships in the province – was never brought on par with the developed one we inherited in 1994.
A description of the current state of affairs; amongst others, includes:
• The people in the province have become accustomed to mediocre schooling and results.
• Dilapidated hospitals have become places of death.
• Municipal administrations are rife with corruption and tenderpreneurship.
• The industrial hubs in Butterworth, Ezibeleni, Dimbaza and Fort Jackson have perished or are following suit.
• This province was the granary of Southern Africa, but agriculture was allowed to systematically wane and this threatens food security.
• Roads are in disrepair, electrification and water supply are erratic and in some places non-existent.
• Respect and power of traditional leaders are almost non-existent.
The ANC of today has forgotten the values of the Freedom Charter. They have abandoned the original agenda, which is to improve the lives of all South Africans.
2.3. THE FUTURE
The obvious question is: Are things so bad that we might as well throw in the towel? The UDM emphatically says NO! We believe that it is not too late to turn the situation around.
3. THE FUTURE – WHAT ARE THE UDM’s PLANS FOR THE EASTERN CAPE?
Should I, as the UDM’s candidate for premiership in the Eastern Cape, be given the opportunity to govern, the following critical objectives shall be on the agenda for change:
3.1. Addressing the democracy dividend deficiency in the Eastern Cape so that it becomes a model province in terms of all development goals.
3.2. Turning the province into a key economic growth area so that it becomes the 4th fastest growing economy in South Africa by 2019.
3.3. Bringing essential services closer to the people and increasing the capacity the institutions that provide those services such as healthcare and education, as well as programmes that ensure food security and local employment.
3.4. Turning around the performance of provincial government – in particular the departments of health and education.
3.5. Providing effective governance by employing the right people, with the right skills, in the right places. Ensuring proper short and long-term planning, the appropriate use of resources as well as managing performance and monitoring.
3.6. A zero tolerance for corruption and not employing people for political reasons and/or their association to our party.
4. THE FUTURE – OUR PLANS FOR SOUTH AFRICA
4.1. We will promote good governance and the separation of the powers of government, legislatures and the judiciary.
4.2. A UDM government will do more and invest in our economy. We will:
• implement checks and balances to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not wasted and take speedy action against corrupt government officials.
• ensure that our people, especially in rural areas, have access to passable roads, electricity, irrigation and reticulation as well as a functioning railway network.
• provide a conducive environment for our people, especially the youth, to become entrepreneurs and creators of wealth.
4.3. The UDM will ensure quality education and
• go back to the basics i.e. teachers must teach and learners must learn.
• translate the large education budget into quality education that produces school-leavers and graduates that are equipped with job related and life skills.
4.4. One of our main priorities is food security and rural development. The UDM will:
• use agriculture as a tool to expand our economy, to create jobs and generate wealth.
• prioritise the needs of farmers, emerging and commercial alike, by developing policies that enable them to compete against their international counterparts.
4.5. A UDM government will make quality health care a priority and bring services closer to communities, improve on emergency response; provide necessary supplies and equipment, as well as maintain hospitals and clinics.
4.6. Regarding safety and security, a UDM government will:
• restore civil order and develop a doctrine for the police service to function in line with our constitution’s values.
• enhance coordination between the ministries and departments of justice, the police and correctional services, as well as defence and national intelligence.
• We will champion the environment and teach our people of climate change, water scarcity and energy, so that they – and future generations – become partners of a UDM government in protecting our natural heritage.
4.7. The UDM will bring about electoral reform by:
• introducing a mix of a constituency and proportional representation system where politicians are accountable to the people.
• changing electoral laws so that we elect our president directly – instead of a ruling party foisting a president on the people.
An annual South African Social Attitudes Survey, done by the Human Sciences Research Council, showed that 66% of South Africans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Why then do people want to again vote for the ANC?
Open your eyes and punish the ANC for its cavalier attitude and callously risking our futures and the prosperity South Africa.
It is time for us to cross another “Rubicon”. This Wednesday will give voters the opportunity to affect such a change. This is your country. Take charge and vote UDM!