HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Once again parliament descended into chaos this week. The government once again disregarded not only South African and International law but ignored a ruling of a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court. There was however, one glimmer of hope, the launch of Vision 2029 by Mmusi Maimane the new leader of the Democratic Alliance.
Vision 2029 purports to show what South Africa would be like when the DA wins the 2029 general election. Voters may believe that this is ‘mission impossible’ however, in this age of doom and gloom it is a vision that gives us hope for the future. The Party is confident that it can transform South Africa to reach these objectives in the same way as it has transformed the Western Cape into the best governed province in the country.
The DA believes that every South African irrespective of race, creed, language or gender, irrespective of where they live deserve a better country that is better to what it was in 2019. A country which has:
- A capable government that acts honestly, transparently and in the best interests of all embodying the founding principles of our Constitution and works to uphold the Bill of Rights for all South Africans;
- A quality education system in which each generation is better educated than the previous;
- An annual economic growth rate of 8%, a business-friendly reputation and is a hub of innovation. Where fairness and justice and unemployment has been substantially reduced from its current 35,6%;
- A competent, highly equipped police force where all families feel safe not only in their own community and in the country as a whole and where people no longer have to battle because they have no water and/or lights;
- An effective justice system that inspires both confidence and belief of all South Africans with a government that obeys the law and protects the Rule of Law;
- A government that has led a crusade against public sector corruption and wasteful expenditure making government-run entities leaner, more efficient and citizen oriented. A smaller more efficient government with only 15 cabinet members rather than the current 37;
- An efficient and effective public health system with adequate staff and sufficient medicines and maintained equipment;
This will be a South Africa in which families are the core unit around which individuals prosper. Where a sense of community prevails, where people care for one another and where all citizens feel more empowered and positive about the future. Where you can make it if you work hard – your destiny is determined by how much you make of opportunities. Where the reformed education together with increased economic growth means increased opportunities exist for individuals. For those unable to take advantage of these opportunities, a sustainable safety-net will exist.
Most South Africans do aspire to this vision of South Africa which is in many ways similar to the rainbow nation envisaged by former President Nelson Mandela but ask the question as to how would a DA led government achieve this Utopia.
Look no further than Western Cape provincial government or the 29 municipalities controlled by the DA, some in a coalition, to see clean and effective government. The province has the lowest unemployment in South Africa, medicine shortages are unheard of and corruption is minimal. Some impressive statistics of the of service delivery in the Western Cape compared to the rest of South Africa are:
Access to water: 99.1% (Western Cape) 91.2 %( Rest of the country)
Access to electricity: 93.4% (Western Cape) 84.7 %( Rest of the country)
Access to flushing toilets: 90.5% (Western Cape) 62.6 %( Rest of the country)
Currently broad based unemployment in the Western Cape is the lowest in the country at 22 % compared to 35, 6% percent for the rest. Since 2012 unemployment has dropped by 48 000 people in the Western Cape whereas it has increased by 121 000 in the rest of the country. What makes these figures all the more significant is that the population in the Western Cape has increased with people migrating to the province to take advantage of the better living conditions.
Above all most DA led entities receive clean audits from the Auditor General.
In order to realise Vision 2029 a DA led government elected in the 2019 general election will implement the following policies:
- Promote job creation and economic growth by:
- Repealing and amending laws that reduce international and local investment through threats of nationalisation and limitations on foreign ownership;
- Establishing Job Zones near ports and airports, and in rural areas, to attract investment into industries that employ many people;
- Up scaling the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to provide temporary relief from unemployment linked to much needed skills development;
- Creating a national government internship programme;
- Introducing a real Youth Wage Subsidy to address high levels of youth unemployment. Government’s current intervention, the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), has failed to provide young South Africans with job opportunities; instead, it has benefited middlemen and big employers.
- Reducing the ‘red tape’ required to start a business through the introduction of aRed Tape Reduction unit and review all legislation that creates unnecessary red tape;
- Eliminating the energy crises through the privatisation of Eskom and expanding the number of private power producers and encouraging the development of alternative energy sources;
- Create a world class education system through:
- Introducing legislation to regard teaching as an essential service, teachers’ right to strike should be balanced with the best interests of learners;
- Ensuring that all teachers pass competency tests before they start teaching, and then regularly thereafter. Too many teachers across South Africa cannot even pass the tests they set themselves;
- Conducting rigorous competency testing for matric markers ensuring that examination results are credible and accurately reflect the ongoing improvements within the education system;
- Eliminating the political appointment of teachers and school principals as well as the interference of trade unions in these appointments;
- Placing greater emphasis on reading, writing and numeracy especially in the early grades because learners who do not “learn to read will be unable to read to learn” in the higher grades and increasing the grades to pass examinations to 50%;
- Freedom that you can use:
- Freedom means far more than casting a vote or a democratically elected government, it has to provide freedom that gives you access to opportunities in life. That gives our children the chance to be who they want to be;
- A Bill of Rights that is not merely a document collecting dust but rather a call to action;
- A government that uphold the Rule of Law, where the courts are obeyed and nobody, including the president, can disregard court rulings;
- With a foreign policy premised on human rights and respects international laws and treaties, where South Africa is a beacon of hope for the developing world;
This Vision is a positive step in the right direction, nobody can now accuse the Democratic Alliance of only being negative and criticizing the government, it is offering a clear bold alternative to creeping poverty and lawlessness.
You can help to achieve these objectives, make sure that you, your families and friends are registered voters. Make sure that you all go and vote in next year’s local government elections and in the 2019 general election.
The choice is yours – you can either stay as you are or you can help change South Africa into the country we want it to be!
Until next time,
For further information go to the DA website at: http://www.da.org.za/campaign/vision-2029/
This newsletter is published by Clive Hatch former Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and former DA Provincial Leader. These views are my personal views and do not represent those of any other person or organisation.