Speech by Andrew Louw, Democratic Alliance Northern Cape provincial leader, at the party’s provincial congress, January 28 2012.
BUILDING THE NEW MAJORITY
Ladies & Gentlemen, colleagues and friends, I bid you welcome this afternoon at our provincial congress.
Keya lo amogela gompijeno mo kongreseng ya rona ya porofense.
Ek heet u hartlik welkom by ons kongres in ons provinsie.
On politics and our ambitions
Let’s not forget, friends, that we are witnessing history unfold here today. We are gathered here to consolidate our strength and chart a way forward, not only for the party but for our province.
The gains we have made are significant. We have established coalition governments in four councils. In 2011 we virtually doubled our vote in the province with signs of growth in support across all districts.
Die 2009 algemene verkiesing het die DA se openbare verteenwoordigers sien groei vanaf net twee in die Wetgewer tot vier.
Die ondertekening van ‘n samewerkingooreenkoms tussen die DA en die Onafhanklike Demokrate in 2010 het die Party se ledetal en ondersteuningsbasis aansienlik sien groei.
Die suksesse van die 2011 verkiesing word gesien in die feit dat die DA vyf nuwe DA wyke in Kimberley gewen het. In die ander wyke het die DA ook sy steun aansienlik verbeter. Die hoeveelheid raadslede het vanaf 58 in 2006 tot 101 in 2011 toegeneem. Dit is ‘n ongelooflike groeisyfer.
Die groei van die party in die provinsie het ‘n geleidelike groei getoon. Met die 2006 verkiesing het ons 14% van die totale stem persentasie behaal. In 2009 het die DA 13% en OD 5%, gesamentlik het ons 18% vertoon en in 2011 ‘n triomfanklike groei van 22%.
We are an ambitious party. But this is not the ambition built solely on self-interest and narrow obsession with power. It’s an ambition based on our prospects off leading government in the Northern Cape and delivering for its people.
On our guiding principles
Every step of the way we will be guided by the four pillars on which all our actions and policies are based.
The first of these pillars is REDRESS. This means that we are committed to reversing the legacy of Apartheid. Poverty and unequal education does not need to be the destiny of so many people in the Northern Cape.
Reflecting back a few years ago, this province took the lead in education outcomes (results). In 2003, the Northern Cape pitched the highest nationally, achieving a 90,7% pass rate – the best in the country. Last year we pitched a mediocre 68,8%. What went wrong? Well colleagues, we know exactly where the problem lies. Cadre deployment is the cancer that stole opportunities from our children.
We are a party that delivers where we govern. A DA government would work tirelessly to ensure that children from the green Kalahari to the hills of rural Namakwaland are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
And we are proving already, where we govern, that we can do this. In just two years, the matric pass rate in the Western Cape has improved year-on-year to become the best in the country. And we are just getting started there. Given the chance to govern, we can do the same for children in the Northern Cape.
What we have come to learn is that good governance has the greatest impact on the lives of the working class and poor citizens of our towns and cities. Cape Town is now home to the most celebrated public transport system in the country – the MyCiti Bus.
Every day, tens of thousands of citizens make use of its services to move between work and home safely and affordably. And this same approach to public transport can be applied to towns, cities and rural areas of the Northern Cape.
Imagine a system that would allow people to move safely and cheaply between the towns and villages of Namakwaland; or from surrounding villages and residential areas to the centres of cities like Kimberley and Upington; or from the rural plains of John Taole Gaetsewe to urban centres for work and school?
REDRESS is about creating a more equitable and just society for all citizens. It is about doing something about the past neglect that affected the poor and working class so acutely.
The only way to achieve REDRESS is through the second pillar: DELIVERY. Our governments, whether at local or provincial level, are the cleanest and most efficient in the country.
Consistently, the national governments own indicators as well as private sector research has shown that DA governments in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape are the best governed in the country. We look forward to our governments in the Northern Cape joining the ranks of the best.
Under the stewardship of the DA, Cape Town is growing into a world-class city with world-class infrastructure.
The city is now the Design Capital of the World; the home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; and as early as 2008 it was acknowledged as having the best mayor in the world in the form of Helen Zille. Patricia De Lille is continuing that proud legacy and we wish her the best going forward.
The tourism industry is now performing better than at any other time in history and contributing to the creation of thousands of jobs.
Through an innovative partnership with the private sector, we have created a safe and secure environment in the centre of the city that competes with only the best cosmopolitan cities of the world.
In just a few short years we have managed to achieve all this. Imagine what we could do for cities like Kimberley and Upington; or for towns like Kuruman, De Aar and Calvinia?
Through meaningful partnerships with the private sector, whether it be commercial farmers or urban businesses, we can make life better for the residents of the Northern Cape. (KE NAKO!!)
The concept of partnerships brings us to the third pillar: RECONCILIATION. We come from a deeply divided and horrible past that has left so many people indelibly scarred.
The only way to move forward toward a shared future is to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and to find meaningful ways for people to build partnerships that will result in a better future for our children.
There is no reason why the interests of commercial farmers and farmworkers cannot be reconciled or the interests of middle and working class Kimberley.
At the end of the day there are basic things that we all want for ourselves and our children: jobs and a flourishing economy; a good education; opportunities for personal growth and development; and a safe environment in which to live and work.
There is immense potential for new and positive ways of seeing each other and working together. But to realize this we must oppose the racial nationalism and populist rhetoric that has become so common in our politics today.
We must reject the views of politicians who for selfish reasons play on the prejudices and insecurities of groups of people. The politics of race, language and gender should have died when Nelson Mandela assumed office in 1994.
Today, the DA is the only party that is still guided by the non-racial dream of Mandela. We have become the standard-bearer of a new generation of people, many of them of young and idealistic.
Many of those in power today have abandoned the nation-building project. The road they are taking this country down is a dangerous one. The time is fast-approaching where those value the dream of 1994 need to find each other very quickly for the sake of our country.
The final pillar, which cannot be separated from the nation-building project, is DIVERSITY. Friends, you only have to look around the room today to see that the DA is blossoming into the most diverse political party this country has ever seen.
Diversity can be described in thousands of ways: from race to gender to religion to background to political views. Protecting and promoting diversity in our country is an imperative that we cannot take lightly.
Promoting diversity is about protecting the rights of individuals. The collectivist politics of other parties in our country only serve to drive people back into their respective groups.
What our politicians don’t realize is that are multiple ways of being a South African and, indeed, of being African. We must ensure that we continue to be a party that not only respects this diversity, but also celebrates it.
The strides we have made so far as a collective is a clear indication that we are on the right path. To enable us to get to our destination, which is to win the province, a few important steps need to unfold:
- Where we govern, we in coalition need to do that beyond reproach.
- Employ not deploy competent and skilled people.
- Manifesting the “open opportunity” society for all.
By 2014, we will unite in our focus of leading a coalition government in the Northern Cape.
By 2016 we are intent on leading governments in three of the five districts: Namakwa, PixleykaSeme and Siyanda. We will also govern in the city of Upington.
By 2019, we plan to build on that majority in a year when the DA will form the core of a new national government.
Today we affirm our path toward each of these milestones. We lay down our commitment to building a new majority in the Northern Cape.
As part of our collective responsibility we will continue to search for new talent to enhance our objectives for 2014: “Building a new majority”.
In die tussen tyd is dit ook belangrik dat ons stelsels in plek sit om ons doelwit te bereik. Daarom kollegas is dit ook van kardinale belang dat persone wie verkies word in posisies, die posisie wat die persoon beklee op ‘n bekwame en verantwoordbare manier hanteer.
Die provinsie is in nege (9) kiesafdelinge op verdeel.
These constituencies will be clustered to streamline the operations and political activities that need to take place at grassroot level.
Each vice chairperson will be responsible for a cluster which will consist of three constituencies (3). These clusters will be subdivided into geographic and functional classifications. Vice chairpersons will be allocated with portfolios i.e) administration, strategic thinking and finance. All these will be done in collaboration with the constituency chairpersons, constituency heads, provincial director, provincial chair and provincial leader. This method of working will be guided by teamwork and consultation.
Friends, let me leave you with a thought:
Each one of us should realise that as we walk away here today, we leave something behind. What we leave depends entirely on us.
I thank you
(Issued by the DA Northern Cape, January 30 2012)
by Andrew Louw
Source – DA plans to co-govern NCape in 2014