SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS AFRESH START
My fellow South Africans,
Today, as a nation, we face the gravest CRISIS ever in our history. The state has to
borrow R6 billion a week. Of this amount R5 billion goes to servicing the interest debt.
Soon the full amount that we borrow will be consumed in interest payments. The crisis
we face is truly enormous. We, therefore, have no choice but to make very hard
political, economic, moral and social choices.
Today, South Africa urgently
needs a FRESH START.
We need to return fully to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. We need to prosecute
those who through their corrupt acts on an industrial scale made South Africa into an
economic wasteland so that they go to jail. Justice must be seen to be done. At the
same time, we need to create inclusive economic growth and job creation in keeping
with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Many of the jobs of today will no longer exist in a
few years. New technology will cause massive disruption within industries.
Government expenditure on the consumption side will have to be reined in because
the budget deficit has now climbed to 60% of GDP and South Africans are being taxed
too heavily as a consequence of that. With money being taken out of your pockets, the
economy has stalled.
Businesses are in trouble and job losses loom large on the horizon. The government
has to downsize and return to fiscal prudence so that our country does not run of
money as is happening in a neighboring country. At a time when we need to show
maturity and stability to attract fixed direct investment into the country and present
South Africa as a world leader in tourism, it is imperative that we guard strongly
against the rise of populism, identity politics and festering racism. We cannot be
shooting ourselves in both feet at a time when economic growth has to be our apex
concern. We need to encourage all organs of state, in particular, and South Africans,
in general, to buy goods and services that are proudly South African. We need to grow
jobs in every village, town, and city.
When the economy is in crisis we need to recognize that it is through fostering nation
building and continuing to extend reconciliation that we can pull ourselves out of the
morass that we find ourselves in by our own bootstraps. The need to uphold moral
values and underscore our common humanity is now essential for our very survival.
If we give over to our base instincts and inter-societal aggression, we will sink deeper
into the morass, I mentioned above.
Since our inception, COPE has consistently called for leaders who are committed to
being honest and sincere servants of the people who pursue truth uncompromisingly,
seek justice for all, practice transparency, demonstrate respect for the values and
principles of the South African people, work tirelessly to grow the economy to achieve
sustainable development; support the kind of education and skill development for our
children that the times we live in demand, and ensure that South Africa remains
globally competitive. We need to be in the company of the least corrupt and most
democratic nations of the world.
We also want South Africans to assist in meeting our developmental objectives, to
improve the quality of our healthcare, to lend a hand in fighting crime and ensuring the
safety of all of us in society.
The reasons and values that informed the establishment of COPE have become even
more relevant and pressing today than they were when COPE was formed in 2008.
Indeed, history will recall that we chose to do the unthinkable by breaking away from
the ANC and putting our political positions and careers on the line as the strongest
way of warning our comrades and the country about entrusting the highest affairs of
state to someone who would utterly discredit the party and the country. The ongoing
Zondo Commission vindicates the very strong stance we took in 2008. Over the past
decade, naked greed robbed our people of the prosperity they deserved and ravaged
the lives of millions of people. Those who trampled on our constitution and gave South
Africa to connected friends to loot at will have brought the state and state entities to
their knees. What we warned about came to pass in all its ugliness.
Today, the Congress of the People reiterates what we have been saying over the past
We are sunk so low that we have to do things differently to connect with the people and
empower them so that our joint efforts can lift the nation from the morass that it is in.
Our party became the first political party in Africa and perhaps the world to embrace
technology to allow our registered members from their homes to elect their leaders
directly. That is how our present leadership came into being. I, therefore, have
pleasure in introducing a leadership where factionalism was dealt a death blow and
where democracy triumphed. To take matters further, let me present to you the
“COPE Transformation Charter”. This is a policy framework for the genuine
transformation of society, through the democratic involvement of all, for the full and
rapid realization of our constitutional values and imperatives.
Your challenge as a voter is to take your power back to yourself to ensure a FRESH
START with honest leaders committed to upholding and advancing the Constitution
and creating an environment of good governance that will encourage economically
growth, stimulate demand for South African goods and services, greatly increase
local content of imports, facilitate inclusivity in the economy and build a society where
our diversity can manifest itself as our greatest asset in uplifting us all.
PLEASE VOTE COPE