The leader of the DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, has launched the DA’s policy for building a Fair South Africa.
Find out what Mmusi’s vision for South Africa is all about:
As South Africa approaches the 40th anniversary of the June 16th Soweto uprising, a milestone in the struggle against Apartheid, we should be honest and reflect on where we find ourselves today: have we done enough to address the wrongs of the past and remove the structural inequalities which centuries of colonialism and Apartheid entrenched?
Are we any closer to achieving our desired dream of a non-racial, non-sexist South Africa?
While we have made progress since 1994, the answer to many of these questions remains no. The reality for millions of people across our beautiful nation is that our society remains deeply unfair.
The colour of our skin, and the circumstances of our birth shape in the most fundamental way the prospects we have for success in this life.
The ANC, after 22 years in power, have not done enough to ensure that there is this change. They govern like black lives don’t matter; more worried about bailing President Zuma and his corrupt friends out of trouble, than redressing the wrongs of the past.
Just this past week, we saw how Jacob Zuma and the Guptas were let off the hook again by the ANC. This sort of crony corruption steals opportunities from the poor. It is happening in ANC wards and governed councils across the country.
This amplifies unfairness, and allows for a small benefited elite to benefit at the expense at those who remain disadvantaged. This unfairness tears at the fabric of our democracy and if we continue as “business as usual” we risk threatening the vision we collectively pursued in 1994, that of a prosperous South Africa, united in all its diversity.
When I was elected the leader of the Democratic Alliance, I knew it was essential that we, as a future national government of South Africa, set out our plan to address this unfairness. I know, as do many people across our country, that the status quo is not working.
I therefore commissioned a new paper for the party which set out clearly what we mean when we talk of working towards a Fair South Africa for all. The policy before you today is the end result of this process, approved by our party’s Federal Council.
Our Fair South Africa vision sets out both forward looking and redress solutions to inequality and unfairness in South Africa. Those forward looking solutions, referred to as “enablers to fairness”, will help ensure that all South Africans from birth have more equitable access to rights and opportunities. These include ensuring:
Quality basic education for all
Equitable access to further education and training
Furthering gender equality
Making justice more accessible
Improved access to and diversity in sport.
Most importantly, at the heart of this must be the building of an inclusive economy that is growing, that attracts confidence and investment, creates jobs and allows black South Africans, who are so often still excluded from economic opportunity, to access opportunities.
To ensure this, we are also committing to a range of meaningful redress solutions which actively seek to undo the disempowerment and economic exclusion of the past. A Fair South Africa therefore also includes policies that allow for:
Accelerated land reform that empowers people with ownership, which can be used as an economic asset
Targets to promote and ensure increasing diversity in all spheres
Truly broad-based black economic empowerment that allows for opportunities for those who remain outside of the economy; instead of benefiting an ANC-connected elite.
The structural racialized inequality which needs to be addressed remains alive and well in our towns and cities across South Africa. If you are black, you are likely to live in the urban periphery, far away from economic opportunities, and stuck in a cycle of poverty.
More must be done to address this across the country. I acknowledge, as the leader of a party that runs many governments which are working to address the racialized planning of the past, that there is still so much more work to do.
I commit my party today to work harder than ever before, where we are elected to govern, to address unfair towns and cities because we believe at the core of our party in building a non-racial society – united in our diversity.
It is for this reason that our manifesto sets out a number of clear redress solutions to tackle the unfairness we find in our towns and cities. These include, amongst others:
Establishing and maintaining inclusive community amenities such as childcare facilities, municipal halls, parks, recreation areas, sport grounds, markets and libraries
Connecting people from diverse backgrounds through efficient, affordable, safe and reliable transport
Ensuring that urban planning and zoning considers the integration of different communities and income levels, as well as providing adequate public spaces
Working towards providing all residents with fair ICT access opportunities, giving residents the potential to increase their ability to find jobs and access services
Using urban infrastructure upgrades to improve and uplift previously disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Speeding up the delivery of title deeds to state-subsidized housing so that communities disposed of land in the past have real and legal ownership of their homes
Ensuring long-term strategies to ensure increased access to services and amenities, as city population grows. All residents should live with dignity
The DA’s policy for a South Africa, read together with our Manifesto for Change, will create a policy platform to create the jobs our people need, and contribute to building an inclusive economy. This will provide hope for the 8.9 million jobless South Africans.
Where we govern, we are making this progress. In the last quarterly labour force survey, Cape Town created 4000 new jobs, while hundreds of thousands joined the ranks of the unemployed in other metros.
In the DA-run Midvaal municipality, we have been able to achieve the lowest unemployment rate in the province. We know we have much more to do – but we are working hard to bring positive change to people’s lives by creating jobs, stopping corruption and delivery better services.
South Africans across the country are already working to build an inclusive future. It is now up to government, at all spheres, to match this effort, by taking these steps to remove structural barriers and ensure that no person is discriminated against or disadvantaged unfairly.
On 3 August 2016, South Africans face a choice. They can vote to maintain the status quo, where our society remains fundamentally unfair – or vote DA for change that will put us back on the right track again.
My pledge to you today is to make sure that DA government do everything to bring about this change. Because it is only when these powerful enablers are implemented in tandem with impactful redress that we can honour our past and own our future.
This is how the vision of One Nation, One Future built on Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity, can be realised.