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Opinionista

The DA has challenges, but no government can compare with our track record

Bonginkosi Madikizela is Western Cape DA leader and WC Minister of Transport and Public Works.

After 25 years of democracy, we should be more circumspect about our political choices.

This year marks 25 years since the dawn of democracy in South Africa. We have achieved a lot as a country since 1994, and we are grateful for political freedom. We are grateful for those functioning state institutions like the Independent Electoral Commission that still ensures that we are able to hold free and fair elections every five years without fail. We are grateful for our independent judiciary and many men and women in South Africa who are still honest hard-working servants of our people.

But unfortunately, a lot has gone wrong in our country. Our successes as a country must never be compared to previous governments prior to 1994, that would be setting the bar very low. We must compare ourselves with ourselves, what we have achieved and what we could have achieved if we had an honest, efficient and competent national government. It is estimated that we have lost about R750-billion through corruption since 1994 and that is massive. While campaigning, the ANC Deputy President, David Mabuza told the people that they are indeed corrupt but people should vote for them anyway. This is simply because the ANC uses our past and wit gevaar tactic to emotionally blackmail people.

We are told that the reason we have rolling blackouts is that the current ANC Government is providing electricity to more people than apartheid government did but this is a smokescreen. The real reason for all the crises we have in South Africa is because of a grand-scale corruption, looting and sheer incompetence by the ANC government. We were warned in 1995 already about the need to increase Eskom capacity but the ANC government failed to act. All our State Owned Enterprises have collapsed because of this.

Several Commissions of Inquiry are revealing the real state of our nation, how corrupt and captured the state is. We are also grappling with Eskom’s devastating impact on our economy which will add more people to the list of unemployed South Africans who are already at almost 10-million. In any other country, no government will be entrusted with ever governing again with such spectacular failures. This should make the choice for the voters on 8 May a very simple one if we are voting with our heads.

  • Under the DA in the Western Cape, we have created 508,000 new jobs since our term of office 10 years ago, a growth of 24.8% between 2009 and last year, 2018. Our unemployment rate is the lowest in the country.

  • Nationally under the ANC government, between the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2018 the number of persons who were in long-term unemployment increased by 1.7-million (Stats SA). This means 170,000 people a year joined the unemployment queue during this period. That is the legacy of the ANC.

  • A lot has been said about land reform by other parties, particularly the ANC blowing hot air. Since 2014, we have supported 357 land reforms projects with over R500-million which resulted in a 72% success rate compared to a 90% failure rate under the ANC nationally.

  • We’ve also issued more than 103,000 title deeds to government subsidised houses recipients who now own these properties as they are not just residents in them. We are the best performing province under the National Programme — Title Deeds Restoration Programme at 71.9%, followed by North West at a distant 43%.

  • Fourteen out of the top 20 municipalities in South Africa with the highest access to sanitation are in the Western Cape. Access to piped water is 99%, electricity is 97% and waste removal is at 98% – all the highest in the country. We achieved all this despite the massive population growth which grew by around 2-million in 15 years.

  • Last year we achieved 83% clean audit outcomes in the Western Cape, followed by Gauteng at a distant 52%. When we took over in 2009, not a single Department had ever received a clean audit outcome under the ANC. The Auditor General also released a damning report of unauthorised, fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure where the ANC departments have squandered more than R75-billion.

  • While President Cyril Ramaphosa is shocked and angry that we are experiencing load shedding because of his government’s failures to fix Eskom and all our State Owned Enterprises, under the DA we have invested in renewable energy and that is why 70% of South Africa’s renewable energy manufacturing takes place here in the Western Cape. We are now the fastest growing green economy in the world according to the rating agency, Moody’s.

  • We have built 131 schools, including replacement schools in 9 years under the DA in Western Cape. This translate to 14 schools and 265 classrooms per year since 2009. The ANC only built 38 schools during the same period.

  • Under health, life expectancy has increased from 59 to 66 years for men and from 64 to 72 years for women. We have the highest percentage of households with access to healthcare that is within 30 minutes of their healthcare facilities.

  • When we took over the province in 2009, there were only 120 people with disabilities who received specialised services from the Provincial Government. Since then, this figure increased to a staggering 88,000. This is an illustration of a caring DA government.

We are not perfect. We have challenges but no government is comparable to our track record. Our major challenges in the Western Cape are in areas of National Government competency like Police and Rail Transport. This is why we have been calling for the provincialisation of these services because we can do a much better job than the National Government. Our country is being destroyed by corruption. We have proved that we have an answer to that. We run a clean government where money is spent to deliver services.

If this was a yardstick used by people to determine how and who they should vote for, the DA should win the 8 May elections hands down. We can’t continue to be blackmailed about the past. South Africans must vote for a party that has a proven track record on clean and competent governance. DM

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