“The way the ANC governs - and you’ll know this very well here in Sol Plaatje Municipality - is by rewarding some people for their loyalty at the ballot box and punishing others for not voting for them"
THE LEADER of the DA, Mmusi Maimane, was in Kimberley on the weekend for the provincial launch of the party’s “Team One SA” campaign.
Speaking in Roodepan on Friday, Maimane described the Northern Cape as the province “with horizons as wide as the dreams and the potential of our nation” and said that the DA was “in it to win it here in the Northern Cape”.
“This is a province ready for change and if we put in the effort over the next six months we can bring the ANC below 50% here and replace them with an honest and accountable DA-led government – the government this province deserves,” said Maimane.
“The ANC government is the exact opposite of our election message. Instead of building one united SA that works for all its people, they have deliberately created two distinct South Africas. One is made up of political and economic insiders – ANC politicians, members, cronies, friends and family. And the other is made up of outsiders – people without ANC connections and therefore without access to opportunities.
“The way the ANC governs – and you’ll know this very well here in Sol Plaatje Municipality – is by rewarding some people for their loyalty at the ballot box and punishing others for not voting for them. That’s not how democracy works, but the ANC doesn’t even pretend to be a true democratic organisation.
“We have with us here today a number of young people who tried to apply for work opportunities in the government’s EPWP jobs programme in this municipality, but they were turned away because they couldn’t produce ANC membership cards. Those jobs are not reserved for supporters of a particular party, but the ANC uses them as bait to keep voters ‘loyal’.
“We heard of voters here in this municipality who made it clear they were leaving the ANC for the DA. The ANC then immediately tried to entice them back with the promise of EPWP jobs – as if this is a resource that belongs to them and can be handed out at their discretion. But do you know what our councillors told them? They said ‘take the job, because any work is good work. But then go ahead and vote for the DA next year any way’.
“And that’s my message to you too. If the ANC comes here in the next six months with promises of EPWP jobs, or with food parcels, or with infrastructure projects and upgrades that only happen before elections, take them. Any job, any food, any investment in your community is good. Take it, but then go and vote for a party that will serve you all year, every year. You don’t owe anyone your vote,” Maimane said. He added that he believes that it is not only jobs that get “manipulated” in this way.
“The housing lists here in this municipality have no transparency whatsoever, and there is no intention at all to honour the time spent on the waiting list or the age of the person applying for government housing. We have 80-year-olds living in shacks and we have housing developments full of 24-year-olds, because the register has been manipulated and obscured so that the friends and family of ANC councillors get preferential treatment.”
Maimane went on to say that South Africa’s biggest challenge was to get people – and particularly young people – into jobs.
“In this province, a staggering 42% of adults cannot find work. This is an unacceptable statistic. If we can solve this, so much else will start falling into place. However, in order to do so we must realise that there are two elements to getting young people working,” Maimane concluded.