Speech by Bantu Holomisa, UDM President

Programme Director,
UDM NEC Members,
UDM Gauteng PEC Members,
UDM West Rand Regional Leadership,
UDM Members,
Fellow South Africans:

Thank you to you all for making this rally a success. Words fail me to express how grateful we are for your hard work and contribution.

Many of you come from and work in the surrounding mines. This places the assessment of the impact of economic conditions in this area at the centre of my speech today.  This year South Africa celebrates twenty of democracy. This provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made and the distance covered.

As people who are responsible for mining the mineral wealth of this country, questions should be asked whether the ruling party has done enough to empower you both economically and otherwise. The answer to this question is regrettably an emphatic no!

Since 1994, the ruling party has adopted policies that go against the spirit of the Freedom Charter, which says that the mineral wealth of the nation should be shared by all. The ruling party has instead develop policies, such as the Black Economic Empowerment, which enrich select few politically connected individuals.

Such policies have left the poor, the marginalised and you the working class without economic freedom. While this occurs, some of the architects of the Constitution and our political liberty live in extraordinary opulence. These people are now the new lot of billionaires that continue to protect the interests of monopoly capital at your expense.

As workers, you had high hopes that our political freedom would translate into job opportunities and meaningful economic freedom. This has not happened. Instead your former comrades and friends have turned against. They work with the capitalists to mechanise operations here, so as to increase profits. This results in many of you being retrenched every now and again.

These predators are now obsessed with building railway lines to transport raw materials to countries like China for further processing because their primary focus is profit maximisation. Their modus operandi now affects all industries, including steel. Are these not the same people who always promise to beneficiate our natural recourses as a way to create jobs?

One of the things that embarrass us as a nation is the level and the extent of corruption in the public sector.  You heard that recently an amount of R6 million was set aside by the Eastern Cape government for the memorial service of the late former President Nelson Mandela. However, according to media reports it now turns out that the money was used to print ANC t-shirts for the 2014 elections and that these hyenas used some of it to spoil their girlfriends.

How can such people claim to be serious about fighting corruption if the culprits walk scot free scandal after scandal?

On Sunday the 02 of February 2013 in Nasrec, the UDM will be launching its manifesto where it will explain to you the slippery slope in which South Africa finds itself in under the ruling party.

I thank you.